TAMPA — This is a story about teammates having each others' backs.
After Dwayne Roloson's brilliant 34-save, 3-2 shootout victory over the Oilers on Thursday, Lightning players gave the goaltender a standing ovation as he entered the locker room.
"A great gesture," Roloson said Saturday.
It has been a difficult season for Roloson, 42, who lost his No. 1 job, is 10-14-2, and has a 3.67 goals-against average and .884 save percentage that are worst in the league for goalies with more than 30 games. So, when Roloson was named the game's first star after beating Edmonton, his first win since Feb. 16, his teammates decided to do something special.
Every first star gets a round of applause, but players agreed Roloson's reception was more heartfelt.
"We were just happy for him because he's been working so hard," left wing Ryan Malone said. "It's nice to have him get in there and feel good about himself. He's handled himself well, and it rubs off on everybody."
"The guys in the locker room are classy guys and very respectful," Roloson said. "It's a close-knit team."