Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lightning lose shootout game to Los Angeles

An overtime goal was inexplicably disallowed and the Los Angeles Kings accepted the gift, winning over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a shootout 2-1 Saturday night, in front of 16,612 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

After 40-plus scoreless minutes, Los Angeles took the lead at 7:20 of the third period on a power play goal by Drw Doughty. The Lightning tied the game at 11:39 on a wrap-around goal by Ryan Malone.

In overtime, Tampa Bay thought they had won the game with 1:40 left, but the goal was waved off, despite replays showing it should have been allowed. It was ultimately ruled that the goaltender was interferred with, even though replays showed the player was pushed into the goaltender by a defender. What made the play all the more baffling, was that while the goal was disallowed, no penalty for goaltender interference that normally would be called, was. That was as close as either team would get and the contest proceeded to the deciding shootout.

Anze Kopitar scored five-hole to start the shootout for the Kings, and that turned out to be the winner, as Vinny Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Alex Tanguay were all denied and Los Angeles won a game they should have lost, 2-1.

The Kings outshot Tampa Bay 30-29. Both goaltenders were outstanding, with Antero Niittymaki making 29 saves for the Lightning and Jonathan Quick 28 for Los Angeles. The Kings were 1-for-3 on the power play, Tampa Bay 0-for-6.

The Lightning are now 7-4-6 for 20 points, second in the Southeast, 8 points behind division-leading Washington. Los Angeles is now 12-7-2 for 26 points, good for second in the Pacific, 5 points behind division-leading San Jose.

Tampa Bay now heads into a very busy second half of November, with 8 games in 15 days to close out the month. On Monday, November 16th, the Lightning are on the road to meet the Phoenix Coyotes. Faceoff is set for 9:00p.m. EST on 620 WDAE Radio. There is no TV.

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