The road trip is over and the Lightning move one point ahead of the Thrashers int eh standings, regaining 2nd place in the southeast division with a 2-0 blanking of the Atlanta team.
There are a few stories to the game that can be told -- gritty efforts with back to back games, Tim Taylor overcoming injury to play tonight, John Grahame blanking Atlanta for the 2nd time this season and Kari Lehtonen playing a stupendous game, stopping 22 of 24 shots.
The difference maker was the power play - which had been abyssmal for how long? Brad Richards had a shot on the power play bounce off several players legs for a score in the first (the goal was credited to Fredrik Modin.) Vincent Lecavalier backhanded a shot past Lehtonen during a 3rd period power play to put the Bolts up by a deuce.
Grahame's difference in this game was stopping the shots he had to - something that John has failed to do several times this season, earning the wrath of John Tortorella as well as this fellow John. It was the kidn of effort that helped propel the Lightning during late November.
And while there has been much bile tossed the way of Dmitry Afanasenkov, you had to love how he, Evgeny Artyuhkin and Ryan Craig clicked together while out on ice together tonight.
The Bolts stand 2 points up on the Maple Leafs, one point in front of the Thrashers and a deuce behind the New Jersey Devils who won today... It's an impossibly long climb if the team wants to re-claim the southeast division lead. ... Better seeding and better games ahead are all they can hope for now.