Lightning Lose In Shootout 3-2
Lecavalier, St. Louis Net Goals in Outstanding Effort
It was a hard-fought battle and it took a shootout to decide it, but when it was over, the Lightning dropped a tough decision to Carolina in Raleigh today, 3-2.
Rick Tocchet’s debut as the Interim Coach of the Lightning saw Tampa Bay play with determination despite coming up short in the final score. Still, the point earned was the teams first in the last four games.
The reunited MVP line, consisting of Martin St. Louis
, Vincent Lecavalier
and Vaclav Prospal accounted for both of the Lightning goals. St. Louis grabbed the lead for the Bolts at 11:20 of the opening period, when he corralled a beautiful cross-ice pass from Radim Vrbata, just out of the penalty box. St. Louis then popped the puck over Carolina goaltender Cam Ward for his fourth goal of the season. St. Louis now has eight points in the last eight games and leads the team in that department with 13.
Although the first period ended with the Lightning holding the 1-0 advantage, credit goes to Tampa Bay netminder Mike Smith
, who seemingly performed magic in the period as he turned aside all 12 Carolina shots.
Each team had several opportunities with the extra man in the first stanza, as five penalties were whistled.
The second period also saw a penalty called early as Carolina took a bench minor for too many men on the ice with only 3:35 gone. This time, the Lightning took advantage of the extra man when Vincent Lecavalier
scored a power play goal 34 seconds into the man advantage. The goal was Lecavalier’s seventh of the season and propelled him into the team lead for goals. Mark Recchi got the assist, his ninth of the season.
The 2-0 advantage didn’t last, however, as late in the period Carolina rallied back. Hurricane forward Wade Brookbank snared a rebound and put the puck behind Smith to cut the deficit to 2-1. 78 seconds later the Hurricanes knotted the score when Rod Brind’Amour converted a pass from Ray Whitney and beat Smith with a low shot.
The game remained deadlocked at 2-2, as the third period and the five-minute overtime passed without either team scoring. The third period was a particularly good one for the Bolts as they out skated and out shot Carolina, 8 shots to 1.
In the shootout, Lecavalier and shootout specialist Jussi Jokinen were unable to connect on their attempts, while Tuomo Ruutu and Brind’Amour were able to convert their chances to give Carolina the win. Jokinen’s shot ricocheted off both posts behind Ward before falling away.
finished with 28 saves on 30 shots, and many were of a highlight reel variety. Tampa Bay, led by 7 hits by Captain Vincent Lecavalier
, out hit Carolina 32- 25.
The Lightning, 5-7-5, will take their outstanding effort and head for home now, where they will settle in for a four game home stand. Visiting will be Florida, Nashville, New Jersey and the Rangers.
|Three star selections