Marty St. Louis Shoot-out Masterpiece: Bolts 4, Blackhawks 3

By on March 10, 2011

TAMPA, FL. (RSEN) – Last night the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks flew into Tampa for an inter-conference game. The arena at 401 Channelside was jumping right from the puck drop with 19,912 fans many of them Hawks supporters.

The Bolts lit the light first at the 11:07 mark of the first period when Steven Stamkos beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.  For Stamkos this broke his six game goal slump upping his league leading goal total to 42.  It was a strong mid-slot wrist shot after a good feed from Marty St. Louis with Brett Clark getting the other helper.  At this point the Bolts were flying out-shooting the Blackhawks 7-3.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane did not take long to respond at 16:43 when Kane took a pass from Toews about ten feet inside the right point, skated left to the high slot and let a wrist-er go beating Dwayne Roloson to tie it up at one.  Patrick Sharp was credited with the other assist.

With the Lightning pressing hard towards the end of the first period, St. Louis ripped one past Crawford at 19:44 to push the lead to 2-1.  (Stamkos and Adam Hall) 

Less than 1:30 into the second #16 Teddy Purcell tallied his 16th goal of the season from Victor Hedman and Simon Gagne to give the black and blue clad Bolts a 3-1 lead.  Two quick goals spanning over the end of the first and beginning of the second period had the venue formally known as the Ice Palace feeling good… the lightning fans anyway, which were almost rivaled in number by the Chicago fans.  Well they finally did win the Cup again, uh after 49 years, second only to the NY Rangers’ 52 year drought.

Oh that Kane, Toews, Sharp  line!  At 9:39  Patrick Kane fed one out front that Jonathan Toews kicked on Roloson which he knocked away almost harmlessly. That is until Patrick Sharp banged it home, top shelf over Roloson, who lay out of position.

After 40 minutes:  Score 3-2 Lightning, Shots 19-17 Hawks.

At 3:30 of the third Jonathan Toews deflected a Niklas Hjalmarsson slap shot from the left point (from Brent Seabrook) past Dwayne Roloson to tie the score at three.  What followed was 16:30 of playoff intensity hockey, yes it would be a nice… a 2011 Stanley Cup preview?

Coach Guy Boucher made it clear the Bolts were playing to win when he paired Lecavalier,  Stamkos and St. Louis in the third. After the game Boucher said, “There is a big difference in being scared to lose and acting on it, and being hungry to win, and that’s an attitude.”

Regulation would end at three – At this point I was thinking to myself there is still something big to come.

After neither team could end it in OT, although there were many close calls which included a Lightning ring off the crossbar.

After Lecavalier, Toews, Stamkos, and Kane were all stoned in the shoot-out.  What came next was a de je vu moment for me.  A little less than  twelve hours earlier I took a stroll out to the arena during the morning skate and there is Marty St. Louis. I see Marty skating in on Mike Smith (who I actually thought was Dwayne Roloson at the time), turning backwards and flipping the puck effortlessly over Smitty.  I knew exactly what was going to happen when Marty hopped over the board for his turn.  I turned to my right and said to a media colleague Vince Maduri, watch this, he will go backwards, I saw him do that this morning. It was an instant replay except this time it was to win the game.  Marty, the fifth player to take a turn in the shoot-out made Corey Crawford look exactly the same.  Seconds later Roloson stops Marian Hossa, BOLTS 4, HAWKS 3 shoot-out final.  St. Louis said after the game, “I was thinking about the all-star game where’s there’s no pressure.” “I jump the board and I wasn’t going to have an attitude like ah put pressure on myself.”

Dwayne Roloson was asked what he thought about Marty’s shoot-out shot, “It was great, we won!  We won because of it, it’s awesome!”

Listen to Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network on ESPN 1040am Tampa Bay on Saturday’s at 10am for more Lightning coverage.

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