Thursday’s Goals in the Paint Provide Perfect Picture of Callahan
Since Ryan Callahan joined the Tampa Bay Lightning 11 games ago, head coach Jon Cooper has praised him for bringing something the Bolts have been lacking this year – net front presence.
On two separate occasions Thursday, Callahan was rewarded for his play in the dirty areas of the ice with goals.
The first came after he tipped-in Radko Gudas' shot for the first goal of the game early in the second period. The next tally came off a rebound from Eric Brewer.
"He makes a living in that area," head coach Jon Cooper said. "Wherever there is paint on the ice he does a heck of a job."
His second marker, the game-tying goal in the third, started way before he picked up Brewer's rebound. Callahan began the play by keeping the puck onside at the blue line before making a pass to him.
"Some of the other things that he does go unnoticed," Cooper said.
That also included getting the puck out of the Lightning zone in the final seconds of regulation to prevent the Isles from stealing two points and instead forced overtime.
"Who knows what could have happened there," Cooper said.
Lucky Number 13
Thursday night's 13-round shooutout was the second-longest tiebreaker in league history and just two rounds short of the NHL record.
A combined nine goals (Tampa Bay -5, New York Islanders -4) were scored in 13 rounds, which were two more than the previous high for an NHL game. The Bolts' five goals were also the most by one team in a shootout. The previous record was four.
The win keeps the Lightning on pace with the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens currently have 91 points to Tampa Bay's 89, but the Bolts have two games in hand.
Other Odds 'n Ends
- Tampa Bay reached the 40-win plateau for just the fifth time in franchise history.
- The Bolts held an optional morning skate Friday before heading to Buffalo for Saturday's 7 p.m. contest.
- Valtteri Filppula is now riding a career-high 10-game point streak (four goals, 10 assists) with an assist Thursday.