February 17, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 57: vs Chicago

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3.

So the first period, the Lightning didn't shoot. The second period, they got into some fights. And in the third period, they went back to not shooting the puck.

There you go - the entire game in a nutshell.

The only reason the Lightning were even in this game at all was because of Ramo in the first period. Without Ramo, Stamkos would probably not have had his first career hat trick. The Blackhawks had 19 shots on goal in the first, as compared with the Lightning's three shots. And Ramo was fantastic in the first, and for almost the entire game. Especially considering when the Lightning allowed 49 Blackhawk shots on goal.

Stamkos's hat trick was impressive. Especially considering that those three goals came on three shots. The last one where he took a slap shot made me think of Lecavalier. I see that he's already been playing with Vinny for too long, and his rookie season's not even over yet. Speaking of Lecavalier, it's too bad he wasn't able to put the puck in the net on that shot from his knees. That would've been very pretty had it gone in.

It was rather chippy out there for most of the game. The second period had a couple of fights, and Downie received an instigator penalty for his - which I'm sure some people might complain about. Frankly, after seeing the replay, and before they made the call, I was thinking that he'd probably get it. He did start the fight, but it wasn't visible in the the replay whether or not he obviously threw the first punch. So I guess it really just depends on how you define "instigator."

The first penalty in the third, as well as lack of shooting and allowing so many shots on Ramo, is what finally did them in. That first goal in the third gave the Blackhawks the momentum to claw their way back into the game. And they did.

About the only highlight (other than Stamkos's hat trick) was that they converted on two of the five power play opportunities. Oh, and they didn't generate as many turnovers as they did against Washington. They were just awful defensively, tho. And not just the defensemen, but the forwards as well.

Tampa Bay was wearing their road whites but they were playing at home, and I have no idea why. I was on the phone when the game started, so I missed that part. I'm assuming that it has something to do with Chicago and some kind of uniform problems they had. If someone knows why they did that, let me know.

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