NHL Game Night 11/8: Lightning at Penguins
That Vinny/Marty magic.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the overtime game winning goal on a breakaway set up by an amazing no look two line pass by Martin St. Louis. St. Louis led the Lightning attack with 2 assists in the game. Dimitry Afanasenkov, Brad Richards, Eric Perrin and Lecavalier scored the goals. Alexeev, Kuba, Craig, Karlsson and Ranger supplied individual assists. Johan Holmqvist stopped 17 of 20 shots faced for the win.
Tonight's game wasn't pretty and the three goal flurry by Pittsburgh in the second period shows the Lightning still haven't figured out how to keep momentum from snowballing negatively after a goal against. Still, it seems like this road trip has cured a great deal of the Lightning's ills. When they started it with their uninspired win in Philadelphia they looked like a tired team that wasn't having fun. Combining Lecavalier and St. Louis on the same line on this trip has had electrifying results, and bit by bit Brad Richards is coming out of his early season slumber and he now has 4 goals this season. 17 points moves the Lightning into a tie for second in the division with the Canes, 10 points behind red hot Atlanta. Fortunately, with the unbalanced schedule, the Lightning will have plenty of opportunity to whittle that down if they can stay in the neighborhood in the standings, and the Lightning also have two games in hand. Critical game Saturday.
Fun with numbers: Vincent Lecavalier is on a pace for 46 goals and 108 points. Martin St. Louis is on a pace for 56 goals and 97 points. Brad Richards is on a pace for 21 goals and 67 points, but Richards is trending positively in the past couple of weeks. If he can get up to a 30 goal pace, and Vinny and Marty stay at or above a point a game with 40+ goal paces, the Lightning are going to reel off some massive winning streaks. Were it not for the shaft job they received in Boston, they would be in the midst of a 4 game streak right now.
Tampa Bay 10:12, Brad Richards 4 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba)
Pittsburgh 15:37, Nils Ekman 3 (Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar)
Pittsburgh 18:19, Nils Ekman 4 (power play) (Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar)
Pittsburgh 19:47, Nils Ekman 5 (Sidney Crosby, Colby Armstrong)
Tampa Bay 4:47, Eric Perrin 3 (Ryan Craig, Andreas Karlsson)
Tampa Bay 2:41, Vincent Lecavalier 9 (Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger)
Game sheet from NHL.com.