After playing one of their worst games of the season against the Boston Bruins, The Lightning were just as good in taking down the Ottawa Senators in a five to one win on Saturday night.
Three defensemen scored for the Lightning Hedman, Sergachev, and Cernak. Nikita Kucherov addded a goal and an assist giving him 106 points on the season.
After the debacle in Boston where the Lightning were outskated, outshot and just overall outplayed, the lightning took out that frustrating an a hapless Ottawa team who has traded their three leading scorers in the last week and fired their head coach on Friday.
I know what you’re thinking, the Senators are the worst team in the NHL and the Lightning should have won the game going away.
But it was less than a week ago when the worst team in the Western Conference the LA Kings came to Tampa and sent the game to a shootout before a Victor Hedman goal gave the Lightning the win.
The Lightning are getting the best games out of their opponents. It dosen’t matter where they are in the standings, the opposing teams are jacked up to play the Lightning and sometimes playing their best game of the season.
With the win against the Senators, the lightning tied the record set by the 95-96 Detroit Red Wings for getting that 50th win in 66 games. Quite an accomplishment.
With 104 points in 66 games, the Lightning‘s schedule continues to get tougher and will bring out the best in their opponents
Three games against Washington, two each against Toronto and Boston and a game coming up Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, a team many think can represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup final.
All of these games will be a good test for the Lightning because when the playoffs starts this will be the grade of completion that the Lightning will face night in and night out.
The Physical play of the Lightning continues to be a big part of their success. Even in the loss to Boston, the Lightning out hit the Bruins 35-22 and were the more physical team throughout the game.
That trend continued against Ottawa as the Lightning set the tone with physical play early on. That physical style of play will continue to ramp up as it always does as the season winds down and the playoffs begin.
Every team right now is chasing the Lightning and using the Lightning as a measuring stick to compare it against their own game.
The Lightning are setting the tone early by scoring and forcing teams to play from behind. When this Lightning team is ready to play from the opening whistle, and dictates the style of play, they are very difficult to beat.