On a night filled with several milestones including former Bolt Vinny Prospal’s one thousand game ceremony, Eric Brewer’s first goal of the season, and Steven Stamkos scoring his twentieth goal of the season, putting him as the league’s scoring leader, The Lightning seemed to have found the right attitude. They took the ice in Columbus against the Blue Jackets with confidence, and it paid off. They played sixty minutes of hockey. Not twenty, not forty, but sixty. Their self esteem is coming back and it’s showing in the way they play the game. Keeping control of the puck, allowing as little turnovers as possible, and penalty killing seemed to be the theme as they took charge on Saturday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second game in a row on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 16,108 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio against the Blue Jackets. Coming out strong in the first period, Jones scored his second goal of the season at 7:27 assisted by Purcell. At 18:12 Eric Brewer scored his first goal of the season with help from Stamkos and Malone. They killed two penalties when Kubina got 2 minutes for tripping at 12:03 and Hedman was called out for 2 minutes for holding at 15:46. They had a power play opportunity that they couldn’t capitalize on when Wisniewski got a tripping penalty at 11:06. The first period ended with Tampa 2, Columbus 0.
In the second period Columbus tried to make a comeback with a power play goal by Umberger, assisted by Prospal and Tyutin, at 5:43. The power play was a result of Jones’ cross-checking penalty at 5:09. At 10:05 Steven Stamkos scored with an amazing pass by Captain Vinny Lecavalier, assisted by Dana Tyrell. This was Stammer’s 20th goal of the season. He is leading the league in goals. Even Coach Boucher was amazed by that pass and goal. “Oh my God”, he said smiling when asked about it, “Not many guys can do that. That was outstanding!” Nash scored his tenth goal of the season at 12:14 with help from Carter and Prospal, trying to catch up with The Bolts. While Columbus received no penalties, Tampa got 2. The one from Blair Jones that resulted in the PP goal for Columbus, and Downie’s 2 minutes for slashing at 15:56. Ending score of the second period was Tampa 3, Columbus 2.
The third period went by uneventful as far as scoring. The Lightning had two power play opportunities and one penalty kill. The penalties were: Johansen for tripping at 5:41. Wisniewski for unsportsmanlike conduct at 15:57. Brewer for hooking at 15:52.
The final score: Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2.
Mathieu Garon did great playing against his former team where he spent the past 2 seasons. He blocked 26 of 28 shots. Columbus’ goaltender Mason stopped 25 of 28.
Shots on Goal: Tampa Bay 5-11-12 = 28 Columbus 11-9-8 = 28
Nate Thompson got an undisclosed lower body injury in the second shift and did not return to the game.
Matt Gilroy, who has been playing injured, left the ice midway through the third period of Thursday night’s game in Tampa. Coach Boucher said it’s no secret that he was playing injured, but that it got to the point where he could not fully perform. He did not travel with the team. His status is Day to Day.
Marty St. Louis did not travel with the team either, and is not sure if he will travel next week. The blood in his eye has dissipated, and he has been cleared by team doctors to resume physical activity though he is still having slight vision problems. He did work out with the team.
Mattias Ohlund continues rehabilitation for his knees.
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