Sunday, February 11, 2007

Be-Deviled By Lightning

It would be an appropriate title considering how the Bolts took the Devils by storm in periods two and three of their impressive 4-1 win at The Swamp.

After allowing an early first period Scott Gomez power play tally, the Lightning responded with a dominant second period scoring three times at even strength. Vaclav Prospal tied it 44 seconds in and then they got backbreaking goals by Nick Tarnasky and Vincent Lecavalier (league-leading 35th) late in the stanza to take full control.

It didn't take long for Tampa to put it out of reach in the third. Taking full advantage of a Brian Rafalski hooking minor, Dan Boyle's point shot beat Martin Brodeur 56 seconds in to make it four unanswered for the Bolts. It would be plenty on a day where they dominated one of the league's best teams, dealing New Jersey only its fifth regulation defeat on its own home ice and snapping their four-game win streak. For the Devils, it kept them six behind Buffalo for first in the conference.

The win for Tampa gives them 64 points and vaults them over Carolina into the seventh spot in the Eastern playoff race. It makes the Rangers' visit to Carolina this Thursday even more crucial. They trail the Hurricanes by four points.

A point on WFAN's Devils' color analyst Tom Chorske. He is brutal! The first-year analyst is unlistenable. I couldn't believe the arrogance he showed with the Devils down three, mentioning that "they were in full comeback mode" after Tampa went up three. What game was he watching? The Devils have been resilient this year but even the biggest Devils' fan could see the writing on the wall. Tampa was much better today. Even with that three-goal cushion, they generated better chances keeping the Devils' D on its heels. Chorske is just awful. Why did they fire Randy Velischek again? At least he was tolerable. I'll give Matt Loughlin a pass because I like him and understand how difficult his transition has been from FSNY studio host to play-by-play radio man. Matty L is one of the nicest people in this business.

Fyi...Flames are getting awfully ticked off here at the Red Wings down five. Jarome Iginla has went out of his way to nail some Wings. It might be a heated third.

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