The Tampa Bay Lightning built on their solid effort on Saturday night against Carolina with another victory against the Ottawa Senators 5-2 Tuesday ngith at the St Pete Times Forum.
Marty St. Louis showed tonight why he is a former Hart Trophy winner as MVP of the league as he tallied two goals tonight while linemate Simon Gagne showed he is rounding into form as the playoffs approach by assisting on both St. Louis goals.
Rocket Sports & Entertainment favorite Dominic “Resonate” Moore was not to be out done tonight, as he also scored two goals and added an assist for three points on the night. The goals were his 16th and 17th of the season, this is the kind of secondary scoring this team has gotten all season long when it’s had success.
“This is a game that gives the entire team confidence,” Moore said after the game. “We played real well in tonight against a team that played hard and never quit.”
The team is finally beginning to raise their effort level as the playoffs get closer. They came out in the second and dominated the Senators while scoring twice in the period.
“This is the way we have to play, and we got rid of all the fluff around the edges and played hard,” said head coach Guy Boucher on the team’s work ethic the past couple of games. “We got back to our work ethic tonight and last game against Carolina.”
Steven Stamkos played one of his best all-around games in about a month. He skated more freely and appeared to be out there just playing. He had eight shots on net tonight and was finally rewarded with an empty net goal at the end of the game, giving him 44 on the season. The Bolts are hoping this will jump start Stamkos heading into the playoffs.
With the Lightning in the lead it was time for Dwayne Roloson to take over the rest of the game. The veteran Lightning netminder was very solid tonight, making all the saves you expect and some highlight reel stoops, also.
Roloson earned the win tonight as he stopped 31 of 33 shots faced, as it was apparent early on in the game that Roli was going to be on his game. He commanded his crease and attacked the puck as it was shot at him. Roloson’s play will be a key for Tampa Bay if they are going to have any playoff success.
Senators forward Jason Spezza scored his 17th goal of the season, which spoiled the shutout bid for Roloson as he scored in the third period to cut the Lighting lead.
The Bolts again still have work to do before the playoffs as they gave up another shorthanded goal tonight as Milan Michalek scored his 17th of the season. Boucher has been really frustrated with this part of the specialty teams this season.
The team could have clinched a spot tonight but Carolina earned two points against Washington in a shootout to prevent the Lightning from clinching for at least one more game. The Bolts will have to wait until Thursday to pop the champagne at the St Pete Time Forum in a playoff preview against probable first round opponent Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m.