12 December 2010
In a game that in Vancouver was completely overshadowed by the Markus Naslund jersey retirement, the Lightning managed to pull out a win.
I'm late in writing with writing my recap of this game because I just wasn't ready to share my experience of last night. So, if you haven't figured it out already, I was at last night's game. Usually I'm in my Canucks jersey, but once every two years, I get to show up at Rogers Arena is something Lightning related. Last night was my Steven Stamkos player shirt.
The ceremony started at 6pm, and big props to all the ticket holders who showed up an hour earlier than usual for the retirement ceremony. So the ceremony started just after 6 and ran for about an hour, then the teams had their warm-up skate while the tape-delayed ceremony was aired, and then the puck dropped at 7:30pm PST. So no, Ohlund doesn't have super powers allowing him to change from a suit to his hockey gear during a commercial break, don't get me wrong, he was quick, but not that quick.
The ceremony was everything that expected from this organization. It was classy, it was moving and the fans showed there support.
Recap after the jump...
As for the game, this was the second time I've seen Stamkos in Vancouver. The last game was back on February 27, 2009 where the Canucks won 2-1. In fact, looking at past history, the Lightning have never won a game in Vancouver going 0-8-2-1, tonight that was about to change.
The Lightning came out skating hard in the first period and looked like they outworked the Canucks. Daniel Sedin did open up the scoring though halfway through the period, by Nate Thompson was able to answer back to tie up the scoring. Late in the period Raffi Torres takes an interference penalty which puts up the Lightning on a powerplay to start the second period.
In the second period, on the powerplay, Brett Clark wrists a shot in net that put the Lightning up 2-1. Then a few minutes later, Stamkos buries a garbage goal past Schneider to make it 3-1 Lightning.
Ellis is making some key saves, and it not looking as bad as I had expected (perspective y'know). But then Adam Hall takes a really really dumb delay of game penalty that allows the #1 powerplay in the league to score.
The score is 3-2 now, and the Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider gets an assist.
The Lightning begin to play a little be sloppy, and allow the Canucks to begin putting on some pressure. Plus the home crowd is on the high from Manny Malhotra's goal. Ellis chants start up in my section. But the Lightning battle back, and while Bieksa is too busy trying to hit Stamkos into the boards, Stamkos passes the puck to the late man Purcell to wrists it past Schneider. I'm cheering in my section, and everyone else is quiet. Lighting end the second period leading 4-2.
In the third period, it's all Canucks. Henrik Sedin scores another powerplay goal for the Canucks and it's 4-3.
The arena is chanting El-llliiiisss. I'm starting to find them annoying since these fans have been here since before 6pm drinking.
Then Keith Ballard scores this one:
Um, Dan Ellis? WTF?
Only 16 seconds later, Hedman hauls down Kesler with this holding penalty:
Luckily the Lightning kill it off and later at the end of the period Ryan Kesler take a high sticking penalty late which puts the Lightning on the PP in overtime.
My friend who I'm at the game with is telling me that the one goal that Stamkos got was a garbage goal. I'm hoping he can get another to end the game on the powerplay. I'm nervous about overtime, even more nervous is that if this game doesn't end in OT, we're going to the shootout.
But it does end in OT:
I cheered hard. My boy had 3 points in the game. I wore my Stamkos shirt out all night. Woo!
Here is the video of the overtime winner by Stamkos