Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson lifts Tampa Bay Lightning past Phoenix Coyotes 4-3

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some things never change when it comes to Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Even after his 33 saves in a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena, even after his first win since Nov. 17, Roloson was low-key as ever.

"It's always nice to win games," he said.

Nice? How about imperative?

Roloson needed to re-establish himself after a 0-6-1 stretch in 11 games. So to stand up to a Coyotes team that had a 36-21 shot advantage over a Tampa Bay squad playing its second of back-to-back road games was a huge step forward.

"On a back-to-back, you need your goalie to play great because it's an unfair fight," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

"Roli," center Steven Stamkos said, "was the reason we got those two points."

It was the third straight win for the Lightning (20-23-4), which got goals from Stamkos, Teddy Purcell, Marty St. Louis and Steve Downie and won consecutive road games for the first time this season.

Facing his former teammates for the first time, Phoenix goalie Mike Smith was shaky, especially on Downie's goal with 3:21 left in the second as the unscreened shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in off his arm for a 4-1 lead.

The goal turned out to be the winner as Keith Yandle scored 3:35 into the third period and Ray Whitney scored on the power play with 3:59 left to cut Phoenix's deficit to one.

Stamkos scored his league-best 32nd goal. But his tripping penalty turned into Whitney's goal, and his cross-checking penalty gave the Coyotes, who pulled Smith, a six-on-four advantage for the final 26.1 seconds.

"A big win," Stamkos said. "We needed everyone on board."

That was because fatigue was a factor for a team playing on short rest after Friday's win in Dallas and without wing Ryan Malone, who left in the first period with an upper-body injury.

"You can't focus on anything other than the puck," Roloson said. "You can't focus on if the guys are tired or if they're not. That's out of your control. Just go out and give your guys a chance."

He did in the second period with a glove save on Whitney's close-in backhand to preserve a 3-1 lead and in the final 5:04 after being plowed by Martin Hanzal, who had been checked from behind by Vinny Lecavalier.

Roloson's head snapped back, and he said he felt a stinger from his C-1 vertebrae to his C-5. He was motionless on the ice as head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan gave aid.

"Part of the game," Roloson said.

Low-key as ever.

Lightning2204
Coyotes0123
Lightning2204
Coyotes0123

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 32 (St. Louis, Moore), 12:02. 2, Tampa Bay, Purcell 12 (Downie, Kubina), 15:39. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period3, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 11 (T.Smith, Labrie), 6:15. 4, Phoenix, Korpikoski 11 (Gordon), 8:29 (sh). 5, Tampa Bay, Downie 8 (Lecavalier), 16:39. PenaltiesHanzal, Pho (interference), 7:33; Clark, TB (interference), 9:08; Clark, TB (interference), 18:20.

Third Period6, Phoenix, Yandle 6 (Korpikoski, Whitney), 3:35. 7, Phoenix, Whitney 15 (Ekman-Larsson, Doan), 16:01 (pp). PenaltiesWhitney, Pho (high-sticking), 1:20; Stamkos, TB (tripping), 15:18; Stamkos, TB (cross-checking), 19:33. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 7-10-4—21. Phoenix 15-12-9—36. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Phoenix 1 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Roloson 7-10-2 (36 shots-33 saves). Phoenix, M.Smith 17-13-7 (21-17). A12,714 (17,135).

Comments
Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

The rumor was that Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson jokingly faked like he was going into the Lightning dressing room upon arriving for Thursday's game at the Canadian Tire Center.You can bet there were many Lightning fans that hoped Karls...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
U-S-A! U-S-A! Womenís hockey beats Canada for Olympic gold

U-S-A! U-S-A! Womenís hockey beats Canada for Olympic gold

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey is finally over. They needed the first shootout in an Olympic women's final to do it, too.Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored a dazzling, triple-deke goal in the sixth ...
Published: 02/22/18
Ryan Callahan regaining his confidence for Lightning

Ryan Callahan regaining his confidence for Lightning

When the Lightning put wing Ryan Callahan back on the power play a month ago, there were many reasons for the move.With Ondrej Palat suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 20, Tampa Bay needed a replacement who was fearless in front of the net and a rele...
Published: 02/21/18
The entire Lightning team was sent to Syracuse late Tuesday. Really

The entire Lightning team was sent to Syracuse late Tuesday. Really

On Tuesday night, the entire Lightning team was reassigned to Syracuse.Well, more like re-directed.The team's charter flight from Washington D.C. was diverted around midnight Tuesday night due to fog in Ottawa, where the Lightning was headed for a Th...
Published: 02/21/18
Lightning claims Gabriel Dumont off waivers

Lightning claims Gabriel Dumont off waivers

The Lightning got F Gabriel Dumont back, claiming him off waivers Wednesday from Ottawa.Dumont, 27, was reassigned to AHL Syracuse, where he will provide a veteran presence. He's a potential callup option down the stretch for a bottom six role and fa...
Published: 02/21/18
Nikita Kucherovís trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

Nikita Kucherovís trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

WASHINGTON — There was some lighthearted debate in the Lightning dressing room Tuesday night about whether the latest dazzling breakaway move by Nikita Kucherov was a deliberate fake or a slip off the stick.Some teammates playfully gave the All...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Could Detroitís Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

Could Detroitís Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks.That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved b...
Published: 02/20/18
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Published: 02/19/18
Better ĎDí starts at home with Lightning

Better ĎDí starts at home with Lightning

TAMPA – The Lightning still might land that top tier defenseman it certainly needs by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. But if that player was wearing a Tampa Bay sweater Saturday, would the outcome against the Devils have been any different?The Ligh...
Published: 02/19/18
Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Reports and rumors involving the Lightning leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 26:Feb. 17A smaller move could pay big dividendsIf you look at the history of recent Stanley Cup champions, their pivotal moves were subtle, not splashy, the Time...
Published: 02/19/18