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Shot to the Heart of Texas

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Who were these players on ice tonight and what did they do with the Tampa Bya Lightning?

Uncharacteristically, the Lightning jumped out to a 3-1 lead over the Dallas Stars tonight with only 11 minutes of play having taken place. It was 4-1 just moments after that as well. 4 goals on 9 shots - very different than anything you would expect to see form teh Lightning or from Marty Turco for that matter.

It wasn't just the lack of shots on goal, it wasn't just the goals ammassed, it was the war on teh boards that he Lightning were winning and the swagger of it all as well.

Yes, I said it -- swagger.

Hell, even the maligned Dmitry Afanasenkov got into the scoring -- of course, it was an empty net goal, but I could have sworn I saw him receiving a pat on the head from John Tortorella a few minutes before that goal (OK, him or Dan Boyle - I couldn't tell for certain).

The win gets the Lightning back into the playoff race, being tied with Toronto at 51 points, 1 behind the Atlanta Thrashers and 2 behind the New Jersey Devils...

And wouldn't you know, the next stop on the Lightning's joyride just happens to be Atlanta, GA. Any energy left from tonights matchup has got to be stored in a special place until game time tomorrow.

6-3 the final form Dallas... The Lightning have struck, and I'm wondering if a new stormfront has errupted int eh SOutheast division.