The Tampa Bay Lightning returned home last night riding a seven game winning streak, six of those wins coming on the road against division opponents, and the Lightning continued their winning ways as they blew out the Vancouver Canucks 9-2.
The Canucks and the Lightning both came into the game riding a seven game winning streak and the Lightning made sure that their win streak would continue.
The game was a tight one mid way through the second period as the game was tied 2-2 with five minutes remaining in the period.
The Lightning then erupted for four goals in the final 4:53 of the second period tying a franchise record for six goals in a period as the lightning took a 6-2 lead after two periods.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was solid in goal again and when he is playing the way he has been playingthe last 10-12 games, the Lightning are going to be very hard to beat.
The big story of the night though was Lightning rookie Carter Verhaeghe getting his first career hat trick in the Lightning 9-2 win.
Verhaeghe, the leading scorer in the AHL last season has started slowly in Tampa, but last night just might have been what the doctor ordered to get his confidence going.
Verhaeghe got his first goal of the night at 17:06 of the second period that put the Lightning up 4-2 at the time.
Verhaeghe would add two more in the third to notch his first career hat trick.
Verhaeghe tallied his second goal of the season in Ottawa on Saturday, and got the hat trick against the Canucks to give him a total of five goals on the season.
In addition to the three goals by Carter Verhaege, Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists, Braydon Point had a goal and three assists, and Nikita Kucherov added a goal and an assist.
During this eight game winning streak, the Lightning have gone from seventh place in the division to second place moving past Toronto.
The Lightning have now officially passed the halfway point of the season With their 42nd game against the Canucks and are 25-13-4 on the season.
The Lightning Now trail the Boston Bruins by seven points for first place in the division.
Defensemen Ryan MacDonagh missed the game against the Canucks with an upper body injury, and Cooper said that MacDonagh would miss the game Thursday against Arizona.
The hope is that MacDonagh will be able to play this weekend when the Lightning will embark on a brief two game road trip.