Got away with murder.
Marc Denis was just short of amazing in this game stopping 29 of 32 shots faced in regulation and overtime before stopping 2 of 3 penalty shots for the shootout victory. We'll put the save he made on Jokinen up once it gets youtubed. Save of the year. Ryan Craig and Martin St. Louis had the Lightning's goals. Andreas Karlsson, Doug Janik, Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier had helpers. Richards and St. Louis scored in the shootout.
And the Lightning deserved squat tonight. They only showed up for about 15 of the 65 minutes of hockey played tonight and they're lucky, lucky, lucky that A.) Marc Denis looked like Patrick Roy redux tonight and B.) the Panthers are a Mickey Mouse Junior B team masquerading as an NHL franchise. Kudos to the Lightning for wounding Panthers color man Denis Potvin's inner child by stealing the 2 points tonight after Potvin practically gloated for 2 1/2 periods about the Panthers' play. All in favor of Potvin and Carolina color man Tripp Tracey getting rear ended while carpooling in a pre-recall 1978 Pinto, say aye.
Speaking of which, in Carolina, Atlanta defeated the defending champs 3-1 to keep pace with the Lightning at 71 points with Tampa holding a game in hand.
Tampa Bay 2:15, Ryan Craig 13 (Andreas Karlsson, Doug Janik)
Florida 5:30, Nathan Horton 20 (unassisted)
Florida 10:53, Nathan Horton 21 (Martin Gelinas, Bryan Allen)
Tampa Bay 7:43, Martin St. Louis 36 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay: Richards, St. Louis
Game sheet from NHL.com.