Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning's Ramo resourceful in denting Panthers

TAMPA — Karri Ramo wasn't trying to be modest, just honest. The puck everybody believed he saved by diving stick-first toward the goal, probably hit the side of the net, the Lightning goaltender said.

Much more important, he said, was he was aware the puck bounced over his sprawled body.

"I got it," he said, "between my legs."

That's how Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over the Panthers at the St. Pete Times Forum went for Ramo, who made a career-high 34 saves as Tampa Bay snapped a three-game losing streak and dealt a severe blow to Florida's dim playoff hopes.

Jeff Halpern returned after missing one game with an abdominal strain and had three points, including his 17th goal, the winner, that broke a 1-1 tie 1:11 into the third period.

Michel Ouellet scored his 16th goal and had an assist, and Filip Kuba's empty-netter with 52 seconds left ensured the Lightning (30-38-8) at least 30 victories for the fifth straight season.

"It is huge to win a game like this," Ramo said.

For the 21-year-old rookie, who started only because of Mike Smith's knee injury, it was personal.

Ramo allowed five third-period goals on 15 shots in his previous start, March  19 against the Sabres, so answering was a crucial test. And coach John Tortorella said before Tuesday's game he believes Ramo's development might benefit by starting next season with AHL Norfolk.

Tortorella was not running Ramo down, but expressing his belief it was unfortunate Ramo, after missing eight weeks at the start of Norfolk's season with a high ankle sprain, was put into a losing situation with Tampa Bay after Marc Denis was demoted.

"I'm not crazy about the process we're putting him through right now," Tortorella said. "It's not good for a 21-year-old goalie."

General manager Jay Feaster said no decisions have been made about Ramo's future: "We will weigh all opinions and options at the end of the season."

"I don't know anything about those kinds of things," Ramo said. "I work hard every day to make sure I stay in this league."

Outdueling Tomas Vokoun and beating the Panthers, who entered on an 8-0-1 streak, was a good way to do it.

Ramo's most dramatic save came with 2:26 left when he stopped Kamil Kreps' wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle with a right-leg save.

Ramo was feeling his game at that point after being overly aggressive early and sometimes out of position. He hit his stride in what was otherwise a dreadful second period for the Lightning, making 15 saves as Florida outshot Tampa Bay 16-4.

He probably wants back David Booth's tying goal 2:58 into the second, but as much to blame was a terrible giveaway at the blue line by Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle.

"We were happy for him because this kid has had a kind of 'hinky' year as far as the development for a young guy like him, at that position, with the injury and being called up into this mess," Tortorella said. "So, it's good."

"He was great," Halpern said. "He gave us a chance to be in the game and win it. That's the mark of a good goalie."

In any league.

Lightning 1 0 2 3
Panthers 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Ouellet 16 (Halpern, Boyle), 3:00. PenaltiesBouwmeester, Fla (hooking), 9:59; Lessard, TB (hooking), 16:51.

Second Period2, Florida, Booth 21, 2:58. PenaltiesNone.

Third Period3, Tampa Bay, Halpern 17 (Ouellet, J.Jokinen), 1:11. 4, Tampa Bay, Kuba 5 (Halpern), 19:08 (en). PenaltiesBoyle, TB (slashing), 9:51; Picard, TB (hooking), 19:27. Shots on GoalFlorida 7-16-12—35. Tampa Bay 11-4-11—26. Power-play opportunitiesFlorida 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 0 of 1. GoaliesFlorida, Vokoun 30-27-8 (25 shots-23 saves). Tampa Bay, Ramo 6-10-2 (35-34). A16,110 (19,758). T2:18. RefereesRob Martell, Don Van Massenhoven. LinesmenDerek Nansen, Pierre Racicot.

Lightning 3

Panthers 1

Lightning's Ramo resourceful in denting Panthers 03/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.