Lightning Vs. Senators: Bolts Pull Within One, But Lose 7-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Ottawa Senators tonight in a game that has playoff implications.

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Lightning Vs. Senators: Bolts Pull Within One, But Lose 7-3 After Poor Call

So close, and yet so far. Despite losing their top goalie (Mathieu Garon) early in the first period to an injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning nearly made a game of this one. They fell behind 3-0 through the first period, as Dwayne Roloson let in some garbage goals, but then began to mount a comeback in the second period. They scored two goals within the first half of the period, and finished the second only trailing 4-2. It was still quite the deficit, but one that still left the Bolts with some hope.

And early in the third period, it looked like the Bolts might actually come all the way back. Five minutes in, Steven Stamkos scored his 48th goal of the season, pulling the Bolts to within one. They kept up plenty of pressure on the Senators and nearly tied the game up, but then at 11 minutes in, Stamkos got called for goalie interference and got sent to the box. On replay, it looked like a poor call; Stamkos was shoved toward the net, just brushed Ben Bishop, and didn’t interfere with a play in action. The ref obviously felt like he’d seen otherwise, though, so the Bolts had to kill a penalty.

Of course, though, they couldn’t. The Senators scored on the power play, and from there, proceeded to score two more goals within the final two minutes when the Bolts attempted to make one final comeback.

The Lightning still sit only four points out of a playoff spot, but they didn’t pick up any ground on the Winnipeg Jets. They will need to win on Thursday against the Washington Capitals in order to stay in the race and keep things interesting, as both teams are vying for that final playoff spot.

For more on the Lightning, drop by SB Nation’s blog on the Bolts, Raw Charge.

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Lightning Vs. Senators: Mathieu Garon Injured, Bolts Trail 3-0

The Tampa Bay Lightning just can’t get a break this season. Just when they were again looking like they might have a shot at a playoff spot — they entered today four points out of eighth place, and riding a four game winning streak — they remind us all why they’ve been mired in mediocrity all season long. After stretching extra far to make a glove-hand save, goalie Mathieu Garon went down with an injury and was removed from the game.

Garon left the game at around the four minute mark, and the results from there were predictable enough. Dwayne Roloson replaced Garon in the net, and he’s proceeded to let it sloppy goal after sloppy goal. Maybe his flailing style of net-minded worked when he was younger, but it’s not working for Roli this season; he let in three goals on 11 shots, and at least two of those goals were a result of some slipshod goaltending on his part. He’s been too aggressive coming out of the net after pucks, and he hasn’t been able to recover quick enough whenever he gets caught out of position. He’s been a mess, and the Senators have been feasting.

The Bolts could desperately use a win tonight, but the odds are already stacked against them. If Roloson has to remain in the net tonight or Garon will miss more than just tonight, it may be time to finally say goodbye to the Bolts’ playoff hopes.

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Lightning Vs. Senators: Tampa Bay Looks To Keep Streak Alive

The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Ottawa Senators tonight in a game that has playoff implications.

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