This was a much better showing by the Lightning than Game 1 was. Game 1 was about playing the Penguins how coach Guy Boucher thought that they should be played. Game 2 was the Lightning playing their game instead of worrying about what the Penguins were doing.
Yes, the Lightning has something like 44 hits in their first game. For those that don't frequent the game thread here on Raw Charge, I do a game statistical summary during the period intermissions that includes the number of hits. I've observed the more the Lightning hit, the less effective that they are in scoring goals. All. Regular. Season. Long. That held true.
The player of the game, in my mind, was unquestionably defenseman Eric Brewer. Not only did he have a goal and two assists, but he made things happen whenever he was on the ice. Whether he was setting up a play or stopping a play, he was there. The level of leadership that he, as a newer guy with just 22 regular season games and two playoff games with the Lightning, shows is very impressive.
Vincent Lecavalier had a very good game as well. Maybe not so much on the scoresheet, with only one shot on goal (which was a goal), but he did well in the faceoff circle. Outside of that, he was a physical force. On the game threads, we often say that you don't want to piss Vinny off if you want to win, and he was definitely feeling cranky last night.
Mattias Ohlund finally scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning - an empty netter. For some, that's a reason to not like him as a player, but that's not his role on the team, either. He's a stay-at-home defenseman, not a scoring defenseman.
Steven Stamkos was once again pretty much invisible for the game. People have speculated that it's him playing injured, or not being signed to a new contract is bothering him. Frankly, the reason for it doesn't matter. It's a team game, and this team has proven that they can win without him scoring goals. While it would definitely be preferable that he score, he's still contributing in other ways.
Dwayne Roloson was spectacular in goal, with the lone exception of a puck mishandling adventure that gave the Penguins their only goal. Simon Gagne had three assists on the night. Nate Thompson had a goal, while Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist. Sean Bergenheim and Pavel Kubina had four hits each. Adam Hall had four blocked shots and had a 60% faceoff winning percentage. And Brewer and Thompson were both +2 on the night.
The next game in the series is at home in Tampa on Monday, 18 April. Game time is 7:30 pm Eastern. The Raw Charge game thread will open at 6:30 pm, so if you're not going to the game, stop in and say hi.
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