Lightning Blitz Sharks early and often in a beating

January 22, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) and left winger Boris Katchouk (13) celebrate after a goal against the San Jose Sharks in the first period at the SAP Center in San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Stamkos scored one of Tampa Bay’s four goals in Game 1 12:32 of play as the Lightning hammered host San Jose Sharks 7-1 on Saturday night.

Stamkos, who also registered an assist and was credited with scoring the win, gave the club a 2-0 lead at 7:45 as he dumped it and quickly chased down starting goalkeeper James Reimer during of the teams’ first meeting since February 1. , 2020.

Alex Killorn found the net and posted an assist, giving him 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over the last 15 games.

Ross Colton scored a pair and Mathieu Joseph, Corey Perry and Brayden Point scored. Ryan McDonagh, Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev each provided two assists.

In his first start of 2022, Brian Elliott (4-2-2) was victorious in stopping 27 of 28 shots for Tampa Bay, which improved to 7-3-0 in January.

In all, 14 players have produced points for the Lightning, which is the NHL’s best 18-3-0 against Pacific Division foes since the 2019-20 season.

Jaycob Megna scored his first goal and Reimer (12-8-1) gave up four over a 9:15 stretch in the first period. He made nine saves before being replaced by Adin Hill (15 saves on 18 shots).

San Jose played without two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson (upper body), who averaged 23 minutes of ice time. The club concluded its six-game streak in 12 days with a 2-3-1 record.

Shortly after the puck dropped, the Lightning showed they had completely forgotten Friday’s 5-1 loss at Anaheim.

Colton – who scored the lone goal in the loss to Southern California – beat Reimer at 3:17 to set the tone.

Just 4:28 later, Killorn found Stamkos in the left circle – his familiar spot – and the captain scored his team-leading 20th goal.

Also, Joseph scored for the seventh time at 11:04 on his team’s ninth shot.

Perry and Megna traded points to end the period, but the visitors held a sizable 4-1 lead.

In the second, Point ended a three-on-two break by tearing up their 16th goal at 6:24 for a 5-1 margin.

Killorn scored his 13th on the power play and Colton added his eighth in the final period.

–Field level media

Robert M. Larson