The magic number is one.
My girlfriend would like to thank Martin St. Louis
for the temporary case of deafness she currently has in her left ear suffered while sitting next to me at the moment of that game winning overtime goal.
John Grahame stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the victory. I will not defend the year Grahame has had nor do I think he has much more time left in this organization, but Lightning fans should forever respect the game he played tonight. His stop on Cory Stillman's third period breakaway may have saved this season, to make no mention his save on Mark Recchi
's tip late in regulation.
[/url] was a man tonight. I lost count of how many goal saving poke checks and how many two on ones he broke up in this game. The fact that this is the tip of the iceberg for this young man is one reason to be very optimistic about the future of this team's blueline. Ranger led all Lightning rookies with 19:06 of ice time and was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig
[/url] had 15:51 of ice time with 2 shots and 1 hit. [url=evgeny artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin
[/url] played his customary 4th line minutes with 4:38 and 2 hits.
With the win the Lightning's magic number falls to 1 with just Tuesday's home game against the Washington Capitals remaining. Martin St. Louis' overtime winning goal gave the Lightning the point they needed to eliminate Toronto from the postseason.
Two things: the Lightning CANNOT relax. They MUST assume that the Trashers will win their two remaining games. They also MUST not adapt the disasterous mindset of playing for one point on Tuesday if the situation does indeed put us in the situation of having to get a point to get in the playoffs. John Tortorella must get his team in the mindset that Tuesday is THE must win game of the season. The Lightning survived a war in back-to-back games against a club that will be no worse than the #2 seed in the East. The conditions are ripe for a letdown against a Capitals team that, however lowly, has two game changers in Ovechkin and Kolzig. If the Lightning don't approach Tuesday's game with the same fear and desperation they showed these last two night's against Carolina, they WILL be golfing by weeks end.
Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021206.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]