The Lightning made up one of the two games in hand they had on Southeast Division leading Atlanta and took a somewhat difficult two points from Washington with a 3-2 shootout win. The Lightning pulled within just one point of the Thrashers. The Bolts improved to 8-1 on the year in the shootout, making me a fan of it for as long as this continues.
Marc Denis got a rare start in net and flashed a little glove and little attitude in stopping 36 shots in regulation and overtime and all three shootout attempts to get the win. After making an rubber-arm glove save on Alexander Ovechkin in the third, Denis turned his head and glared at the superstar.
Vincent Lecavalier  increased his league-leading goal total to 39 with both of Tampa Bayâ€™s goals in regulation (one PPG, one SHG). Martin St. Louis  had the shootout winner as the third shooter for the Lightning. Denis had to make a Hasek-like sprawling save on a deking Matt Pettinger  to secure the win. Kudos to Denisâ€™ armpit for that one. Assists on the night went to Dan Boyle, who became the all-time Lightning leader in points for a defenseman, Brad Richards , and St. Louis.
Kudos to Sun Sportsâ€™ Rick Peckham for pointing out Washingtonâ€™s Eric Fehr is the former linemate of Ryan Craig  from their WHL days in Brandon. Those guys, along with the Predators' Jordin Tootoo, were dynamite for the Wheat Kings. The Caps also featured Jeff Shultz, a former Calgary Hitmen teammate of Springfieldâ€™s Mike Egener . Shultz was taken in the late first round of the 2004 draft; Egener at the top of the second round in 2003.
Washington 9:07, Alexander Semin 30 (power play) (Dainius Zubrus)
Tampa Bay 2:44, Vincent Lecavalier 38 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 7:05, Vincent Lecavalier 39 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)
Washington 19:45, Dainius Zubrus 20 (unassisted)
Tampa Bay misses: Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards
Tampa Bay goals: Martin St. Louis
Washington misses: Alexander Semin, Alexander Ovechkin, Matt Pettinger
Game sheet from NHL.com .