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Lightning beat Isles 3-0 to take opening game of ECQF -- A viewers recap

Chronicling the first period of the the game -- it's goalie vs. goalie and Referee vs. Lightning. Nikolai Khabibuilin was somewhere I haven't seen him in years -- the Zone. I've seen him pitch shut outs the last two years but nothing came close to how he played his first season in Tampa

The first period came close to that... That's my opinion at least.

Meanwhile, calls of interference, hooking and tripping have been thrown the Bolts way.. Martin St. Louis almost scored on a short handed situation, but hitting the cross bar and having the puck stay out is the result of his breakaway

There have also been two scuffles -- one at the back of the Lightning end and the other along the boards in the Islanders zone which resulted in Trent Hunter being called for roughing with ten seconds left in the first.

2nd Period gets delayed by a clock malfunction. Go figure

Second period recap in brief: When you think of breakaway goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, you always think of Andr? Roy, don't you??? :biggrin

When you think of goaltending -- you think of the tandem of Nikolai Khabibulin and Dan Boyle... Seriously though, folks, Khabibulin is playing so focused... More focused than I have seen in years. I went into this fearing the Isles had it made -- Five hole -- and right now the Builin Wall is standing in front of them..I write this 10 minutes into the 2nd

Meanwhile -- Modin goes five hole on DiPietro. Up by a deuce.

I also have to point out that the 2nd played through with nary a penalty. Oh sure there was a call early on against Brad Richards but after the start of the period -- there were no calls for a good 17 minute span until Martin St. Louis got called for hooking Too many men on the ice gets called shortly thereafter against the Isles... the four on four is uneventful.

I said before the series that solving DiPietro was the key to winning this series -- I stand by that as the 2nd period ends...

I've been lauding Khabby and I apologize to Isles fans for ignoring the work of Rick DiPietro. First full playoff game of his career and he is standing tall as well but he's only faced ten shots...

Lightning fan perspective on the game before the 3rd period starts: "Thanks to Cairn's for our two goals. The officials are allowing severe Islander's obstruction, but TB is playing horribly even considering that." (Taken from alt.sports.hockey.nhl.tb-lightning)

Third Period -- Roy lost his starting job and earned Torts wrath during the playoffs last season. IMHO he's earning them back with his play tonight...

Rick and the Chief on the Sunshine Network telecast talk about contrasting calls and non-calls in the first and third periods. I'm really getting sick of officiating after hearing about last nights Vancouver / Calgary game and strict calling of the game there. What's this? Is the East getting off easy?

I wrote the above while the Bolts were on the PP... Go Figure....

And speaking of that Power Play - Modin notches his second of the night... 3-0

As the game winds down, Steve web gets called twice... The Isles look increasingly frustrated. Aucoin gets called seconds into Webb's second penalty. A 5 on 3 to close out the game? Unheard of...

Lightning close thing sout safely with the puck in their own zone and take a 1-0 lead in this best of 7 series. This is the first ever Lightning series opening win (some stat huh?) and I believe the first playoff shutout the team has ever registered.