I certainly hope Lighting fans are tuning in to tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames. Because after weeks and weeks of subpar play and disappointing losses, the Lightning just put on a show in the second period. Gone was the team that falls apart after allowing a goal; gone was the team that didn’t play with the aggressiveness we all knew they could. The Lightning smelled blood in the second period, and they went out and dominated.
The second period actually started off on a sour foot for the Lightning, as they fell behind 2-1 on a goal by Jarome Iginla at 1:57 — literally seconds after the Flames’ power play had expired. But after scoring that goal, the Flames wouldn’t have any action on net for the upcoming 14 minutes. The Lightning started playing hard, fast, and aggressive. They were on every puck as soon it was loose, and they were aggressively forechecking the Flames on every turnover. The Bolts got off 13 unanswered shots over those 14 minutes, and they finished with an 18-5 shot advantage in the second period (and a 28-14 advantage overall).
The Bolts’ first goal of the period was scored after Tom Pyatt made a big hit to get the puck in the offensive zone and keep it there; then after multiple Lightning players crashed the net, Pyatt nabbed a quick rebound and wristed a shot past Kiprusoff. The second goal of the period was less dramatic, as Ryan Malone received a pass in the slot from Steven Stamkos and knocked a quick shot in. And finally, for the third goal, Nate Thompson drove the puck into Calgary’s zone by himself, lost control of it, and then managed to pop off a quick shot that ricocheted off a Calgary defenseman into the goal.
For the first time in weeks, this team looks alive. They look hungry. Let’s just hope that continues into the third period and beyond.
To join in the conversation during the game, check out SB Nation’s blog on the Lightning, Raw Charge.