Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bolts, Smith Steal 2 Points From Ottawa

By JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Lightning earned their third straight victory thanks to the phenomenal goaltending by Mike Smith, who made 29 saves on 31 shots and saved 6 of 8 shootout shots, including the deciding save on Dean McAmmond.

The ferocious forecheck of the Ottawa Senators got themselves several opportunities to take the lead, finally making good on one with a power play goal in the 2nd period by Antoine Vermette. Midway threw the 2nd, the Bolts tied the game at 1 on Vincent Lecavalier's 6th goal of the season. Seconds later, Dany Heatley got his 7th, to stake Ottawa back to a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.

At the 13:48 mark of the third period, defenseman Matt Carle got his first goal as member of the Lightning with a gorgeous feed from Prospal, tying the score at 2. After an overtime period where both teams had shots to win (including a 2 on 1 that Smith made a spectacular save on), we go to the shootout, where the Bolts were 0-2 this season.

During the shootout, Lecavalier and Vermette failed to score, Jussi Jokinen did, and Daniel Alfredsson missed, setting up the final stanza where Prospal had the chance to clinch it, but unfortunately blasted it into the post. Spezza would extend the shootout with a goal. Steven Stamkos was denied, as was Ottawa's Heatley, Martin St. Louis scored on a nice deke, but Smith was also fooled and Jarrko Ruutu kept Ottawa alive with a goal. Recchi and Malone failed for the Bolts, while Fisher and Foglino failed for the Sens. Finally, Evgeny Artyukin found the back of the net on his shoot out attempt and Mike Smith watched as Dean McAmmond missed wide of the net to give the Bolts during the victory.

Don't look now folks, but your Tampa Bay Lightning are now only 1 point out of 1st place in the Southeast division.

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