Wyman Stars in Lightning Comeback

By on December 30, 2011

JT Wyman (34) in just his third NHL game this year turned the momentum into a comeback win for the Lightning. First NHL goal and a #2 Star. (photo by USPresswire/Kim Klement)

Tampa, Fla. – Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone and then guided a shot towards the Montreal goal.  Steven Stamkos redirected it above Montreal goalie Carey Price’s left shoulder and the Lightning road to the turn-around starts to look like a reality.  An early goal just 3:43 in gives the Lightning a 1-0 lead over the Canadiens.  

The Habs tie the score when alternate captain Mike Cammalleri goes top shelf on Mathieu Garon.  It was a power play goal assisted by Raphael Diaz and David Desharnais. 1-1 with 11:18 left of the first twenty minutes.

With the score tied 1-1 to begin the second period what was about to unfold before our eyes was a movie we’ve seen before.  Decent first period but the second would be dreadful for 17:38. 

The Canadiens get goals from David Desharnais and Erik Cole to push the score to 3-1.

And then with 2:22 left in the second period the Lightning gets a goal from the most unlikely source.  JT Wyman! His first NHL goal brought energy back to the Lightning fans, well after a little drama, the goal went to review to confirm the rubber crossed the goal-line.

Wyman worked hard on the side boards in front of the Lightning bench going down on one knee, fighting to retain possession. He succeeded,  he then carried the puck into the offensive zone and let a shot go from the right wing that trickled through Carey Price’s legs and just over the goal line.  It was good to get a late second period goal to get the Bolts within one to undo some of the period’s struggles.   Wyman was all smiles after the game and said, “I think I can play…we’re in a pivotal position in our season where we need these points and we can’t sit around and wait for them to come we gotta go out and take’em.”  He continued, “I’m just out there to work hard, that’s my role.”

Coach Guy Boucher said of Wyman, “I’ve been screaming,  shoot and shoot and shoot we’ve been pretty and pretty coming in the zone, It was good that somebody that was basically coming from the American League showed the rest of the guys how to shoot that puck, so that was good…He’s one of those guys you ask him something he does exactly what you ask him to do…Wyman came in and gave me what I wanted so that’s why he got more ice time after.” (Wyman only had one shift in the first period and finished the game with nine)

Going into the final twenty minutes trailing 3-2; ok remember that movie?  For conversation purposes we’ll call it “OK, Bad then Good”… Yes it has a happy ending, the corner is turned… Two third period goals to take the lead 4-3.

Marc-Andre Bergeron floated a shot that just bypassed getting tipped by two Lightning players (St. Louis and Stamkos) and found its way to the back of the goal.  Scoreboard 3-3 with a lot of hockey left to play.

With an energy filled arena, which is soon to be called the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Vinny Lecavalier picks up a loose puck on the doorstep, maneuvers it to his forehand and slides it in past Carey Price… Horn! Tesla coils!  Bolts lead for good 4-3. Oh yea, Wyman primary assist, a hard work helper as he tied up two Habs.  “We drew up a play at the bench, it was a TV timeout, I just stuck to the play sometimes that’s all it takes.” Wyman said of the game winner by captain Lecavalier.

Garon and his teammates hold off a late Canadiens’ outbreak to preserve the 4-3, come from behind victory,  which moves the Lightning up a position in the Eastern Conference swapping place with Montreal at 12th place.

Get ready!  This team has turned the corner but Garon must stay between the pipes, not going to get into the whole thing now.

Carolina home on New Year’s Eve then it’s off to the Great White North for the commencement of 2012:  Toronto the 3rd, Ottawa the 5th and Montreal the 7th.

I’ll see you pushing for the playoffs in’12…

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