Thursday, December 4, 2008

Power Outage Continues for Bolts

By JC De La Torre

Despite a stellar goaltending performance by Mike Smith and solid performances from superstars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, the Tampa Bay Lightning's inability to put the biscuit in the basket saw them fall to one of the hottest teams in hockey, the Boston Bruins, 3-1.

For Lightning fans, its maddening to see spectacular saves from Smith, world class moves from Lecavalier and laser shooting from St. Louis go to waste. Tim Thomas had a superb performance in net for Boston as well, stopping multiple chances by Lecavalier and St. Louis, as well as point blank chances from Steve Downie and Vaclav Prospal to give Boston another victory. The Lightning are so close to being a good hockey club but one lapse in concentration here, one bonehead play there seem to be the difference between winning and losing for Tampa Bay.

Just 1:21 into the game, Vincent Lecavalier deked a Bruin defenseman and then deposited a perfect pass on the stick of Martin St. Louis, who lasered it past a sprawling Thomas to make it 1-0. Unfortunately for the Bolts, that would be the extent of the scoring on the night. Oh, they would have other chances to score, but Thomas met every challenge. Boston tied it in the 2nd period, as Marc Savard found Phillip Kessel all alone in front of the Tampa Bay net and Kessel wasted no time in putting it behind Smith. It would remain tied until 8:17 in the 3rd period with Tampa Bay on the powerplay, young David Krejci extended his scoring streak to six games by picking up a Lightning turnover, making some sparkling moves, then faking out Mike Smith to put it in the net giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Kessel would add an empty-netter with 1 second left to give Boston their final margin.

It was a night and day performance for Tampa Bay Goalie Mike Smith, who struggled in his last outing, was sensational, outright robbing the Bruins on several chances while putting up a 92% save percentage. The Lightning outshot the Bruins 31-26, one of their better defensive performances of the season.

Tampa Bay has now lost six straight games and fall to 6-11-8. Tampa Bay remains in 4th in the Southeast division with 20 pts.

No comments: