We was robbed.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 22 of 26 in taking the overtime loss. The Lightning were the victims of two controversial calls/non calls in the game.
Tampa Bay 3:25, Vaclav Prospal 9 (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 4:45, Michel Ouellet 2 (Chris Gratton, Mathieu Darche)
Buffalo 9:30, Maxim Afinogenov 2 (Thomas Vanek, Nathan Paetsch)
Buffalo 14:28, Paul Gaustad 3 (power play) (Tim Connolly, Brian Campbell)
Tampa Bay 6:14, Vincent Lecavalier 5 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards)
Buffalo 13:13, Nathan Paetsch 1 (Jason Pominville, Jochen Hecht)
Buffalo 4:19, Thomas Vanek 3 (unassisted)
Unforced errors cost the Lightning the game.
Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 28 shots in the loss.
Washington 4:43, Dave Steckel 1 (Alexander Ovechkin, Viktor Kozlov)
Tampa Bay 7:27, Paul Ranger 1 (shorthanded) (Brad Richards, Jason Ward)
Washington 17:41, Brooks Laich 2 (Matt Pettinger, Shaone Morrisonn)
Washington 18:42, Chris Clark 2 (Brian Pothier, Michael Nylander)
3-0-0 is a great start. However, I was not impressed with the team's play tonight.
Make no mistake about it, Johan Holmqvist stole the win tonight with a 30 saves on 31 shots effort that included multiple odd man rushes and breakaways. He got the win despite the Lightning being outshot 31-23 by an inferior opponent.
In the new era of the NHL where the salary cap reigns, it is imperative clubs find and develop their own talent through their farm system. Since the lockout in 2004-2005, the Lightning has been forced to compete to stay at the top of the food chain by carefully shopping for affordable free agents and coordinating financially-sensitive trades. While other clubs have had the option of plugging multiple holes with cost-feasible prospects, the Lightning has been forced to look outside the organizational depth chart for help.
Tomorrow's headline should read: "Paper Champions Get Folded Up".
Johan Holmqvist barely had to break a sweat stopping 13 of 15 shots he faced for the win.
Tampa Bay 5:22, Vincent Lecavalier 3 (unassisted)
Atlanta 8:58, Slava Kozlov 1 (Tobias Enstrom, Todd White)