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Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
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‘Pucks had eyes’ for Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

TAMPA – Saturday, the Lightning made it look as if its first two games of the season never happened.

Remember that  team that couldn't score more than one goal a game? It seemed all but a distant memory.

The team that scored the most goals of any NHL team last season waited three games to truly make its return. And the Lightning made up for the lack of goals scored in an 8-2 win over the Blue Jackets.

The eight goals are tied for second most in a game in franchise history.

"Overall, I liked the way we put ourselves in a lot of positions to score (Saturday night)," coach Jon Cooper said after the game. "We were fortunate the pucks had eyes for us."

Here are some Lightning numbers to know from the rout of the Blue Jackets:

7 Players scored: Victor Hedman, Cedric Paquette, Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Miller.

6 Players had multiple points. Miller (goal and two assists) and Point (two goals and an assist) led the team with three each.

13  Players of the 23 on the roster registered a point.

4 Power-play goals scored, tied for the second most in a game in franchise history. The last time the Lightning scored four in one game was on Jan. 12, 2010, in a 7-4 victory over Washington. The four also are tied for the most power-play goals in one home game.

0 Power-play goals allowed through three games. The Lightning even killed a four-minute penalty in the second period. This is the same team whose penalty kill finished 28th in the NHL last season. After Saturday, the Lightning leads the NHL in penalty kill. The other teams in the top five have played at least four games, though.

The penalty-kill streak almost came to an end in the first period when Point went to the box for slashing. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 30 of 32 shots overall, stopped a barrage of shots but was out of position to make one more save. The Blue Jackets would have scored if defenseman Anton Stralman had not jumped in front of the puck in the crease.

"That's what our PK is doing: blocking shots, getting sticks in the lane," Point said. "That was a big turning point in the game."

As the Blue Jackets power play expired, Paquette scored to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.

Up next

vs. Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Amalie Arena

TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Carolina is off to a hot start. It has nine points and leads the Metropolitan Division with a 4-1-1 record, and it didn't lose its first game in regulation until Sunday against the Jets. Tuesday's game is the Lightning's fourth in a five-game home stand.

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