The Tampa Bay Lightning keep making it clear: they’re back. During much of what is now a 10-game winning streak, the Lightning blared that message with lopsided beatdowns. In Saturday’s case, it was more of a suffocating affair, as the Lightning clogged things up to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0.
Lightning show versatility in pushing winning streak to 10 games
Remember when Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t exactly looking like a goalie worthy of an eight-year, $76 million extension? Well, Vasi is looking like 9.5 million bucks (per year) lately, as he’s now authored consecutive shutouts for a streak of 145:55. The Bolts are showing that they can win in different ways, with recent victories revolving around strong goaltending and stingy defense.
The Lightning also tied their franchise record with this 10-game winning streak.
And, hey, when you win this many games, you probably get a few bounces here or there. Patrick Maroon took advantage of such a bounce for Saturday’s only goal:
Unfortunately, Maroon’s other big bounce involved a scary bump into the boards:
The Flyers deserve credit for carving out such a close game against the Lightning, particularly with injury losses mounting. After all, Tampa Bay trounced its last three opponents by an intimidating combined score of 16-3.
Upcoming threats to Lightning streak
So, what are the most likely end points for the Lightning’s run?
“Any night” ranks as the fairest response in the parity-packed NHL, but let’s put that aside for a moment. Looking at the Lightning’s schedule, they play seven of their next eight games on the road. That stretch includes Sunday’s game in New Jersey where both the Bolts and the Devils close off back-to-back sets. Pondering it on-paper, some of the toughest matchups include a Jan. 16 date at the Wild, and a Jan. 27 road game against the almost-as-hot Stars.
(Again, though, the Devils could easily end it on Sunday … because hockey.)
Lindblom receives a warm welcome
Flyers fans gave Oskar Lindblom a standing ovation in one of the best moments of the night:
Lindblom brought some “sunshine” to a recent Flyers practice, too. Alain Vigneault beamed about the visit, which you can learn more about at NBC Sports Philadelphia.