Game 74: Tampa Bay at Montréal
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Montréal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.
This was the Lightning's fourth overtime in their last five games. And their 22nd overtime this season. And, as with most of the others, they wouldn't have made it that far had they not had spectacular goaltending.
Without such great goaltending, the Lightning would be sitting at the bottom of the league. And they'd be losing games by far more than just one goal. It's the goalies that have really kept this team in a position to at least have a shot at winning games. Despite all that's gone on this season, goaltending has really been the only consistent bright spot for Tampa Bay.
Honestly, I just can't even say enough about Ramo. The Lightning had eight total shots to Montréal's 24 through the first two periods. They finished with 19-36, respectively. And the Canadiens also had eight power plays, which they only converted one of. Without Ramo, this game would've been a huge blowout favoring the Canadiens.
Faceoffs, which had been something of a highlight this season, have dropped sharply in the last week or so. The penalty kill is still looking good, though. But the penalties taken...well, let's just say that I've often wondered about the state of officiating in the league for most of the season - and not just with the Lightning, either.
Other than Ramo, no one really comes to mind as having had a good game. Lecavalier seemed a bit more involved, as did Malone. But Stamkos wasn't so much, and neither was St. Louis. However, St. Louis did take a puck off the face - and some stitches - so I'm sure that left him with a blinding headache. I believe that's like the third time this season that Marty has had something hit his face that he needed stitches for, poor guy.
I will be attending the Tampa Bay game tomorrow night in Washington, DC. If anyone else will be at the game, I'll be sitting in section 115 about 10 rows up from the ice. I'll be one of the only people not wearing red in the arena. Stop by, say hi, and we'll chat about hockey.
So, just in case you missed it, my game recap will probably be posted on Saturday. With maybe a regular blog to follow. Sleep is a good thing, you know?