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Dwayne Roloson sparkles in debut for Lightning

Tampa Bay defeats Washington in overtime, 1-0, on a goal by Martin St. Louis.

January 04, 2011
  • Goalie Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves in his Tampa Bay debut to lead the Lightning to a 1-0 victory over Washington on Tuesday night.
Goalie Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves in his Tampa Bay debut to lead the Lightning… (Luis M. Alvarez / Associated…)

WASHINGTON — Martin St. Louis scored off a rebound 2:54 into overtime, and Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves in his Tampa Bay debut, leading the Lightning to a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night that broke the teams' tie for the lead atop the Southeast Division.

St. Louis poked the puck past Semyon Varlamov after a shot by Pavel Kubina ricocheted out, ending Washington's three-game winning streak.

The Lightning has won nine of 11 and moved into a tie with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference lead with 53 points.

Tampa Bay acquired the 41-year-old Roloson from the New York Islanders in a trade Saturday. He wore a mask with the Islanders' orange and blue colors and logo.

Roloson is the oldest goalie in the NHL — Varlamov, in contrast, is 22 — but he played brilliantly against Washington, stopping 21 shots in the second period alone. He wasn't forced to make his first save until he kicked away Alex Ovechkin's shot with a little less than 12 minutes left in the first period, but was challenged repeatedly the rest of the way.

Tampa Bay accumulated a 12-5 advantage in shots in the first period; Washington held a 21-13 edge in the second. But neither team could get the puck in the net until the extra period, because Roloson and Varlamov were too good.

For Varlamov, it was a continuation of his recent run of strong play. He went into Tuesday with a 3-0 record and 1.00 goals-against average in his last three starts.

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