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Lightning edges Blackhawks for seventh consecutive victory

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No, it wasn’t the Stanley Cup finals.

For a game in late January, however, it wasn’t bad.

The Tampa Bay Lightning won its seventh game in a row Thursday night, squeezing off the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-1 game. Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champions, had only 18 shots on the night as their 12-game winning streak ended.

“One streak was ending tonight, and I’m glad it was theirs,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “I’d trade what happened tonight for what happened last year, but this is this year.”

The Blackhawks scored 43 seconds into the game when Artem Anisimov scored his 17th goal. But later in the period, Anton Stralman deflected a shot from teammate Victor Hedman into the net.

Nikita Kucherov, who has been blistering as of late, broke the tie with a power play goal at 16:39 of the second period.

“We didn’t think it was possible, but I think he’s raised his game from last year,” forward Ryan Callahan said of Kucherov, who is now tied with Steven Stamkos with 20 goals on the season.

Ben Bishop shut out Chicago for the game’s last 59:17 seconds, stopping 17 of 18 shots. The Blackhawks did close out with nine shots in the third period.

“This might have been our best game all season. We played for 60 minutes, and we got rewarded for it,” said Stralman. “This is the way we want to play honestly. This is how we can play, and it hasn’t always been there. But there are still a lot of games left, and, if we play like this, I think we will be fine.”

The Lightning plays at the Florida Panthers Saturday night in an effort to tie the longest winning streak of their history.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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