In an unusually physical game for two teams who see each other only twice year, the Ducks defeated the Bolts last night at the St Pete Time Forum, 2 to 1 in a shootout.
The game featured fantastic goaltending, over 60 PIMs and 3 fights.
The Lightning got on the board early with a breakaway goal by Martin St Louis off of a gorgeous dish by Steven Stamkos. One of the guys who sits near me, a season ticket holder as well, was having a conversation with me after the goal about how the two of those guys seem like they have been playing together for 15 years. We all know that isn’t the case though as I don’t think Marty knew Stammer when he was 4.
The Ducks tied the game up in the 2nd period on a PPG by James Wisniewski. The penalty call on Andrej Meszaros was questionable at best, so there was a lot of booing during the PP and especially after the goal was scored.
The officiating last night was pretty awful the whole game. They failed to stay consistent with calls, allowed too much after the play skirmishes (I love them, but!), and just generally sucked. There was a lady a few rows from me yelling at them everytime the Forum got quiet.
Reffffffffffffffffffffffffs, You SUCK!
After 30 shots by the Ducks and 27 by the Bolts in regulation, the score was still knotted at 1 and went to OT. Stammer almost topped his goal earlier this year on the Ducks (Espy worthy) with a deke move in OT that saw him wiggle through 3 guys and end up with a great forehand shot, but Jonas Hiller got a piece of it.
Once the game went to a shootout, you knew it was over for the Bolts. Stammer buried a ridiculous beauty to start it out, but we didn’t get a goal after that. Ryan Getzlaf buried an equally gorgeous shot and James Wisniewski put his second puck of the night in the net to win the game.
The Bolts still have picked up 7 of the last available 8 points, and now currently sit in 8th place in the East. The Bolts have a huge 3 game road swing coming up. Sunday we face the Caps who have won 9 straight games. Then on Tue its to Atl to face the Trashers who sit in 6th in the East with 1 more point than us, and then to Long Island to face the Islanders who are 13th in the East, but only one point behind the Lightning. All of this while dealing with rumors that the team is being sold and Vinny is being shipped out.
Things I noticed at the game…
- Rich Tochett was putting in Nate Thompson and Zenon Konopka to take key draws in our defensive zone, even when the 1st or 2nd lines were on the ice. Loved this. This probably happened at least 10 times throughout the game.
- Alex Tanguay still is garbage, but at least Tochett sees that finally, and had him on third line.
- Steve Downie is a tireless worker on the ice, and looks like one of those guys you would definitely want to play with. Once he noticed Martin St Louis was being face-washed late in the game, he went absolutely ballistic. It’s when he got his game misconduct. He is turning into a nice player for the Bolts.