The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Montréal Canadiens in overtime 2-1.
This was probably one of Mike Smith’s better games this season. He was definitely playing well. He had to, though, since his team wasn’t playing very well for much of the game. He kept them in it even when they perhaps didn’t deserve to be.
For the first two periods, the Lightning had nothing. Oh, they looked good skating around and all, but they had problems clearing the puck out of their zone. In fact, they were unable to clear the puck out of their zone for much of the first period.
The second period wasn’t much better. They were able to clear their own zone a bit more, but they weren’t able to generate many scoring chances. Kurtis Foster scored the lone Tampa Bay goal towards the beginning of the period. Martin St. Louis tried to lead the charge (he had seven shots on goal for the night), but he couldn’t do it all himself.
It wasn’t until the third period that this team decided to try and play. With the score only being 1-1, it wasn’t too late to try to win the game. But you should have to rely on one good period to do that and just coast through the other two.
They played their first overtime game since December 11th – which might be some kind of record for them over the past couple of season – but were unable to close the deal at the end.
The next Lightning game is against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, 2 January. Game time is at 3 pm Eastern. Yes, it’s an afternoon game.
We'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's Eve. See you all next year, everyone! Which is, you know, tomorrow.
Canadiens vs Lightning coverage [SB Nation]
Habs Eyes On The Prize [SB Nation Montréal Canadiens site]