Friday, December 12, 2008

Bolts Find Victory! Atlantis Next?

By JC De La Torre

Like the lost continent of Atlantis or the Ark of the Covenant, its been a long arduous search for victory for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nine straight games, the Bolts went without the second point, making the fans begin to believe that it was a myth. Its not, Lightning fans...your hockey team just got two points for their 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Its almost poetic justice that the Lightning broke their skid in Montreal, where the two stars who combined for the Lightning goals hail from, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier.

Monteal's Patrice Brisebois scored at the 5:34 mark of the first period and the Lightning appeared to be in for another long night. Tampa Bay controlled the play in the first period, outshooting the Canadiens 11-8 and were finally rewarded when Martin St. Louis lasered a shot past Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak at the 10:49 mark of the first to tie the game at 1. A couple minutes later, Vincent Lecavalier scored his 12th of the season to give the Bolts their first lead of the game.

From there, apparently the apalling idea that Tampa Bay could potentially win the game was too much for referrees Marc Joannette, Dean Morton to take as four straight penalties were called on Tampa Bay in the 2nd period. It wouldn't matter - as with Marek Malik off for interference, Martin St. Louis rekindled some of his old magic, stealing a puck at center ice and skating in all along on Halak, putting it past him to give the Bolts a 3-1 lead that would hold through the rest of the 2nd and most of the third.

The game wouldn't end without adventure though, as Vinny Lecavalier was called for hooking Alex Tanguay with 1:39 left in the game. Lecavalier gave a little noise on the way to the sin bin and was nailed will an unsportsmanlike as well. The Lightning managed to kill it off and taste victory for the first time since November 21st and erased the disappointment of previous night's 4-2 loss in Buffalo where Tampa Bay blew a two goal lead.

Tampa Bay finally gets their 7th win and improve to 7-14-8 on the year.

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