May 28, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT
Before narrowly losing Friday’s Game 7 against the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson produced a stunning 7-0 record in elimination games in his career. Let’s face it, though; Roloson wasn’t particularly great in his most recent win, allowing four goals on 20 shots in the a 5-4 Lightning win. He really wasn’t fantastic in the first five game he started in this series, either, allowing 15 goals in five starts while being pulled from two of those contests.
As shaky as Roloson was in those first five games, he made up for it in Game 7, even though Tampa Bay fell 1-0. He kept the score at 0-0 after facing 29 shots through the first two periods and stopped eight more in the final frame, but he did allow the game-winning goal by Nathan Horton. Then again, that goal took place on a 2-on-1 in which David Krejci sent a nice one-timer pass to Horton for the tap-in. Roloson was left on an island on that play – and unlike the other times he bailed out his team – he finally succumbed to the Bruins pressure.
Every now and then, goalies receive acclaim for superlative performances even if they fall short of a win. Ron Hextall and Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn Smythe trophy after falling short of Stanley Cup victories. Ron Tugnutt was serenaded by Boston Bruins fans after he made 70 saves to secure a tie for the Quebec Nordiques. Roloson’s effort in defeat probably won’t be remembered on the same level as those historic examples, but his great saves deserve at least some attention. Hopefully this post can serve as a decent tribute to his outstanding performance. (Especially since it could be his last, considering he’s 41 years old.)
Let’s take a look at some of his best moments from that game.
Roloson stops Milan Lucic‘s breakaway attempt, which ranked as the first great chance of the game.
Horton scored the game-winning goal, but Roloson stopped him on five other shots.
Call it old-on-old crime if you’d like: 41-year-old Roloson shuts down 43-year-old Mark Recchi twice.
Want to see more from Friday’s game? Check out the top highlights from Game 7 in the video below.
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