It was third time lucky for Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning on their Scottish road trip when they bagged the points with a 5-2 win at Murrayfield against Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday.
Not that there was anything lucky about Lightning’s success over the bottom of the table side who didn’t look like making a comeback after Pete Russell’s men took a 3-1 lead after just over the half way mark.
Capitals were unable to capitalise on a high sticking call on Matt Nickerson after 4mins 11 secs and soon found themselves a goal behind when Guillaume Doucet struck for Lightning’s first on 7mins 22secs – aided by Denny Kearney and Francis Verreault-Paul.
The hosts’ Jay King was next to visit the sin bin just seconds later at 7mins 47secs – being caught tripping. No score resulted from the powerplay and similarly there was no consequence of a slashing penalty on MK’s Kevin King after 17mins 4secs – the period ending 1-0 to the visitors.
Within 49 seconds of the start of the middle session both Captials’ Konstantin Teslyukevich and Lightning’s Lewis Hook were given a two minute rest on hooking and holding the stick penalties before Verreault-Paul joined his British team-mate for slashing after 2mins 5secs.
On the four on three powerplay Capitals struck for the leveller as Mike Cazzola – assisted by Pavel Vorobyev and Marek Tvrdon – quickly beat goalie Przemy Odrobny.
Lightning survived a tripping call on Kyle Essery but Capitals could not do the same when referee Steve Brown penalised them for too many men on 31mins 2secs – that gave Kearney the chance to register his ninth goal of the league campaign 39 seconds later – the helpers going to King and Paul Phillips.
Less than two minutes later on 13mins 23 the game slipped away from Capitals as Essery, supplied by Phillips, made it 3-1 after Ashley Tait and Cazzola were sent to their respective coolers for, respectively, hooking and holding the opponent’s stick.
Nickerson was penalised for interference in the 36th minute while two Capitals players, Dillon Lawrence and Rihards Grigors ended the period in the penalty box for tripping and kneeing – without any further score.
Capitals survived the short-handed spell hanging over into the third session but they could not prevent King from scoring unassisted at 42mins 17secs.
The home outfit’s Lawrence found the net for his team’s second and final goal 8mins 5secs into the period but there was no realistic chance of a revival for them, particularly when MK were able to batten down the hatches as Verreault-Paul was called for delay of the game on 52mins 27secs.
There was no further score either as Essery was given two minutes for interference just over three minutes later before Verreault-Paul finished off Capitals with his eighth league goal 2mins 3secs from the buzzer to make it 5-2.
Following the game coach Russell acknowledged the support of the travelling MK army by organising a photograph of fans with the team – in true Lightning family style.
Man of the match: Guillaume Doucet.