The Tampa Bay Lightning went into tonight's game tied at 55 points with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast Division. They came out of the game with 57 points and sole possession of first place, thanks in large part to newly acquired goaltender, Dwayne Roloson.
Roloson stopped 23 Capitals shots, earning his second shutout with the Lightning. Both of Roloson's shutouts have come in the past week, and against the Caps.
Caps goaltender Semyon Varlamov, on the other hand, ended up with 35 saves on 38 Lightning shots.
The Lightning got an early first period goal from Dominic Moore, who took his own rebound and stuffed it past Varlamov to open the scoring.
The Lightning extended their lead to 2-0 when Sean Bergenheim fired a rebound past Varlamov. The play was reviewed to make sure Bergenheim's stick was not above the crossbar when he shot it. It was concluded that it was not above the crossbar; therefore, the goal stood.
Varlamov and Roloson then traded saves until late in the second period when Simon Gagne scored on a breakaway to make it 3-0.
After that, it was just Roloson and Varlamov making brilliant saves.
Roloson had a great glove save in the third period when the Caps John Carlson shot from the side of the net. Varlamov then had a couple of great third period saves off the stick of the Lightning's Steven Stamkos.
The Lightning meet the Caps again on February 4 and March 7, both times at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
Stay tuned for more as the Southeast Division race heats up.