The Tampa Bay Lightning have struggled on the road thus far this season, but if they wanted to close the gap on the Washington Capitals for top spot in the Southeast division, they would need to put together some wins on their current road trip which began in the desert last night against the Phoenix Coyotes. One of the keys to their success would be the production of their top scorers like Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier. Last night it was Vinny’s turn to shine.
Lecavalier terrorized Phoenix goalie Jason LaBarbera all night, firing four shots in his direction and netting two of them. The first came six minutes into the opening period on a backhander which put Tampa up 1-0, a lead they would never relinquish. In the third period he would close out the scoring just past the midway point on a wrist shot that increased the Lightning lead to 4-1. That score would end up being your final as Lecavalier also added an assist on Tampa’s third goal by Martin St. Louis, giving him three points on the night. That was enough to earn him “The Stat Line Of The Night” for Monday, November 16, 2009.
After a disappointing 2008-09 season, the Lightning have got themselves off to a rather strong start in 2009-10 thus far, collecting 22 points in their first 18 games. They have yet to lose in regulation on home ice as things may finally be coming together under head coach Rick Tocchet. After a few seasons of top two draft picks, this may be the year where the Lightning finally fall out of the lottery and into the playoffs.