In Ben Bishops return to Tampa Bay the former Lightning star got a standing ovation from the crowd and a video played in his honor. Signs of we miss you Bishop strung about some fans in the arena and well, he showed them in that first period what they were missing from him. Both goalies stepped up and both teams got physical in the first period of play.
In a tightly contested first period neither team could take the edge and provide a spark but both teams tempers were flaring. Dan Hamhuis and Vladislav Namestnikov grabbed hold of each other and agreed upon dropping the gloves. Other than a penalty on Alexander Radulov for roughing, that the Stars were able to kill off, and a penalty on Greg Pateryn with eight seconds to go in the first, the action was fast paced and chippy with both teams looking to strike first heading into the second period with the Lightning on the power-play.
Off the power-play from the end of the first period and the Lightning were able to strike first. Steven Stamkos from the left wing faceoff dropped it in the net past Bishop top right and the Lightning took a 1-0 lead.
And so the end of period turnover and subsequent penalty costs Dallas as Steven Stamkos wires a Victor Hedman pass top corner to open scoring at 47 seconds into second.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) November 17, 2017
Radek Faksa was able to tie the game up, blocking a shot from Tampa Bay and Faksa took off on the breakaway beating Andrew Vasilevskiy. Making it look too easy and it was all tied up 1-1, but Tampa Bay answers back quickly. Mikhail Sergachev was able to regain the lightning lead, putting Tampa Bay up 2-1.
A penalty on Tampa Bay gives the Stars their first power-play of the night, yet nothing gets going for Dallas. But shortly after the Stars get lucky obtaining another power-play that ended up seeing Tampa Bay... Yes, Tampa Bay getting a shorthanded goal. John Klingberg got sloppy with the puck behind the net and Brayden Point was as aggressive as the Lightning had been all game, putting in an easy one to go up 3-1.
Horrific turnover by John Klingberg behind his own net ends up in a Brayden Point shorthanded goal. No way you beat the NHL's best team with brain cramps like that. 3-1 Bolts.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) November 17, 2017
Klingberg taken down on a tripping penalty and the Stars saw some 5-on-3 action taking place for a brief period of time. Nothing happening there on either power-play opportunity, and the Lightning penalty kill shows why its been one of the best all season long, Dallas still down 3-1 heading into the final period.
The third period was more or less just an extension of the 2nd period. Steven Stamkos knocked in his second of the night, Stamkos went for the hat trick but was denied by Bishop making a beautiful save. Although Jake Dotchin was able to find that rebound and fire the puck right between Bishops arm finding the back of the net for a 5-1 Lightning lead.
Ben Bishop denies Steven Stamkos on 2-on-1 but then can't corral a long Jake Dotchin shot and it's 5-1 Tampa. Ouch.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) November 17, 2017
If it wasn't for me covering this game, I would've turned it off in all honestly as the game was just becoming too much to bare. Especially after Nikita Kucherov found the netting with his one and only shot of the night, giving the Lightning the 6-1 win over the Stars.
Dallas will head back home, where they are 6-2, to face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and to try forget about not only this horrendous road loss but to get away for a little bit from their 3-7-1 away record.