Raddysh’s Overtime Goal Lifts Lightning Past Devils

by | Jan 12, 2024

Raddysh’s Overtime Goal Lifts Lightning Past Devils

by | Jan 12, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Darren Raddysh took a pass from Nikita Kucherov and fired just inside the left circle as the Lightning survived another overtime battle with a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Extra sessions were tough for the Lightning early on, but back-to-back overtime wins over the Devils and the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday brought the Bolts to a 4-5 mark in overtime.

“Winning face-offs,” explained Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who picked up his 500th win vs. the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday evening.. “The last two nights, ‘Stammer’ (Eric Stamkos) has won them both and we have had the puck for most of them. You take a little momentum away. You make some of their players play defense and a big part of overtime is having the puck. We have had it for a good part of the last two overtimes and it has gone our way.”

Control of the puck is of importance in overtime and Cooper explained the significance to the Lightning.

“In many of those overtimes, I don’t know how many we lost, we never touched the puck,” noted Cooper. “You know, if we touch the puck and that’s a big part of it. ‘Stammer’ winning those draws is big.

Luke Glendening came over from Dallas and has had a tremendous impact for the Lightning as he score two goals on Thursday which allowed the Lightning to take the upper hand. The Lightning ran their record to 6-0-0 when Glendening finds the net.

He tied the game at 1-1 at the 12:35 mark in the first period and then gave the Lightning a late 2-1 lead when New Jersey defenseman Luke Hughes tripped and lost the puck in the Devils’ zone. Glendening picked up the puck and fires from the back of the left circle to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead at 18:35.

“I think it’s our first shorthanded goal of the year,” Cooper said of Glendening’s second goal. “It was a long time coming, especially when we had 2 or 3 in the preseason. It’s not that we haven’t had looks. They just didn’t go in for us. Every goal was big tonight. We needed them all and we will take them anyway we can get them.”

Tampa Bay posted a 3-1 lead on Brayden Point’s 20th goal of the season which was set up by Nikita Kucherov’s first assist of the night. Kucherov and Point are both like quarterbacks on the ice for Tampa Bay. Kucherov’s two goals gave him 42 on the season.

“He’s a special player,” commented Glendening of Kucherov. “It seems like every night, he does it. It’s really nice to be on his side. I played against him for 10 years.”

Earlier in the season, Tampa Bay dropped it’s first five overtime outings, but now they have rallied to collect four consecutive victories in the extra minutes.

“Now we are finding ways,” explained Cooper. “We were down a couple to LA and came back and found a way to win that one. Up a couple today and we lose it but find a way to win so that’s big for our group. We have a couple of more home games and we just have to keep building on this. Like I said, we have zero wiggle room to blow games.”

The Lightning have an uphill battle in the Atlantic Division as they are fourth behind Boston, Florida, and Toronto. The Bolts have a 21-17-5 mark which constitutes 47 points in the Eastern Conference and they would be the 8-seed in the playoffs, as of now.

Cooper says he can’t use the term “urgency” when he looks at the spectrum of the Eastern Conference playoffs because there has been no quit in this Lightning team.

“We know where we are and what we have to do,” explained Cooper. “We know we have played more games than any team in the league, so eventually they are going to catch us. We don’t have a ton of wiggle room. This is a game earlier in the year that we don’t win or something doesn’t go our way and we lose the game in overtime.”

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