NHL Game Night: 3/19/11 Lightning at Senators

Choke.

TB-2
OTT-3 (OT)

Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the overtime loss.

First Period
06:32 TB Lecavalier (19), Thompson (13)

Second Period
07:42 TB Tyrell (6), Bergenheim (14)

Third Period
12:27 OTT Shannon (9), Condra (3), Karlsson (30)(SH)
16:05 OTT Foligno (12), Smith (4), Neil (10)

Overtime
03:28 OTT Spezza (16), Karlsson (31)

Roloson was the game's third star.

The Lightning took their foot off the gas after gaining a 2 goal lead and their now customary power play implosion to allow a shortie led to a Senators team that had half of Binghamton's roster on it to come back and steal a point in the standings the Lightning desperately needed. Now the Lightning are 5 points back of the Caps with 1 game in hand in the Division, which even if the Lightning cash in their game in hand means the spread is now, essentially, 2 games because Washington has the tiebreaker pretty much sewn up (barring absolute collapse). It's a sickening feeling. The Lightning have no one to blame but themselves. The schedule set up nicely. They had Ottawa under control tonight. If there's not a Division Championship banner going to the rafters next Fall, they've got nobody to point the finger at. This is the very definition of a choke, and now, with 10 games left in the regular season, the sights may need to be lowered to trying to catch Pittsburgh to at least get home ice in the opening round.

We lost 2 games to Curtis flipping McElhinney. Let that sink in, Lightning fans.

Vincent Lecavalier is now 1 goal shy of the 20 goal plateau, which would be his 11th straight 20 goal season. We'll have more on that when/if he gets to 20, but let's just say Lecavalier's consistency in hitting 20 goals is the stuff of Hall of Famers and legends.

Mattias Ritola had 1 hit in 8:22. In case you're wondering, Ritola has to play in each of the remaining 10 games this year to graduate as a prospect from BoltProspects' prospect list. One scratch and he'll have to wait until next season, where he'll likely move over to the 82 career NHL games graduation path, which is more of a graduate level degree from the School of Hard Knocks (see: Downie, Steve).

Blair Jones had 4 shots in 9:02 and probably should have had a goal in the opening period. It's a shame, in retrospect, he couldn't finish.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.