NHL Game Night: 12-23-11 Lightning at Avalanche

I wouldn't call that a microcosm of the season, but it does seem a fitting way to pull into the holiday break.

TB-1
COL-2 (OT)

Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the overtime loss. He made some very strong saves over the course of this game to keep his team alive, and got some help from the 4 x 6, too. But, without a doubt, that short side softie cannot happen. Very disappointing.

First Period
TB Kubina (2), (Lecavalier, St. Louis), 18:09

Second Period
COL O'Reilly (8), (O'Brien, Hedjuk), 10:03

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
COL Duchene (12), (Elliot, Landeskog), 3:38

Pavel Kubina was the game's third star.

The effort level was a zillion times better in this game than against San Jose. The team played with the urgency of a team that is running short on time to turn their season around, because that's exactly what they are. Still, some of the fundamental problems the team has had cropped up in this game. Foremost, it was hard for me to muster too much outrage over poor officiating (like a missed call on a reverse DDT on Blair Jones and a missed 4 minute high sticking minor on Kubina) knowing full well the Lightning's power play has next to no chance of doing anything with the man advantage right now. It's so bad, a successful power play for the Lightning seems to be the shallow moral victory of not allowing a good shorthanded scoring chance over the course of the 2 minutes.

J.T. Wyman had 2 shots and 1 hit in 6:01. He had good energy in a spare number of shifts.

Blair Jones had 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 10:13, and he kicked out before the 3 count was administered after taking the best finishing move the Avs defense could muster. He would like to challenge them to a steel cage match at the next pay per view, but wants a special referee named, because the ones tonight were terrible.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.