NHL Game Night: 10/13/10 Lightning at Canadiens

C'est une belle chose.

TB-4
MTL-3 (OT)

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the victory. He's a hot mess to watch, but the pucks are hitting him, and the Lightning have the offense to consistently get him to the pay window.

First Period
MTL 5:22, Lapierre 1 (unassisted)
MTL 18:07, Plekanec 1 (Cammalleri, Spacek)

Second Period
TB 1:44, Clark 1 (PP) (Purcell, Malone)

Third Period
TB 10:54, St. Louis 1 (Stamkos, Jones)
MTL 11:25, Kostitsyn 1 (Plekanec, Gorges)
TB 18:41, Stamkos 3 (PP) (Lecavalier, Malone)

Overtime
TB 4:09, Malone 1 (Moore)

Ryan Malone was named the game's first star. Shame on the Montreal media for showing such a lack of class to not give Lecavalier or Stamkos a star for the game tying goal. Shame on the Montreal fan base for booing like a bunch of Panthers fans (all three of them) and then throwing things on the ice when a Montreal defender fell down on the game tying goal. These are supposed to be some of the best fans in the NHL, and they acted the fool tonight. The hockey gods made sure to punish them on Malone's game winner.

The Lightning outshot the Habs 47 to 27. Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos each had 8 shots on goal to lead the way for Tampa Bay. Purcell's a part of the newly found depth the Lightning have, and Stamkos will be an MVP finalist if this keeps up. He has five points in the first two games and he's scoring big goals between the insurance marker against Atlanta and the tying goal tonight.

I'll keep saying it: I firmly believe Stamkos will win at least one Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay in the next five years, and he might easily win two. He's got something special in the dedication department, and it's something a guy like Ovechkin lacks and something I think he has even more of than Sid Crosby. In the end equation, I have a feeling #91 is why Steve Yzerman took the Lightning job. It's easier to be successful when you inherit a Richard Trophy winner who works harder than 99.9% of the rest of the players in the league. He's like James Brown without the cape and a better shot; the hardest working man in showbiz today, and he's only 20 years old. Part of me is sickened by the fact the NHL isn't the least bit interested in building their brand around Stamkos and would rather market a punk like Ovechkin. On the other hand, the idea of Stamkos being allowed to lay in the weeds of the distraction-free media environment of Tampa Bay and what he could be able to accomplish in it without the spotlight on him intrigues me. In a way, I prefer not having the kind of zoo Montreal has around them on Stamkos' back trying to divert his attention from the only thing that matters to him right now: winning.

I'm not ashamed to say I loved the way Brett Clark played tonight. He looks to be really well suited for this system. He made a play in the offensive zone in overtime that I didn't believe he was capable of making by splitting two defenders and almost setting up a winning goal on his own. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this Lightning defense looks once Ohlund gets back from the shelf.

Dana Tyrell had 2 penalty minutes in 5:33 of ice time. Dana, brother, if you want ice time you can't be taking minor penalties when Boucher finally lets you hop the boards.

Michael Vernace was -1 with 1 shot in 10:57.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.