The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to be the NHL’s hottest team. The Bolts picked up a dominant victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday Night, 4-0.
Forward Brayden Point led the Lightning in scoring with two goals and an assist. The speedy offensive player now has 57 total points on the season (26 goals and 31 assists).
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 9, 2019
However, Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy may have been the star of the show. The Lightning net-minder completed a shutout performance with 31 saves and looked like the All-Star he was from a year ago.
Nikita Kucherov and Mathieu Joseph also added goals. Kucherov leads the NHL with 71 points.
The Lightning got off to a fast start, scoring two goals in the first period. Mathieu put one in the back off the net at the 15:55 mark and Point followed that up a minute later with a goal of his own.
Kucherov would add his goal in the third period, scoring off a beautiful cross-ice pass from Tyler Johnson. Point would score his second goal later in the period off an assist from Mikhail Sergachev.
Dominating the east
The win was marked the Bolts fifth victory in the teams last six outings and 20 of its last 23 games. The Bolts now lead the Eastern Conference by 12 points. The The Toronto Maple Leafs are in second with 56 points behind Tampa’s 68.
ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose feels that the Lightning will be tough to beat going forward in the season.
The Lightning are currently on pace to challenge the single season points record set by the Montreal Canadians in 1976-77. The record set by that Canadians team is 132 and the Bolts are off pace of the record by only two points.
However, the schedule will be getting much tougher towards the end of January. Games against Toronto, Pittsburgh and Vegas all loom and will give the Lightning a good test heading into the back half of the season.
Tampa Bay returns to the ice Wednesday night as the team hosts the Carolina Hurricanes.