Brandon Hagel put in a strong performance for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they began their four-game road trip. They won a convincing 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Hagel reached a major milestone when he scored 100 points in the National Hockey League. The feat was something Hagel, a fifth-year professional, didn’t know was possible.
Hagel inquired, “I don’t know if it’s 100, but maybe?” It’s amazing from the beginning and all of my ups and downs. And finally, I have that.
Jon Cooper, Lightning’s head coach didn’t enjoy his team’s start on Saturday. However, he said Hagel’s goal was what sparked his side’s momentum.
Cooper stated, “That’s exactly what he has done for us. His engine’s always running and he never loses sight of pucks.”
Tampa also had Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, and Nicholas Paul. Steven Stamkos was awarded two assists.
Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 22 games as the Lightning (20-9-1) increased their winning streak by five.
Nick Suzuki was the Canadiens’ lone goal scorer, and they have lost three consecutive.
Jake Allen, Habs goalie, conceded five goals in 27 shots.
Canadiens, 14-15-2, took six penalties in the first period and five more during the second. The Lightning paid them back with two power play goals.
Martin St. Louis, Habs coach said that although there was a deficiency in finishing, the team is able to make it up. It’s all about penalties tonight. When you defend for the entire period, it was difficult to score in the second.”
With their first shot, the Lightning broke the ice. Ian Cole discovered Hagel using a stretch pass in his own direction. Allen was defeated by Hagel on a breakaway.
At 11:39 in the first period, Tampa had a lead of 2-0. Paul then jumped on a rebound from the slot.
Tampa had a two-man advantage when Jake Evans received a double-minor penalty for high sticking in the second half.
Mike Matheson was relieved from the penalty box to defend Lightning’s power play. Cirelli scored his first goal for the season, and it came in point-blank.
At 17:47 in the second period, the Lightning increased their lead to four with their sixth power play. Hagel diverted Victor Hedman’s shot from point to make the Habs pay for lack of discipline.
It’s something I don’t understand, but we have been talking about it in the past. Suzuki stated that we have been taking too many penalties, and it has to end. We’re killing the energy of men and taking penalties away from them, which makes it difficult to maintain momentum.
Montreal scored one in the third period, 16 seconds after Cirelli was whistled. Kaiden Guhle stuckhandled the puck past Cirelli to give Montreal the win. This hampered Vasilevskiy’s chances of a shutout.
Kucherov displayed a glimpse of talent late in third period, as he sped past Joel Edmundson to beat Allen in top right.
HEDMAN TAIES LECAVALIER
Hedman scored 42 points against Montreal thanks to his power-play assistance. Hedman did this in just 41 games. Hedman now shares the title of Bolts’ most-recognized defenseman against Montreal with Vincent Lecavalier.