A well known hockey cliche states that games are 60 minutes for a reason and you have to step up for all of them. That wasn’t entirely true for the Lightning this evening as they hosted the Montreal Canadiens. 55 minutes of the passive play that has been a hallmark of their last 5 games saw the Habs take a 3-0 lead. With about 6 minutes left in regulation, Tampa rallied to tie the game and force it to a shootout. Montreal secured the 4-3 victory in the SO, but this may have been the jump start the Lightning needed.
Not much to discuss through those first 54 minutes of the game. Anders Lindback kept it as close as possible, having some pretty acrobatic saves for such a large guy. The officiating was lopsided, but the Bolts couldn’t sustain any real pressure even when they were playing even strength. Tampa had 3 power play opportunities in the second period and only managed one shot on goal. Basically, it sucked.
And then Scandinavia came to play. Victor Hedman scored twice and Sami Salo notched a power play goal to tie the game. Lindback had 31 saves in regulation and 6 more in OT. Hedman, St. Louis, and Stamkos were stonewalled by Price in the shootout.
“With six minutes left we came back with three goals. We have to build on the positive and that’s extremely positive,” head coach Guy Boucher said. (Quote Source: @TBLightning)
Hopefully that late rally inspires an increase in confidence that the Bolts can carry into their game against an improved Washington squad on Thursday.