NHL Game Night: 12-11-09 Lightning at Avalanche

Keep your foot on the gas and you win.

TB-1
COL-2 (SO)

Antero Niittymaki allowed 1 goal on 35 shots but he also allowed 1 goal on 3 shootout attempts and that was all it took for him to get the penalty shot session loss. He deserved a lot better. He was absolutely brilliant in the third period.

First Period
TB 12:12, Downie 6 (Lecavalier, St. Louis)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
COL 12:11, Wolski 12 (Stastny, Wilson)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- NONE
COL- Wolski

The Lightning were actually leading in shots after two periods 17-14, primarily on the strength of a very good first 30 minutes. They started to let off the gas midway through the middle frame, and then suddenly the Avalanche hung a 20-5 shot disparity on them the rest of the way. It's unacceptable. The forecheck just evaporates way too easily for this team, especially when they're trying to protect a lead. Take a tip from Chris Dingman, the best way to protect a one goal lead is to get the puck behind their net and sit on it for 30 seconds. The Lightning are lucky to hold possession in the other team's zone for 3 seconds in scenarios like tonight. Someone's got to start paying the price to hold onto the puck.

And for the love of God, someone please score a (Ooh La La!) shootout goal.

Matt Smaby led the Lightning in hits with 4 in 15:30. Hello old friend. We missed you.

Zenon Konopka had 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 63% on draws in 8:37.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 4 shots and 1 hit in 18:18.

James Wright had 1 shot, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, and was 67% on draws in 15:32.

Victor Hedman had 1 shot in 25:31.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.