Home Cooking = Number 1 Star for Roloson

By on November 18, 2011

Dwayne Roloson saw the puck well all night, credits defense. (photo by USPRESSWIRE/Kim Klement)

Tampa, Fla.–  The first Lightning shot tonight did not come until 11:22 into the first period but it was a big one.  Well big on the stat sheet but the shot itself was well, just perfectly  feathered five hole by Vinny  Lecavalier.  Lecavalier picked up the puck in the corner off the stick of Pens center Jordan Staal, calmly skated in front of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and just directed the puck softly past Fleury.  It was a 1-0 Lightning lead after being dominated by the Penguins in that first eleven plus minutes.  Lecavalier’s goal was unassisted and it was the sixth game at the arena formerly known as the Ice Palace where the Lightning opened up with the lead. 

The first period ended with the Lightning being out-shot 7-5 which would mark the 12th time they have been out-shot in the first twenty minutes.

At 2:29 of the second period Pittsburgh center Tyler Kennedy would take a high sticking call giving the Lightning a great opportunity to get a two goal lead.  And that they did, as Dominic Moore spun around smoothly avoiding a broken stick and rifled one towards the Pittsburgh goal that was redirected in by Brett Connolly perfectly between his legs.  It was Connolly’s 4th of the season with Marc-Andre Bergeron, that point getting defensive machine, picking up the secondary assist.  For Bergeron that was his 14th assist of the season which leads all Lightning players.

Pittsburgh started to get things going in the Lightning end with defenseman Victor Hedman in the sin-bin.  But then Pittsburgh left-winger Matt Cooke ended that when he took a bad tripping penalty behind the lightning goal at 10:13.

A crucial time in the game was at 13:59 when Victor Hedman  was called for holding, which apparently from my angle it should have rightfully been Dwayne Roloson who should have been tagged with the minor  as he grabbed a Pens skater as he whizzed by the crease.  Roloson would stand tall making save after save as Pittsburgh posted their 13th shot of the period with just over two minutes left.

One of those games, at the end of forty minutes the lightning will take into the locker room,  being out-shot 21-11 but up on the scoreboard 2-0.

The Lightning would grab a three goal lead when Steve Downie ripped a wrist shot glove hand side high on Marc-Andre Bergeron.   It was the second time in the game and only the second time all season Fleury has given up a power play goal.  A commanding 3 -0 lead for the Lightning.  Downie said after the game, “I mean Johnny on the spot, the puck bounced to me in the slot, I was kind of lucky I was standing there, it was nice to get one.”  Downie patiently waited and picked his shot above Fleury’s glove.

Dwayne Roloson who was voted as the number one star, “Our guys did a great job allowing me to see the puck…  Anytime you get power play goals its key and anytime you get penalty kills its key, its momentum twisting.”  Roloson said post game in the locker room.  “We are focusing on doing what we have to do to win hockey games, we’re coming off two loses, we had to come out and play our style and stay with-in our system, and  fundamental style; and we did it.”  When asked about the success at home Roloson said, “You know what; maybe its home cooking, you know maybe its great cooking by our wives.  Some of the young guys cooking for themselves maybe that’s it,  we need to take this mind set and philosophy and do whatever we gotta  do to win hockey games on the road.”

Coach Guy Boucher said of Pittsburgh, “They were as hard as it gets.  I think some days ago we played against Chicago here, they were the best in their conference and we knew it was going to be very hard, they got a lot of speed and skill.  They have hard defensemen to get through and I think we met that same type of challenge today, where I thought this is the best team in the league.  They’ve got everything; basically have no weaknesses so if you’re going to beat them you gotta play almost perfectly defensively.” 

The Lightning blocked 25 shots tonight with  Victor Hedman leading the way with five.  Tampa Bay is now 6 and 1 on the friendly ice of the arena formerly known as the Ice Palace while 3 and 6 with 2 OT losses on the road. 

Boucher is happy to be home for next three out four games.  As the Lightning host the NJ Devils Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday and then play home and home with the Florida Panthers.  Friday in Sunrise and back in Tampa Saturday the 26th.

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