NHL Notebook: Lightning Win; On to Seattle

By Mike Bonts

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their third straight victory as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in St. Louis  on Saturday night.

The Lightning will continue their season-long, five-game road trip on Monday when they travel to Seattle for a Martin Luther King Day matinee in Seattle against the Kraken, as the Bolts look to snap Seattle’s eight-game winning streak.

The Lightning are 3-0-0 all-time against the Kraken including a win in their only trip to Seattle last season. The Lightning previously defeated the Kraken at home this season by a score of 6-2 on Dec. 13.

In St. Louis Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point knotted the score at 1-1, connecting on a one-timer from the slot at 12:22 of the first period. Point scored his 2nd goal of the game, tapping in a backdoor pass on the power play to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead at 16:43 of the first period.

Nick Perbix tallied his 4th goal of the season, taking a slap shot from the point that bounced off the glove of Blues goaltender, Jordan Binnington and up over his head and into the net. The goal came at 12:44 of the second frame.

Alex Killorn regained the 2-goal lead for the Bolts at 18:22 of the second period. The goal was his 14th of the season and his 29th point.

Tampa Bay outshot St. Louis 30-25, including a 13-11 advantage in the second period. The Lightning are 16-9-0 when outshooting their opponent this season. Lightning goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy won his 19th game of the season as he stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced.

Game Notes: The comeback victory was the Bolts’ 14th of the season which leads the NHL. Tyler Pitlick put St. Louis on the board first, scoring on a breakaway at 2:39 of the first period. Steven Stamkos registered his 30th assist of the season and 48th point.

LIGHTNING REASSIGN BALCERS TO SYRACUSE

The Lightning have assigned forward Rudolfs Balcers to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League for conditioning today, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Balcers, 5-foot-11, 182 pounds, has appeared in 17 NHL games this season with the Lightning and Florida Panthers, recording three goals and five points. He has played in three games with Tampa Bay after being claimed off waivers by the Lightning on November 12. Balcers played in 14 games with the Panthers prior to joining the Bolts, recording two goals and four points.

The Riga, Latvia native has played in 170 career NHL games with Tampa Bay, Florida, the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators. He has amassed 28 goals and 62 points.

(Mike Bonts is hockey editor at the Florida Sports Wire and SportsDay.)

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