When your team plays two games in as many nights, it’s difficult to know what you’re going to get. The legs aren’t as fresh, the guys are running on less sleep, and a different goalie is between the pipes.
In spite of facing these obstacles, the Lightning came out the same energy they brought Friday night in Dallas and defeated Phoenix 4-3.
The big story going into Saturday’s game was Tampa facing off against their former goalie Mike Smith. Smitty has put together a pretty solid body of his work during his time in the desert.
At the opposite end of the ice was Dwayne Roloson, who has been having a pretty rocky season.
Luckily for the Lightning, Roli seems to be regaining last seasons’ form and Smith let a few goals past.
Roli made 33 saves throughout the game, stopping 15 shots in the first period alone. It was his first win since November 17th and the team’s third consecutive win.
““I was really happy for Roli. He had a good game and we needed that,” coach Guy Boucher said. “In a back-to-back, you need your goalie to be great because it’s an unfair fight, and he was good.” (Quote Source: Tampa Tribune)
There was a scary moment in the second when Roli was knocked to the ice by Martin Handzal and lay still in the crease for a while. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped beating for a moment, especially in light of Garon’s scare the night before. We may complain about out goalies, but they’re all we’ve got and they’re actually playing well.
Steven Stamkos opened the scoring on a nifty pass from Martin St. Louis at 12:02. Teddy Purcell put the Lightning ahead by 2 about three and a half minutes later. Purcell now has three goals in his last two games. His hustle and hard work is definitely starting to pay dividends on the box score again which is nice to see.
Marty St. Louis scored the third Tampa goal in the second period. Marty seems to finally be getting a bit more comfortable with his play following his facial injuries in December. Whether it’s the fact that he’s changed from the cage to a visor or he’s just seeing the ice better. He has been setting up some great plays for Stamkos, it’s about time he got himself on the scoreboard as well. His goal was assisted by Trevor Smith and Pierre Cedric Labrie, the first NHL assists for both men.
Steve Downie scored the final Lightning goal and the team was able to weather a Phoenix flurry to secure the victory.
- Watched the game at Hattricks near the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Not only were the majority of the televisions tuned into the game, we got it on the giant big screen. Score.
-Ryan Malone only played about 13 minutes in the first before leaving with an undisclosed upper body injury.
-During his 2nd intermission interview with Chris Dingman, we learned that Labrie’s nickname is Nacho Labrie. I’m a bit partial to Cheese, but this is a pretty awesome nickname as well.