The Tampa Bay Lightning played against the Toronto Maple Leafs on home ice tonight, desperate to snap their losing streak. Well, they broke it! In a big way. Don’t attempt to adjust your computer screen. No, you do not need a new prescription for your glasses. The Lightning won 5-2! Martin St. Louis got a hattrick, and passed Sidney Crosby in the points lead. If St. Louis succeeds in getting the Art Ross Trophy, he will be the oldest player in NHL history to do so. Steven Stamkos added to his points with a goal and an assist. Ben Bishop towered in the net. He looked pretty solid, though straying a bit too far at times. Too risky for me. The goal post deserves to have it’s own jersey number, as it saved a couple of goals tonight. Radko Gudas had a scare in the first period when he took a hit and bent backwards in a strange position that a human just should not be able to make. Shook up, he skated off of the ice on his own. He limped back into the locker room with help. He was back on the bench for the second period, with great relief to us all. The Bolts didn’t appear to have their heads in the game in the first period, however, they came out int he second with vigor and life. They continued to play amazing for the rest of the game, and overtook the Leafs 5-2. Take that, all of the over bearing crowd that cheered “Go Leafs Go!” in the first period so loud that we could hear it over the voices of Chis Dingman, Rick Peckham, and Bobby “The Chief” Taylor on the TV.
The first period drizzled by as it was almost boring to watch. No penalties were made. Phil Kessel‘s wrist shot at 17:03 was the only goal.
The second period was much more impressive. Teddy Purcell gave the Leafs their first shot at a power play goal with 2 minutes for hi sticking at 1:14. The Lightning successfully killed off the penalty, as well as the next penalty that came at 3:13 to Tom Pyatt for Tripping. At 5:54 Steven Stamkos evened up the score, assisted by Nate Thompson and Matt Carle. Martin St. Louis, assisted by Nate Thompson, gave the Bolts a 1 goal lead at 15:48. At 17:02 Clarke MacArthur drew a 2 minute penalty for tripping. Joffrey Lupul ended the second period even with a wrist shot at 19:36.
The Lightning came out in the third period with a fire. It was do or die, and they knew it. Radko Gudas netted a slap shot at 3:13, assisted by Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos. Mark Fraser took the only penalty of the third period with 2 minutes for hooking at 3:59, which the Lightning failed to capitalize on the power play, again. Martin St. Louis extended his lead Sidney Crosby for points lead at 13:08, assisted by Keith Aulie and Dana Tyrell. Marty also got the empty netter, sealing the deal, making the score 5-2 at 17:11. His hattrick was assisted by Vincent Lecavalier.
What a great night for Marty, and a much needed win for the Lightning. Not for the playoff push, as that is history, but just for themselves.