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Video Credit: NHL

FSM Recap: Golden Knights vs Lightning – Game 34 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (21-8-5)  |  Tampa Bay Lightning (16-13-5)

 

It was the Golden Knights vs Lightning Thursday night in Tampa Bay. The Golden Knights fell behind early, only to nearly pull out a come from behind, but instead falling 5-4 to the Lightning.

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/AP

Following a tough loss, the Golden Knights looked to right the ship Thursday night in Tampa Bay as they take on the Lightning. They did so without the services of goalies Adin Hill and Logan Thompson.

Vegas’ road trip got off to a rough start Tuesday in Carolina when the Golden Knights faced their most significant deficit of the year (five goals), ultimately losing 6-3. It also was the first time this season that the Golden Knights made a goalie change for reasons other than injury; Thompson was pulled after giving up a career-high six goals through the first 44:44.

The Golden Knights had trouble exiting the zone, and special teams were a critical factor in the loss.

Games like that happen,” Jonathan Marchessault said. “It’s all about how you respond next game.

The team announced Wednesday night that Thompson is day-to-day; as a result, the club recalled goaltender Isaiah Saville from the Henderson Silver Knights. Whether it was Jiri Patera or Saville in net, the Golden Knights would have their hands full against Tampa Bay’s high-powered offense.

This was the year’s first matchup between the Golden Knights and Lightning. Tampa Bay was coming off a 6-1 victory against St. Louis after returning from a five-game road trip. The Lightning have been much better at home, where they are 9-3-3 (compared to 6-10-2 on the road). Vegas has gone 5-4-3 on the road over the last two months.

Nikita Kucherov has been lighting it up all year. He leads the league in points with 54, six more than the second-place Nathan MacKinnon (48), and is third in goals (23) and second in assists (32). He and Steven Stamkos led the Lightning with 12 points in the all-time matchup against Vegas.

Jack Eichel is on a franchise-high 11-game point streak and will look to extend that Thursday night in Tampa Bay. He has 14 points in 19 career games against the Lightning.

Vegas won both meetings against the Lightning last season and holds a 7-3-0 record in the all-time matchup, including a 4-1-0 mark at Amalie Arena.

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning First Period:

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/AP

The game plan was apparent in the first period. Keep high-danger chances against Patera to a minimum. The Golden Knights limited the Lightning to just five high-danger chances and took just one penalty.

Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring after Brayden McNabb fired a shot from the blue line. Paul Cotter deflected the pass directly to Marchessault, who had an empty net to work with. Ivan Barbashev scored the game’s next goal off a nice pass from Mark Stone. Similar to Marchessault’s goal, Barbashev had close to an empty net to work with.

This was the period the Golden Knights needed. Goaltender injuries are a concern, and they were blown out in their last game. This was also the first period the fans needed to calm their nerves.

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning 2nd Period:

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports

The second period was the period Golden Knights players and fans did not need.

Alex Barre-Boulet started the scoring for the Lightning with a tip from a Victor Hedman shot. The Golden Knights were able to keep the Lightning off the scoreboard for nearly eight minutes until Nikita Kucherov scored on the two-man advantage. Jiri Patera lost his stick, and there was nothing he could have done to save the one-timer. Brayden Point scored just 33 seconds later, also on the powerplay.

Nicolas Hague stopped a pass across the slot that bounced to Point, who had most of the net to work with. The Lightning were not done scoring. Patera failed to track a puck off the post, and Point was able to score the easy goal.

The four-goal second period by the Lightning meant the Golden Knights were outscored 7-0 in the last two second periods of play.

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning 3rd Period:

 

Golden Knights vs Lightning | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports

Kucherov and Lightning coach Jon Cooper gave the Golden Knights an opening to get back in the game in the third period.

Kucherov felt he was slashed on a breakaway and got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at the referee. Cooper was equally upset on the bench, and the Lightning lost their composure. Marchessault scored on a perfect tic-tac-toe play from the bumper during the powerplay. Paul Cotter added a goal 9:45 into the period to tie the game. The Golden Knights had a long period of sustained pressure, and Cotter was able to find a soft spot through traffic to score.

This one looked like it was heading to overtime.

Unfortunately, Nicholas Paul had other ideas. Hedman took what seemed to be a harmless shot from a low percentage area outside of the right faceoff dot. Patera left the rebound in a low-danger zone, but Paul scored from outside the left circle.

The Golden Knights got a couple of chances late in the period but lost this one 5-4 in regulation.

Just let the second period get away from us,Eichel said after the game. “Can’t draw up a better lead, come into the locker room up 2-0.”

 

The Golden Knights will travel across the state of Florida to take on the Panthers on Saturday, December 23rd, at 12:00 pm PST. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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