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Lightning’s Jonathan Marchessault measures up in shootout

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You know how big Lightning forward Jonathan Marchessault is?

He’s as big as a shootout. He’s as big as a winning streak. He’s as big as his moment on Wednesday night that led to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Marchessault, the diminutive (he’s listed at 5-9, 175) player) has been fairly large for the Lightning lately. His assist set up an opening goal by Tyler Johnson, and his score to lead off a shootout was the team’s first shootout goal of the season (after six misses). Marchessault, who scored his first goal on Saturday night, has given his team energy since his call-up.

“Every night, he gets a chance, or he helps someone else get a chance,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Valterri Filppula also scored in the shootout as the Lightning won its third straight game, the first winning streak that long for the Bolts since the season’s opening three games.

Milan Lucic had scored with a little over five minutes left to force overtime (scoreless) and the shootout.

For Tampa Bay, goaltender Ben Bishop stopped 37 shots. He is now 4-0-1 in his last five games. “Bish has been bailing us out when we needed it,” Cooper said.

“The guys came up big in the shootout with a couple of goals,” Bishop said. “I thought we played really well recently, but tonight wasn’t our best game. But that’s what good teams do; they find a way to win when they don’t play their best and tonight was a case of that.”

Marchessault said his thoughts were simple when Cooper instructed him to lead off in the shootout. “I’ve got to score,” he said.

The Lightning plays at Washington on Friday.

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 garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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