For all the talk surrounding Dwayne Roloson in past days, he answered in a big way Saturday night, shutting out the Winnipeg Jets in front of a sold out St. Pete Times Forum 1-0.
Roloson, getting his first start since opening night against the Florida Panthers, saved all 28 shots he faced, including a flurry in the final seconds to earn his second win of the year.
“He has bounced back, absolutely no surprise there,” head coach Guy Boucher said. “I knew he would bounce back and I can certainly vouch for his character. His mind set has never changed and he will continue to prove it over an over.”
Vincent Lecavalier struck first for the Lightning with less than a minute to go in the second period, scoring from the bottom of the right circle after Steven Stamkos blasted a shot from the point that Pavelec saved, but did not seem to know where the rebound went. The puck went right to Lecavalier who found the empty net from a tough angle for the power play goal, his fifth of the year.
For the Lightning though, it was Dwayne Roloson that was the difference. Roloson was sharp right from the very beginning of the game, making key saves early in the first that kept the Lightning in the game. Roloson looked, for maybe the first time this year, like the goaltender that got the Lightning within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup finals last spring.
It wasn’t just Roloson though, the Lightning once again did the little things right, blocking 14 shots and staying disciplined, only taking two minor penalties. Both huge keys to success for the team when they are victorious.
For the Lightning, it was also the twelfth straight win over the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise, the longest current streak of wins over another team in the NHL.
For Roloson though, as gratifying as it may have been to bouonce back the way he did, he is already looking ahead to Carolina on Tuesday night.
“It is [gratyfying],” Roloson said. “But it’s only one game. I try to forget about some of the games we play because we have a lot left. I’m going to forget about it now and get back to work.”