TAMPA — Dwayne Roloson knows better than to put too much emphasis on one victory.
So, after the Lightning on Tuesday at the St. Pete Times Forum earned a 4-0 victory over the Flyers, the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, Tampa Bay's goaltender put himself on the clock.
"An old coach used to tell me we have 12 hours to think about this game, and after 12 hours and one minute, you forget about it," Roloson said. "So, we relish it, but at the same time forget about it and go past it."
Given the game ended at 10:07 p.m., the final celebratory thought should be at 10:08 this morning. But what cheerful thoughts they should be.
A sixth straight victory is the longest streak for the Lightning (32-15-5) since an eight-gamer from Feb. 23-March 6, 2004, and is the second six-game streak in team history. Tampa Bay increased its lead over the Capitals in the Southeast Division to five points and cut Philadelphia's lead over the Lightning in the East to two.
It also was another notch for Roloson, whose 38 saves gave him his fourth shutout, and second in a row, in 11 games since being acquired from the Islanders. "I don't think it's a roll," he said. "I just think the team is playing great, and I'm fortunate to be making the best of an opportunity."
He had plenty of help.
Teddy Purcell scored twice on two shots in the game's first 1:21, including at 19 seconds. Steve Downie added a goal in a first period in which Tampa Bay scored three goals on six shots.
Steven Stamkos scored his league-best 39th in the third, and Simon Gagne and Marty St. Louis had two assists each.
Roloson really didn't have to be spectacular; the Lightning did a good job of keeping shots to the outside and boxing out to provide the goalie unobstructed views. Still, there is something to being steady, not allowing rebounds and frustrating a team that had a 38-22 shot advantage.
"He's our backbone back there," Purcell said. "He's such a veteran and so composed. It's a nice feeling that when we do break down, he's going to be there."
"We have a great defensive corps, a great offensive corps, and they're allowing me to see pucks," said Roloson, who has 28 career shutouts and is 8-3-0 with a 2.02 goals-against and .932 save percentage for Tampa Bay. "It's a lot of fun to play behind them."
Coach Guy Boucher lauded his team for not chasing the very-fast Flyers as they cycled the puck. That would have left open passing and shooting lanes closer to the net. He didn't like taking four penalties, which he said contributed to the lopsided shot total, but added:
"We were hard to get through defensively, and we didn't give turnovers to the opponent. This was one of our best games boxing out, hunting for sticks in front of the net. So, today everybody did their job, including the goaltender."
When he said it, he had about 11 hours, 30 minutes to think about it.