12/31/11 TBL v Canes, Stamkos Hat Trick, 5-2 TBL

2nd night (really 3rd night) of hockey road trip.   Last nite, we hit Sunrise Florida for the Panthers v Rangers game, and this morning, we took off and drove up to Tampa by way of the Everglades, really cool, and then onto the TBL game.

This game was the 2nd part of the New Years Weekend road trip!   In between last nite’s Panthers v Rangers game, we drove up to Tampa by way of the Sawgrass Everglades, which was really cool.     All along the way, these great big gorgeous birds were sunning their wings facing up to the sky, and just such a long stretch of flat land submerged and who knows WHAT all is under there.    Took several of that too, but will do them separately.  

When we got to the arena, Joe Esposito was there for the unveiling of his statue, and tonite the arena official changed names to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and then there was the game!  

This was the ceremony going on:


This was New Years Eve so the game was at 5p, so after the game, we went to dinner  and then like crazy teenagers, we were loving the Ford Edge Limited that we’d rented so much that we drove all around Tampa til near midnight listening to AC/DC, Zeppelin, etc.   Silly hockey Peeps!

This was our awesome vehicle for the weekend, and we had a BLAST in it!   It was the Limited Edition 2012 Edge and it was smarter than an MIT grad, lol 

After this game, Sunday morning, we left Tampa headed back to Atlanta by way of Clearwater Beach Florida, so we took the scenic route and drove along the beach and some of those big beautiful homes, and then jumped back on the highway headed for home.   

And now a writeup and some shots from the game.

They do this before the games and it’s great. The little peep in the middle is adorable!  

I love that Tampa Bay passes the Flag during the Anthem!  

Garon and friends during the Anthem

Ceremonial Puck Drop – Staal was in a foul mood already

And then he just skated off leaving them standing there!

Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis helped kick off the New Year’s celebration a little early on Saturday night.
Stamkos notched his fifth career hat trick, St. Louis had three assists, and Mathieu Garon added 24 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the newly-named Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Stamkos Hat Trick Celebration  🙂

Steve Downie and Teddy Purcell each scored goals for Tampa Bay, which completed a sweep of its three-game home stand and moved back to .500 with a record of 17-17-3.

Ryan Malone also added three assists for the Lightning, winners in five of their past seven.

Eric Staal had two assists for the Hurricanes, giving him five points in his past two games, and goaltender Cam Ward stopped 27 of 32 shots.

Stamkos scored his third goal of the game and league-leading 26th of the season just 43 seconds into the final frame while on the power play to restore the Lightning’s one-goal lead.

Just 22 seconds later, Purcell made it 4-2, and Downie capped the scoring with his sixth of the season at 6:51.
St. Louis’ assist on Stamkos’ final goal was the 500th of his career. He now has one goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak.

St. Louis set up Stamkos’ first goal to open the scoring at 3:22 of the first.

JB got me a life size Marty St. Louis!  I LOVE MARTY!  

Faulk tied it while on the power play at 16:12, gathering a rebound from the side of the net and wristing one from a sharp angle past Garon to draw Carolina even.

Carolina took its first lead of the game after a questionable holding call on St. Louis along the end boards gave the Hurricanes their third power-play chance of the night. Harrison took advantage of the opportunity, beating Garon at 4:29 for a 2-1 advantage.
The Hurricanes entered the contest with the NHL’s third-worst power play.

Stamkos’ second of the night came at 8:17 of the middle frame, and in highlight-reel fashion, to knot the game at two after he split a pair of defenders in the slot and wristed one past Ward to erase a one-goal deficit.

Tampa Bay thought it had an additional tally from Dominic Moore midway through the third, but it was waived off following a video review after officials determined Moore had interfered with Ward in the crease.  The jumbotron inside the arena clearly showed the puck in the net before Moore was knocked into the net minder by Hurricanes forward Tim Brent, but nonetheless it did not stand to keep the score at 5-2.

The loss was Carolina’s fourth in seven games.
Tampa Bay scored three unanswered goals in the final period in a span of just under seven minutes to put the game away rather quickly.


The Power Team!   

Garon was fabulous!

Swarming Canes

The circus was going to be in the arena in the next few days while Bolts were on their road trip, so they were having fun in the zamboni’s  

Back to business!  Stamkos looking “this is my night”

Thunderbug was having a great time tonite 


Kubina and Stewie facing each other again now that they are no longer Thrashers

Be The Thunder!   

Another goal! 

And, things get ugly!  

And, that finished the game, time to celebrate!  

And, the Salute!   

Steven Stamkos‘ hat trick tonight carried him to a league-leading 26 goals on the season and brings him to a total of ten goals in his past eight games

  • Martin St. Louis clinched his 500th career assist and has had points in all five of the games he’s played since returning from injury on Dec. 21
  • Steve Downie‘s second-period assist gives him five assists in the last three games and he has six points (1g, 5a) over that three-game stretch
  • The Lightning are now 2-2-2 in games they were tied in after two periods, Carolina is now 3-8-2 in those games
  • Martin St. Louis‘ penalty which led to Jay Harrison’s first career power-play goal was his first penalty in his last 24 games, dating back to Oct. 22
  • Steven Stamkos has scored 16 of his 26 goals this season on home ice
  • Mathieu Garon made 24 saves on the night for the Lightning

Game Highlights:


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