TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lightning forward Alex Killorn said it was “just the first step,” and now they “want to keep going the right way.” For that to happen, speed and execution are two key facets to help them stay in the win column.
“When we play fast,” Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev said, “that means we play fast defense, fast through [the] neutral zone – a couple of passes and we get in the [offensive] zone and play fast there and starts with the shot. But for me, the main thing is the defense, not giving-up goals.”
“I think [it’s] a little bit of everything,” Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli said. “Obviously, I think our biggest thing is trying to be good on the [defensive] side of the puck, kind of eliminating chances, protecting the middle of the ice. I think once we get back to doing that, it’ll be good for us.”
“We took definite steps forward last night,” Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper said. “Now we just gotta take a breath and take another step forward tomorrow against a tough Vegas team that beat us a couple weeks ago.”
Their next game on Thursday against the Golden Knights will be the second of a four-game homestand for the Bolts. With a 23-5-4 record at AMALIE Arena, they’re hoping that home ice – and the crowd – can work in their favor as well.
“Yeah, we have to win a couple at home, get more confident,” Sergachev said. “Obviously it’s great that this [losing] stretch ended at home. Obviously, you play better in front of your own crowd. It’s kind of more exciting to play in front of your own crowd, so it would be nice to start a new [winning] streak.”
“I think we’re just comfortable there,” Cirelli said. “The fans are great at AMALIE [Arena]. Since I’ve ever been there the fans have been unbelievable, just kind of giving us a little momentum boost.”
Even one of the newest Bolts players, Tanner Jeannot, who’s only played three games in Tampa so far, has noticed the boost their home crowd gives them – resulting in his first win as a member of the Lightning Tuesday night.
“They’ve been great,” Jeannot said. “[They’re] really loud, energetic. It definitely brings energy for you when you’re out there. They’ve been really great and I can’t wait to see what they’re like when we go on a run here.”
Looking ahead even further, the Lightning wrap-up their homestand with a back-to-back against the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets, then after that there are just 15 more games in the regular season.