After beating the Islanders last night at the St Pete Times Forum, the Lighting are 5-1-1 since their demolishing defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers.
The Bolts crushed the Isle last night 5-2 in a game that was better played than the score might appear. Antero Niitymaki continued his string of dominance, leading the Lightning to a W.
In the first period, Steven Stamkos started the scoring with a shot that is no becoming his patented goal, the PPG from the crease to the right of the opposing netminder. If he gets a pass that isn’t bouncing and lands on his stick, he can almost 100% of the time place that shot in the upper left hand corner of the net, leaving the goalie minor room for error. Stammer’s 30th goal, moved him behind Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Sidney Crosby, Marian Gaborik and Ilya Kovalchuk. Quite the list of players and not surprisingly, all Olympians, all except Stammer of course. Steve Yzerman’s biggest blunder in choosing his team was not leaving off Vincent Lecavalier or Martin St Louis, but leaving off the 19 year old Stamkos. One of the best players in the league, 19 years old and one of the faces of Canadian hockey, you would think that would get you on the team.
Sorry for that diatribe.
The next goal of the game came from the Isle on the grossest goal in history that whoever got credit for it, should call the NHL and give the goal back. It trickled in off of one of our Dman’s feet, and in past Nitty. Kind of unfortunate for Nitty at that point because he had shutout look about him. He is seeing the puck so well right now, to watch one of these garbage redirect, accident goals go in, always pains you as a fan.
Now the 2nd period was interesting as at about the 13 minute mark, the Islanders, even strength mind you, kept the puck in our zone for what seemed like 20 minutes. It was only about 3 minutes, but we couldn’t change lines, were forced to ice the puck and then call a timeout because our line was so tired and then proceeded to come back out of the timeout and give up a goal to Jon Sim.
20 seconds later though, the Lightning found their groove and never looked back. Martin St Louis scored on a wrister to make it 2-2. 30 seconds after that, Vinny and Alex Tanguay got in behind the defense for a 2 on 0 rush, and Vinny bucketed his 15th goal of the season. Steven Stamkos (31st goal to put him solely in 5th place in goals scored) scored about halfway through the period in the third to make it 4-2 and Tanguay buried an empty netter to finish them off.
Other than the brief 3 minute run during the 2nd period, the Lightning played well all evening.
- Rick Tocchet played with some new lines last night. Vinny, Veilleux, Tanguay (sorry Vinny) – Malone, Thompson, Halpern – Downie, St Louis, Stammer – Zenon, Fedoruk and a rotating Foster
- Vinny has 14 points in his last 12 games
- Stammer has a point in his last 8 games, and has gone for 13 points in that span