The Tampa Bay Lightning finished up their road trip facing the New Jersey Devils. The needed this win in the biggest way. The needed it for the point. They needed it for the fans. More importantly, they needed it for confidence in themselves. Especially goaltender Anders Lindback.
With Mathieu Gar0n out with a lower body injury, this is Lindback’s chance to prove himself. He was scheduled to start in net last night, regardless of Garon’s injury. However he was put in the middle of the game on Monday night like a lamb thrown into a pit of wolves. This just goes to prove that all goaltenders need to be ready throughout each game, even if they are not the one starting. You never know what is going to happen. Even if the goalie in net is doing great, he might get injured and you have to jump up and join the game at a moment’s notice.
The defense stepped up and did a great job. The offense was much better, too. The turnovers were less. The puck stayed in the zone long enough for them to take shots. The shots on goal were fairly even, both teams ended the 2nd period with 14. Both teams had a backup goaltender in net. Both teams were coming off of multiple losses, and needed the win. Tampa clearly dominated New Jersey. Towards the end of the game New Jersey tried to make a come back by scoring two goals, one of which was a power play goal. Immediately afterwards they had a power play and fed off of the momentum from that first goal, after two periods of unanswered scoring from the Lightning, to slither in a second past Lindback.
There was a few controversial events. At the end of the second period, New Jersey’s Cam Janssen had a big hit on Cory Conacher. Though Cory seemed to be ok, it was a ridiculous and unnecessary hit. His head was down. Janssen left his feet a bit before hitting him. This was clearly an infraction that, if the Shanabans were consistent, would warrant supplemental discipline. We should hear today if he will be fined or suspended. He got off with 2 minutes for charging, and Victor Hedman was charged 2 minutes for roughing. He jumped Cam in Cory’s defense. See what you think:
About five minutes prior to the Conacher/Janssen/Hedman incident, David Clarkson went after Keith Aulie. Aulie wasn’t going to fight, he was going to keep skating. However Clarkson skated in front of Aulie and pushed him, clearly instigating. There was no reason that I could see that he should not have gotten an instigating rule. Yes, Aulie fought back. But it was in self defense. He had no choice but to finish that scrap.
Last night was a night of firsts. It was the first win on the hardest road trip of the year. It was Lindback’s best game with the Lightning as of yet. It was B.J. Crombeen‘s first goal of the season and in a Lightning uniform. Be it an empty netter, it was still a goal. It was Nate Thompson‘s first career game of not only multiple goals, but also his first time with three points in one game. Somewhere, someone uttered the word ‘Hattrick’, cursing him out of making his first NHL hattrick. Just like I jinxed poor Lindy from getting his first shutout by mentioning ‘it would be great if he got a shutout tonight.’ I slapped myself mentally as soon as I said it. I’m sorry!
Here is how the game went down:
00:32 TBL Sami Salo 2 minutes for delay of game- puck over the glass
11:34 NJD Krystofer Barch 5 minute major for fighting
11:34 TBL Pierre-Cedric Labrie 5 minute major for fighting
17:04 TBL Nate Thompson (4th) snap shot assisted by Cory Conacher (17th) and Ondrej Palat (2nd)
00:41 NJD Adam Henrique 2 minutes for hooking
5:53 TBL Martin St. Louis (6th) wrist shot assisted by Alexander Killorn (4th) and Vincent Lecavalier (14th)
13:13 TBL Alexander Killorn (4th) snap shot assisted by Martin St. Louis (24th) and Vincent Lecavalier (14th)
14:23 NJD David Clarkson 5 minute major for fighting
14:23 TBL Keith Aulie 5 minute major for fighting
19:17 NJD Cam Janssen 2 minutes for charging
19:17 TBL Victor Hedman 2 minutes for roughing
8:36 TBL Nate Thompson (5th) snap shot assisted by Cory Conacher (13th) and Sami Salo (8th)
12:23 NJD Stephen Gionta 2 minutes for slashing
13:44 NJD Adam Henrique (6th) short handed goal backhand assisted by Ryan Carter (7th)
15:00 TBL Pierre-Cedric Labrie 2 minutes for slashing
15:15 NJD Patrik Elias (6th) power play goal wrist shot assisted by Trevor Zajac (3rd) and Ilya Kovalchuk (12th)
18:40 TBL B.J. Crombeen (1st) empty net goal assisted by Adam Hall (4th) and Nate Thompson (3rd)
18:40 NJD Ilya Kovalchuk 2 minutes for hooking
Shots On Goal: TBL 25 NJD 27
Final score TBL 5 NJD 2
All in all it was a very good game. They gave up a power play with a turn over leading to a New Jersey goal. They were able to make up for it and move on. Good job, Bolts, now it’s time to hold your heads up high and practice hard. You’re back in front of the Tampa Bay fans tomorrow night!