One game is an abberation. Two games is the start of a trend.
Dwayne Roloson stopped all 23 shots he faced for the shutout victory, giving him two shutout victories over the Caps since joining the Lightning.
03:58 TB Moore (8), Thompson (10), Roloson (1)
16:04 TB Bergenheim (8), Hedman (13), Downie (14)
18:18 TB Gagne (4), Bergenheim (10), Lecavalier (12)
It's a brave new world in the Southeast Division. After several seasons of beating the Lightning's brains in, and two emphatic wins over the Lightning in the first half of the season, Dwayne Roloson appears to have completely changed the tenor of the Lightning/Capitals series. One game might've been an abberation. Two games looks like a trend, to me. The Lightning now are playing with a supreme amount of confidence against the Caps, knowing that they can play their swarming style without having to fear that a seemingless harmless Caps rush can turn into a soft goal. That's made all the difference in the world, and the Lightning were like fire ants on the Caps in the first forty minutes tonight, before slamming the door shut with a 3-0 lead in the third. My thought is that the Lightning should be tentative favorites to win the Southeast now, and take away not less than the three seed in the East in the process.
Also, damn is it good to have Sean Bergenheim back in the lineup. As weird as it sounds, I think the lack of energy in the Devils game owed a lot to the fact #10 was sick. The line combinations lacked continuity and flow with the shuffling that took place, and Bergenheim's puck retreival skills were sorely missed. Fact of the matter is, he's one of the straws that stirs the drink. Other than Clark, he's probably the most important acquisition Yzerman made over the summer. Yes, more important than Kubina and Gagne.
Dana Tyrell had 1 shot and 3 hits in 14:02 in his final game as a prospect here on BoltProspects. Congratulations to Dana on becoming a full-time NHLer. If he continues to work on his shot and his finishing abilities, he has the look of a player who will have a long and successful career.
The Lightning implode in the third period on the short turnaround in back-to-back games.
Dan Ellis allowed 4 goals on 24 shots in the loss. He had his opportunity to step up and carry his team over the finish line in the third period, and couldn't do it.
02:36 TB Purcell (7), Ritola (4), Downie (13)
05:55 NJ Clarkson (6), Sestito (1), Pelley (2)
16:01 TB Malone (11), Lecavalier (11), St Louis (35)(PP)
04:14 NJ Clarkson (7), Kovalchuk (12), Elias (20)(PP)
07:52 NJ Arnott (10), Tallinder (4), Zharkov (1)
14:06 NJ Zubrus (6), Rolston (4), Elias (21)
18:45 NJ Elias (9), Rolston (5)(EN)
19:08 TB Moore (7), Hall (5), Ohlund (5)
19:46 NJ Palmieri (1), Kovalchuk (13), Brodeur (1)(EN)
It's a bad loss. New Jersey is the worst team in the East this season, by far, and the Lightning couldn't put them away in the first 40 minutes when they had a chance. They've got Jersey on the schedule quite a bit in the second half, so that's a mistake they can't repeat down the road.
Mattias Ritola had a helper and 2 penalty minutes in 8:07.
Dana Tyrell was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 12:48. Tyrell's next game will be his 41st of the season, which will graduate him from prospect status on BoltProspects. So, 1/12 against the Capitals will likely be a day of congratulations for young Mr. Tyrell.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 1 goal on 32 shots for the victory. Just two weeks ago I was pining for games where our netminder would just stop 90% of the shots they faced. A .969 save percentage is a beautiful thing.
17:25 OTT Smith (3), Winchester (5), Shannon (6)
01:47 TB Hall (6), Moore (8)
05:43 TB St Louis (18), Stamkos (26), Malone (21)
Martin St. Louis and Roloson were the game's first and second stars.
There was a matter-of-fact, workmanlike quality to the win. It's the kind of road game that a good team should be able to put together against a lesser opponent, even when they don't have their best stuff. It's hard to believe Ottawa used to be a perennial house of horrors for the Lightning just a few seasons ago.
Dana Tyrell was +1 with 2 shots in 13:31.
00:07 PIT Malkin (15), unassisted
02:23 PIT Conner (5), Lovejoy (4), Cooke (11)
07:17 PIT Kennedy (6), Letang (28)
07:42 PIT Kunitz (11), Crosby (34), Dupuis (10)
18:56 PIT Kunitz (12), Goligoski (13), Letang (29)(PP)
12:54 PIT Letestu (9), Kennedy (12), Goligoski (14)
19:49 PIT Kunitz (13), Goligoski (15), Letang (30)(PP)
02:25 TB Hall (5), Thompson (9), Tyrell (6)
03:38 PIT Goligoski (7), Conner (4), Lovejoy (5)
It was an emotional game last night and the Lightning thought they could ease themselves into tonight's game and the Penguins jumped them, and it was a 7-0 mugging by the end of two periods. It's a damned shame because the Lightning had spent weeks working back to even in goal differential, and now they're set back to -7 for the year. The good news is that it's 1 of 82, but my guess is that Guy Boucher won't be happy with the Lightning's flat second period response to adversity.
Dana Tyrell had an assist and was +1 with 1 shot in 11:58. If you can be +1 in an 8-1 loss, I suppose that's a positive for you. Tyrell is now 3 games from graduation from prospect status here on BoltProspects.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.