BY: John Mamola /

A spirited and physical effort for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they never trailed in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.  The two teams holding a rematch from two days ago in which the contest was marred by a illegal hit to the head by Bolts prospect Adam Erne on St Louis Vladimir Sobotka.  Erne was justly suspended three games by the NHL before being sent down to the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL earlier today.

As for the game itself, the Blue aimed for retaliation early when David Backes gave a cross check to Nate Thompson earning a double minor putting the Bolts on an early power play.  The Lightning couldn’t capitalize on the early aggressive nature of St. Louis’ play, but did grab the lead on their second opportunity on the man advantage.

Artem Sergeev took the opening faceoff of the power play and wristed a shot past Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead.  It didn’t take too long for St. Louis to answer back as Alexander Steen laced a backhand shot past Ben Bishop tying the game at one.

The two teams lit up the lamp in the second period as they traded goals one after another.  Brett Connolly’s red hot pre-season continued as he netted his third goal in as many games giving the Bolts a 2-1 lead.  The lead was short lived as Tyler Shattock tied the game at two, but less than a minute later the Ondrej Palat capitalizes on the rush giving the Bolts a 3-2 lead.

Pierre Cedric Labrie put the Bolts up 4-2 in the opening moments of the third period on a rebound that bounced off the back of Halak.  That equalizer was enough even after the Blues made it a one goal game before the twelve minute mark on a goal by T.J. Oshie. 

Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback split time in net for the Bolts as Lindback made some remarkable saves to close out and seal the Bolts victory and keep the team a perfect 3-0 in the pre-season.  Bishop finishing with fourteen saves as Lindback finished with eight on ten shots in his time on the ice.

The Lightning will return home to end their four game in four nights pre-season marathon as they host the Florida Panthers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  You can catch all the action on 970AM WFLA beginning with a 6:30pm pre-game and a 7:00pm faceoff.