January 18, 2007

Lightning 3, Devils 2 (Shootout)

First Period: Jay Pandolfo, Devils (Madden, Brylin)
Second Period: Brad Richards, Lightning (Ranger)
Brad Richards, Lightning (PPG) (Boyle, St. Louis)
Third Period: Paul Martin, Devils (PPG) (Parise, Rafalski)

Shots on Goal: 28-28

Penalties: Devils - 8 minutes, Lightning - 8 minutes

Disappointing game. I wouldn't say the Devils played down to the level of their opponent, because the Lightning were hot (get it?) prior to this game and their offense is very capable of playing great hockey. The game went to a shutout, not favorable to the Devils, as they much prefer overtime. There was only one shootout goal scored, and guess who, it was by Brad Richards, who had the Devils' number all night. Sad. At least a point was salvaged. We'll try again next time.


Little does Jay Pandolfo know, but prior to this game, people were talking about him winning the Frank J. Selke Award, which goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. He obviously wasn't listening, because he scored a nice goal right away in the game. An offensive forward? Not really. But a goal is a goal. The Lightning are a strange team to me. They should always be good, but my mom says they shouldn't be because "hockey teams based in Florida, by nature, should not be good at hockey." That's a non-sports person for you, focused on external factors. But anyway, I do remember the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in a year that I was very bored with hockey. Why should they be good? They have Martin St. Louis and Vincent LeCavalier, two amazing offense forwards. And they have Nikita Alexeev, who is known for underachievement, but who has the potential to be dang good. They have defensemen that hit hard as well. Their goalie play has been average, and maybe that's what counts. But anyway, this period was nice. The above-mentioned St. Louis and LeCavalier got their chances and created chances for others, but it was Marty shutting them down and the Devils getting some quality chances of their own. The recent struggles on the power play are bothering me, hopefully this can be corrected. Gotta kill off Sarge's penalty in the second.


With such good scoring talent on the Lightning, you don't want to give them power plays. Well, the Devils did. They paid for it. Two goals this period by Brad Richards and a lot of penalty killing minutes for the Devils. Not smart hockey. Not disciplined hockey. Not fun to witness. Four shots is not something to be proud of. On to the third.


A much better period for the Devils, but nothing was settled here. Had some good chances, and at least we tied it up with Paul Martin's first NHL goal. It wasn't enough. Time for overtime.