Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Marty St. Louis remains hot despite controversy

DALLAS — What is it about controversy that seems to bring out the best in Lightning captain Marty St. Louis?

In two games since speculation began he asked for a trade, St. Louis has four goals, two Thursday against the Predators and two in Saturday's 4-2 victory over the Stars.

On Jan. 7, when it was revealed he did not make Canada's initial Olympic roster, St. Louis had two goals in a 4-2 win over the Jets. In 18 games since the snub, the right wing has 12 goals and 22 points, and points in 16 of 18 games.

Coincidence, St. Louis said, but:

"For me, being on the ice, that's where you're getting your fix (for) all the distractions, whatever. You get on the ice and you don't think about anything. You just go play. For me, it's a safe place."

St. Louis, who has 29 goals and 60 points in 60 games, got a lucky bounce on his first-period goal against Dallas as Lightning D Eric Brewer's shot deflected off his stick shaft and thigh. But that's what happens when you go to the net.

His second goal, on a breakaway, was the winner and stemmed a big Dallas push to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead with 5:29 left in the second period.

It was Tampa Bay's first shot in 12 minutes, 1 second.

"Just being opportunistic on my chances and getting a few good bounces," St. Louis said.

"The one thing about Marty is he's a pro," coach Jon Cooper said. "As soon as we step on the ice and the whistle blows, this kid comes to play. Whatever happens, he pushes it aside and plays the game."

FINALLY: D Sami Salo's third-period goal, which made it 4-2, was his second of the season and first in 45 games. "Frustrating is the wrong word," he said. "I've had chances. I'd be more worried if I didn't have chances. You have to keep shooting the puck, and eventually they'll start going in." Salo said the puck was a bit on edge when he shot, and his rocket picked a top corner. "I just tried to put it on net, and it found a way in," he said.

BAD STAT: The Lightning has been outshot a combined 54-17 in the second and third periods of its past two games.

LAST CHANCE: If Kristers Gud­levskis is to become the first goalie to play in the ECHL, AHL, Olympics and NHL in the same season, it has to happen tonight in Colorado. Anders Lindback (ankle), on a conditioning stint with AHL Syracuse, likely will join Tampa Bay on Monday in St. Louis, and Gudlevskis will head to the Crunch. Though tonight's game is the second of a back-to-back and Ben Bishop endured a physical challenge against the Stars, Bishop said he was "ready to go."

ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay has won three straight over Dallas and has points in seven straight against it (5-0-2). … LW Ondrej Palat had two assists, giving him three goals and three assists in a four-game points streak. … Prospect Matthew Peca set a Quinnipiac University record with six points (two goals, four assists) in Friday's 8-0 win over St. Lawrence. … C Valtteri Filptula (ankle), D Keith Aulie and RW B.J. Crombeen were scratched.

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