The Tampa Bay Lightning may have carried the majority of the play last night at the Winnipeg Arena but poor goaltending and an impressive performance from Jet winger Dallas Drake ended any chance Tampa had in the game, losing 5-2 to the home team.
Goaltending was a main theme last night as one team had it and one team didn’t. Winnipeg’s Tim Cheveldae playing his fourth straight finally recorded his first win, earning every piece of it, stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced. On the other end the two Lightning goaltenders surrendered 5 goals on only 20 shots and wasted an overall good effort from the rest of the team.
The first period was played relatively even, Tampa got goals from Chris Gratton and Paul Ysebaert and Winnipeg answered with Igor Korolev’s 6th of the year and the first of Dallas Drakes 2 on the night, extending his point streak to 4 games. Tim Cheveldae stood tall in the second stopping all 11 shots he faced including an amazing sliding save off the stick of Daymond Lankow who appeared to have an empty net before Cheveldaes pad came out of nowhere. The only goal in the period came off the stick of Mike Eastwood who tapped in a pretty pass from Drake, who finished with three points on the night.
The third period was played tighter by both teams who combined for only 11 shots, but it was the first that played the biggest role. With Mike Stapleton in the box for Winnipeg, Tampa Bay looked to earn the equalizer on the power play but a terrible turnover at the blue line by David Shaw sprung Dallas Drake who was alone from the red line in and snapped a wrister over the glove of TB goaltender Jean-Claude Bergeron. Winnipeg never looked back from there and Keith Tkachuk added a shorthanded empty net goal in the final minute, his first of the year, to ice the 5-2 Winnipeg win.
Winnipeg next action comes October 19th when the winless San Jose Sharks come to town.