After starting the season 1-3, the Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten wins in the last two games and will make their annual trip to California starting with tonight’s game against the LA Kings.
The Lightning, down 2-1 in the game against the Florida Panthers on Friday, got a goal from Braydon Point and then a Point power-play goal in overtime to give the Bolts the 3-2 win.
On Saturday, the Lightning faced a scrappy New York Islanders team and took down New York 5-3.
Jon Cooper wasn’t overly impressed with the win on Saturday.
“We didn’t execute. I thought we were extremely opportunistic. We didn’t really do ourselves any favors on two of the goals against. We just basically handed it right to them. Again, that’s part of execution.”
“But in saying that, you’ve got to find ways to win when you’re not at your best. The Islanders, they threw everything at us. I thought Moose (Brian Elliott) was a wall back there for us.
The Lightning have been far from perfect this early in the season, struggling to keep the puck in the offensive zone and not generating shots-on-goal. As a result, the Bolts have been outshot in four of their six games this season.
Part of the issue has been the communication between the defensemen and the forwards. The Lightning has four new defensemen this season: Ian Cole, Nick Perbix, Phillipe Myers, and Cal Foote.
Foote was on the team last season and did not play many minutes. But he will be counted on to play more minutes this season.
The Lightning swept the series from the Kings last season, outscoring LA 9-6. Tonight’s matchup will also be the third of three back-to-back games this season.
Steven Stamkos is off to his best career start, scoring seven of the Lightning’s 13 goals this season. You would like to have some other guys contribute to the goal-scoring to balance things out offensively.
Braydon Point, who is second on the team with four goals, said that guys must step up. “We need other guys to step up. We’ve got one guy scoring the majority of our goals, and guys need to produce. That’s what we’re paid to do, and we need to start doing it.”
Stamkos will continue to center the line with Namenstikov and Killorn. Braydon Point will center the second line with Hagel and Kucherov.
Wednesday Night, the Lightning will head north to Anaheim to play the Ducks before moving on to San Jose on Saturday.
The Lightning will wrap up the trip on Sunday afternoon in Vegas against the Golden Knights.