TAMPA — He says he does not care about statistics, but when it comes to Dwayne Roloson, they are tough to ignore.
The Lightning goaltender, with 26 saves in Tuesday night's 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs at the St. Pete Times Forum, earned his third shutout in 10 starts since being acquired from the Islanders.
"He made some huge saves for us and kept us in it," right wing Teddy Purcell said. "He's doing a heck of a job."
It was not that Roloson stood on his head. He didn't have to.
But he was steady. And in a second period in which Tampa Bay decided it had played enough and was outshot 13-4, Roloson maintained the two-goal lead built in the first on goals from Purcell and Simon Gagne.
It was the fifth straight win for the Southeast Division-leading Lightning (31-15-5), which has a four-point lead over the Capitals as it enters the All-Star break one day before Washington, which plays tonight at Atlanta.
The victory also pushed Roloson, with 27 career shutouts, to 7-3-0 with Tampa Bay, with a 2.25 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
"Right now, I forgot what the score was," he said about 15 minutes after the game. "I know we won. That's all that matters to me. I could care less if it was 20-19 or 1-0, as long as we're winning."
Still, defenseman Victor Hedman said, during times when things aren't going well, it is nice to know mistakes won't necessarily end up in the net:
"To rely on him when the storm is coming is huge."
It did not seem as if it would be necessary after the Lightning built its lead with a 17-4 shot advantage.
Gagne scored off a great backhand cross-pass from Hedman. Purcell, whose goal and assist was a nice encore to Sunday's three assists against the Thrashers, scored on the power play.
But Tampa Bay relaxed and was outshot 22-14 the rest of the way.
"There was no urgency in our game," coach Guy Boucher said. "We weren't ready to fight with desperation in the second period."
Add Marty St. Louis' three failed breakaways against goalie James Reimer and a 1 for 5 power play that generated just seven shots and is in a 4 for 45 slump, and Roloson was on call.
He was helped by teammates who blocked 20 shots, including a game-best five by Mattias Ohlund. But Roloson also shined, and with 5:49 left in the second period, he lunged to his right to stop Clarke MacArthur's dead-on rebound try.
"He's a real good goalie," Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf said. "He saw the puck real well … but we didn't generate a lot of offense to really test him."
They didn't beat him, either.
First Period—1, TB, Gagne 9 (Hedman, Purcell), 5:11. 2, TB, Purcell 8 (Clark, Bergenheim), 12:44 (pp). Penalties—Kessel, Tor (slashing), 10:53; Grabovski, Tor (roughing), 14:33; Kaberle, Tor (hooking), 17:33.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Kaberle, Tor (tripping), 14:29; Gagne, TB (hooking), 16:02; MacArthur, or (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:19; Downie, TB (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:19.
Third Period—None. Penalties—MacArthur, Tor (tripping), 1:53; Armstrong, Tor, major (fighting), 13:57; Downie, TB, served by Purcell, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 13:57.
Shots on Goal—Toronto 4-13-9—26. TB 17-4-10—31.
Power-play opportunities—Toronto 0 of 2; TB 1 of 5.
Goalies—Toronto, Reimer 4-3-0 (31 shots-29 saves). TB, Roloson 13-16-1 (26-26).