The Tampa Bay Lightning notched their 25th win of the season Tuesday, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. The Bolts were able to return home and get back on track after dropping their past two games on the road.
How's that for a welcome home? ⚡️
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 11, 2023
Strong First Period
Nikita Kucherov set the tone early Tuesday night, scoring a goal just 1:40 into the first period. He didn’t stop there, assisting on Nick Paul’s power play goal later in the opening period. This put the Bolts up 2-0 at the end of the first period.
The defense and goaltending also got off to a solid start Tuesday night, as this was the first time in five games the Lightning held their opponent scoreless in the first period.
Capitalizing on the Power Play
A big part of Tampa Bay’s success against Columbus was special teams. The Bolts were able to score three power play goals against the Blue Jackets. Forward Nikita Kucherov scored or assisted on all three power play goals in the win (1G, 2A).
The Lightning’s power play has been a strong suit all season long. The Bolts rank fourth in the NHL in power play percentage, scoring on 28.1% of their power plays.
Season at a Glance
Nearing the midway point of the season, the Lightning sit at 25-13-1. This places the Bolts 3rd in the Atlantic division, six points back of the second place Toronto Maple Leafs. Tampa Bay is nine points ahead of the fourth place Buffalo Sabres.
A few major contributors to the Lightning’s strong start to the season have been the play of All-Star forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. Kucherov is tied for the NHL’s lead in assists, and he’s fourth in the league in overall points. Point leads the Lightning in goals with 23.
A look ahead
The Lightning finish up their two-game homestand Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks before heading out west for a five game road trip. While on the road, the Bolts will face the St. Louis Blues, Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.