Tampa Bay/Ottawa Game Recap
The pattern of The Lightning coming out in full force, having control of the game, and fizzling out half way through continued last night. This is a pattern that they need to break. Why can’t they seem to keep the momentum going through the whole game? I don’t know, but even the team itself is acknowledging that as the problem. The talent is there. The drive is there. The hunger for the game is there. It’s like a puzzle with all of the pieces but you have that one piece that just doesn’t want to fit in right.
The Lightning got the first penalty of the game when Chris Neil came up behind Brett Connolly and started pushing him around. Connolly defended himself, the two got in a brief scuffle. Neil was not penalized, but Connolly got 2 minutes for elbowing at 2:41 in the 1st. Head Coach Guy Boucher clearly disagreed with the call and was visibly angry, exchanging words with the refs. At 10:31 The Lightning had another penalty kill to tackle when Eric Brewer got 2 minutes for hooking. They got their first power play opportunity at 15:26 when Chris Phillips received 2 minutes for tripping. They were unable to capitalize on the power play, but did great on the penalty kills. Victor Hedman showed his worth on the kills, and Matt Gilroy had an wonderful chance for a great shot that made Tampa fan’s heart stop! Ottawa’s goalie was on top of his game and stopped it. Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson had some amazing saves. The first period ended scoreless. This was truly a battle of the goalies. Both Gilroy and Hedman skated over 8 minutes of ice time in the period.
The second period continued strong for The Bolts. Shortly into the period The Lightning had another power play opportunity at 1:25 when Sergei Gonchar got 2 minutes for hooking. Finally at 13:52 Bruno Gervais put the Lightning on the score board with assists from Stamkos and Bergeron. Gervais has not seen a lot of ice time to be able to prove himself to the team. With Kubina out with an injury, Gervais got the opportunity to shine last night, and did he ever. He played very well. Coach Boucher said he was very happy with him and he was the most professional player he’d ever worked with. At 14:05 Marc-Andre Bergeron was called to the box for 2 minutes for tripping. Then at 16:46 Zack Smith, assisted by Cowen and Daugavins, tied the game up 1-1.
The third period was not kind to The Lightning. At 3:35 Marty St. Louis snapped in a wrist shot, assisted by Stamkos, giving Tampa a 2-1 lead. at 6:10 Zack Smith sat out for 2 minutes with a hi-sticking call. At 8:58 Daniel Alfredsson answered Marty’s goal, assisted by Spezza and Anderson. This tied the game at 2-2. At 15:33 Nick Foligno, assisted by Alfredsson and Winchester, broke the tie and gave Ottawa and 3-2 lead. Zach Smith scored again at 16:19, assisted by Gonchar and Phillips.
Tampa had a total of 33 shots, Ottawa a total of 31.