The Lightning finished 2018-19 with an incredible 62-16-4 record, so it almost goes without saying that they had a great start. Tampa Bay were 8-2-1 through October 2018. Their 2019 October has been far less decisive, but all-in-all there’s been a bit more good than bad. Wednesday’s 7-6 overtime victory against New Jersey was in a way a reflection of who the month has gone.
Tampa Bay is now 6-4-2 with their October in the books. That puts the Lightning just outside of a playoff spot, but nevertheless on track to get them. Toronto holds the second Wild Card spot with 15 points in 14 games compared to the Lightning’s 14 points in 12 contests, so for all practical purposes, Tampa Bay holds the edge there.
That said, the Atlantic Division is shaping up to be a very tough one overall. Boston and Buffalo were outstanding this month and each have 20 points. Florida is in a strong position with 6-3-4 and Montreal has matched the Lightning’s 6-4-2 pace. Only Detroit and Ottawa have been minor factors thus far and neither of them is expected to do particularly well this season. The other six games in the Atlantic Division though are all pretty strong, which will result in at least one interesting squad among them missing the playoffs.
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TAMPA BAY 7 NEW JERSEY 6 (OT)
This was a pretty crazy game. The Devils had a 5-3 lead early in the third period, but the Lightning rallied back to a 6-5 edge. Kyle Palmieri tied the game though with eight seconds left, which also completed his hat trick. That gives him six goals and seven points in 10 contests in 2019-20.
The Lightning still ended up winning thanks to Tyler Johnson’s overtime marker. He also registered two assists, giving him nine points in 12 games.
Ondrej Palat netted two goals and registered an assist for Tampa Bay. He has five goals and eight points in 12 contests.
Brayden Point was also a major contributor for the Lightning with a goal and two assists. That gives him four goals and 10 points in nine games.
Though the Devils were ultimately denied Wednesday night, Jesper Bratt did find the back of the net twice. He has three goals and five points in nine contests.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 36 of 42 Devils shots. He’s 1-1-2 with a 3.93 GAA and .899 save percentage in four starts.
At the other end of the ice, Cory Schneider kicked out only 16 of 23 shots. He dropped to 0-3-1 with a 4.71 GAA and .847 save percentage in five starts.
EDMONTON 4 COLUMBUS 1
Leon Draisaitl led the charge for the Oilers with two goals and an assist. He has 12 goals and 25 points in 14 contests in 2019-20.
James Neal also scored a goal for Edmonton. It was his 11th goal and 13th point in 14 games.
Mike Smith stopped 23 of 24 shots last night. He improved to a 4-3-1 record, 2.29 GAA, and .919 save percentage in eight starts.
Zach Werenski netted the lone Blue Jackets’ goal. He’s up to three goals and six points in 12 games.
ST. LOUIS 2 MINNESOTA 1
Mats Zuccarello scored the Wild’s goal. It was his first goal and third point in nine games.
Alex Pietrangelo netted the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has five goals and nine points in 13 contests.
Sammy Blais accounted for St. Louis’ other goal. That gives him four goals and six points in 11 games.
Jordan Binnington stopped 35 of 36 Wild shots. He has a 6-2-3 record, 2.52 GAA, and .918 save percentage in 11 starts.
Devan Dubnyk saved 24 of 26 shots Wednesday night. He’s up to 2-6-0 with a 3.66 GAA and .885 save percentage in eight starts.
MONTREAL 4 ARIZONA 1
The Coyotes’ goal was scored by Jakob Chychrun. That gives him two goals and five points in 12 games.
Shea Weber netted the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He’s up to two goals and eight points in 12 contests.
Brendan Gallagher found the back of the net for Montreal. He has six goals and 11 points in 12 games.
Carey Price stopped 32 of 33 shots Wednesday night. He’s allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last five starts.
At the other end of the ice, Antti Raanta saved 32 of 36 shots. He has a 2-1-1 record, 2.96 GAA, and .914 save percentage in four starts.
FLORIDA 4 COLORADO 3 (OT)
Jonathan Huberdeau scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner. He’s up to seven goals and 15 points in 13 games.
Aleksander Barkov contributed a goal and an assist for Florida. He has a goal and 15 points in 13 contests.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 of 30 shots last night. He improved to 5-2-3 with a 3.70 GAA and .873 save percentage in 11 contests.
Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him seven goals and 17 points in 12 games.
Philipp Grubauer turned aside 34 of 38 Panthers shots. He has a 6-1-2 with a 2.75 GAA and .916 save percentage in nine starts.
VANCOUVER 5 LOS ANGELES 3
Brock Boeser was the hero for Vancouver with a hat trick and an assist. He has seven goals and 14 points in 12 games.
Elias Pettersson found the back of the net and registered three helpers. That gives him four goals and 18 points in 12 contests.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 of 24 Kings shots. He has a 5-2-1 record, 2.59 GAA, and .915 save percentage in eight starts.
Jonathan Quick saved 44 of 49 shots last night. He’s up to a 2-6-0 record, 4.55 GAA, and .858 save percentage in eight starts.
Jeff Carter scored two of Los Angeles’ three goals. That gives him four goals and six points in 13 games.