Victory from the jaws of bitter defeat.
Mathieu Garon allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the win. He made some really important saves, including two point blank ones right off the bat in the first period.
TB Purcell (6), (Downie, Moore)(PP), 5:11
CGY Stajan (1), (Jackman, Kostopoulos), 19:27
CGY Iginla (12), (Jokinen, Bouwmeester), 1:57
TB Pyatt (3), (Shannon, Jones), 10:10
TB Malone (7), (Stamkos, Hedman), 12:05
TB Thompson (3), (Tyrell, Hedman), 19:26
CGY Bourque (10), (Smith), 0:58
CGY Jokinen (9), (Tanguay, Smith)(PP), 16:48
TB Stamkos (19), (Brewer, Downie), 0:30
Steven Stamkos and Eric Brewer were the game's first and third stars.
It was good to see the Lightning finally get a few bounces go their way and get a result. That was far from a polished effort, on their part, but like the Devils game they did a lot of good things and it's important to get that positive reinforcement and get that result. 39 of the first 40 minutes of hockey the team played, pretty much, prototypical Lightning hockey. And, for that, I'm glad they got the "W". The real challenge now is making sure they string 2 wins together, because that's the only way they'll climb back into this season, and it's up to them whether they want to show up to the rink with the Lightning hockey they played for 41 minutes tonight, or the steaming pile of dreck they played for the other 20.
The subtext of this game, for me, was a tale of two defensemen. I had called out three players after the Devils game as perhaps being past their sell by dates in Roloson, Kubina, and Clark. I thought Kubina rebounded really well tonight. The stats may not reflect that (-2), but I thought he made some key defensive plays, including a diving break up of a cross-ice pass late in regulation, and he made a crafty breakout pass to spring the winning goal in overtime. Room for improvement? Sure. But I'd take that effort from #13 on most nights.
The other side of the coin, though, was Brett Clark. If this team had any kind of depth on the blueline, he'd be sitting the next game or two if I were Coach Boucher. He's driving me nuts. He made the turnover at the start of the game that necessitated the 2 save sequence by Garon, and that could've easily led to the Lightning quickly being behind the eight-ball just like in the Jersey game. He got caught flat-footed on the Bourque breakaway goal to start the third period. And then on the tying goal on the PK, right before Calgary scored he had a lane on his backhand to attempt a clear and nothing. I'm not saying it was an easy play, mind you, but it's a play you need a veteran to make in the third period of a 1 goal game. Those are the little plays that will offset the occasional play caused by diminishing athletic skills. But, he's not making those plays, and he's being exposed on a nightly basis. I cringe when I see him on the ice now.
Blair Jones had an assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 7:57. Just when we fall out of love with Blair Jones, he starts playing like the Lightning thought he could when they kept him on the roster to start the season. He's landing big hits. He's causing havoc and scoring chances around the opposing cage. After looking lost the first quarter of the season, now he's looking like an NHLer again. Behold the power of a send-down to the AHL helping to refocus a player.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.