COLUMBUS (CBS) The Tampa Bay Lightning are starting to see the light as we reach the end of 2011, and with two consecutive wins it looks like they could be returning to the style of play that carried them to the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago.
Last night’s improved performance earned them a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road, and it was a needed win considering the bolts went on a 1-7-0 skid dating back to November 28th.
Steven Stamkos scored the eventual game-winning goal in the third period, and just two days earlier he scored the game winner in OT against the Calgary Flames. The goal gave him his 20th of the year, good for the most goals in the NHL.
Mathieu Garon’s 26 saves allowed the bolts to play from ahead for the entire game, and when the Blue jackets were pressuring for the equalizer late in the third Garon stepped up to the challenge and blocked all eight shots on net.
Blair Jones and Eric Brewer gave Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead in the first, despite being out shot 11-5. Columbus closed the gap with goals from RJ Umberger and Rick Nash in the second period, but the effort wasn’t enough to get the win.
We knew the Lightning would turn things around eventually, it was only a matter of when. Two straight wins is nothing to jump and scream about, but it could be the beginning of a comeback for the bolts.
Guy Boucher knows what his team is capable of, and last night’s win showed how dangerous the Lightning can be when they’re on.