Last night, in the Mile High city of Denver, Colorado, the Tampa Bay Lightning, looking to bounce back from a 7-2 loss in San Jose Wednesday night, took the Colorado Avalanche to overtime but ultimately fell 2-1.
The Lightning started off fast, with one of their best first periods on the road all season, outshooting the Avs 14-5 in this period. Avs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere had to, and did make, a number of amazing saves. However, the Lightning drew first blood; getting a Pavel Kubina shot past Giguere in the final two minutes of the first period.
In period 2 the Lightning seemed to slow down a bit, but thanks to amazing saves by goaltender Mathieu Garon and strong defensive zone play, they were able to keep the Avs off the scoreboard until midway through the period. At that time, Ryan O’Reilly scored by poking in his own rebound.
The third period was marred by penalties by both teams but also featured strong play by both Giguere and Garon, as well as strong play by both defenses, resulting in no one scoring. The game then headed to Overtime.
In Overtime, the Lightning had a marvelous chance early on but Giguere was able to make a fabulous pad stop on Martin St. Louis from in close. About two and a half minutes later the Avs Matt Duchene scored the game winner, shooting a puck from the side of the net that just got through Garon’s 5-hole.
The Lightning now are home for the Christmas break and will look to bounce back with the remainder of 2011 at home, beginning next Tuesday vs. the Flyers and including a Thursday matchup vs the Canadiens along with a New Years Eve matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes.