The Lightning did not close things out cleanly against Columbus and Vancouver during last week’s two-game homestand at Amalie Arena. Yes, they won both games, though in a manner that unnecessarily had fans on the edge of their seats in the latter stages of the third period.

Lightning Spreading The Wealth Offensively During Four-Game Win Streak

The Lightning did not close things out cleanly against Columbus and Vancouver during last week’s two-game homestand at Amalie Arena. Yes, they won both games, though in a manner that unnecessarily had fans on the edge of their seats in the latter stages of the third period.
Nick Paul (Credit: Tampa Bay Lightning)

TAMPA, Fla. – The Lightning did not close things out cleanly against Columbus and Vancouver during last week’s two-game homestand at Amalie Arena. Yes, they won both games, though in a manner that unnecessarily had fans on the edge of their seats in the latter stages of the third period.

The first two games of their five-game trip, which takes them to Vancouver on Wednesday night were void of any such anxiety. A 4-2 win at St. Louis on Saturday night and a 4-1 win at Seattle on Monday afternoon were textbook road victories, especially against the scorching Kraken.

It should be noted that the eight goals in the two road wins were scored by seven different players. Such contributions underscore what has taken place offensively during the Lightning’s four-game win streak as 12 different players have scored. Sure, a couple of empty-netters pad that number, but they are just rewards for a job well done.

In the news: Lightning’s Steven Stamkos Becomes 95th NHL Player To Reach 1,000-Point Milestone

Even Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got into the act. It was his nifty deflection of an Ian Cole shot that beat Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead late in the first period. It was Bellemare’ second goal of the season.

“To be able to go along in the season and in the playoffs, you have to have everybody help the team at times,” said Bellemare, who for nine seasons in the NHL has effectively quieted the opposition as one of the league’s top checking forwards while also chipping in 58 goals. “You don’t expect the fourth liners to (score many goals), but if we can get one and help boost the team in the right direction and get a big win, it’s huge.”

It is huge. While the Lightning have noted goal scorers Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point, plus the likes of Braden Hagel and Nick Paul, both on a 30-plus goal pace, others need to chip in over the long haul.

“When you have the depth, it helps you win some hockey games,” said coach Jon Cooper, following the Seattle win. “In the game (against the Kraken), when Kuch, Stammer or Point’s not getting one, you need somebody like (Bellemare) to get it for you. When you have that kind of scoring coming from everyone at certain times, it helps you win games.”

While the Lightning seek to stretch their win streak to five at Vancouver (10 p.m.), the Stamkos 500-goal watch continues. The captain, who scored No. 499 against the Canucks at Amalie Arena last week, has 13 goals in 17 games against Vancouver.

The Bolts are at Edmonton (9 p.m.) on Thursday and complete the trip at Calgary on Saturday (3 p.m.) afternoon. Stamkos has 10 goals in 16 games against the Oilers and nine goals in 13 games against the Flames.

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