Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning's St. Louis a finalist for league MVP
Marty St. Louis continues to defy his age, earning a second MVP finalist nomination in his career. St. Louis, who finished second in the league this season with 99 points, won the Hart Trophy in 2004 when he led the league with 94 points. St. Louis joined Anaheim's Corey Perry and Vancouver's Daniel Sedin as the three finalists for the award, announced by the league Thursday. The winner will be announced at the NHL's award show in Las Vegas on June 22. "It's a great honor. It's something I want to share with my teammates and the coaching staff here,'' St. Louis said. "To be nominated for that award, I'm proud of that. There are so many great players in this league, it's flattering.''At 35, St. Louis remains at the top of his game, maybe even playing at a higher level than when he won the Hart Trophy at 28. His 99 points mark the second-highest total of his career and the fourth time he has reached at least 90 points in a season. St. Louis established a career high with 68 assists, tying the franchise single-season record set by Brad Richards in 2005-06. "For all the qualities and the type of person he is every day, and the example he is for everybody on our team, he's been an incredible leader,'' Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "He goes full-out in everything and his impact on the ice was tremendous for this team. The young guys can certainly learn a lot from him.'' Rare whitewash Lightning G Dwayne Roloson became the sixth goaltender in league playoff history to record a 1-0 shutout in a Game 7 and the first since Colorado's Patrick Roy against San Jose on May 15, 2002. The others were St. Louis' Grant Fuhr in 1999, against Phoenix in overtime in 1999; Detroit's Chris Osgood in 1996, against St. Louis in a double-overtime game ended on a goal by Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman; the New York Islanders' Chico Resch in 1975, against Pittsburgh, and Detroit's Harry Lumley in 1950, against Toronto in overtime. Roloson improved to 6-0 in elimination games. Double duty Games 3 and 4 of the semifinal series will be played on consecutive nights in Tampa because graduation ceremonies for the University of South Florida are being held at the St. Pete Times Forum. It will mark the second time in franchise playoff history the Lightning will play on back-to-back nights in the same building. The other was Games 3 and 4 of the first-round series against the Capitals in 2003. All healthy Despite the physical, seven-game series against Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay does not have any injury concerns heading into Game 1 against Washington, Boucher said. "All our guys are healthy, and we haven't had that all year long, so that certainly suits us right now,'' he said. Washington, meanwhile, has some question marks, most notably LW Mike Knuble, who is believed to have injured his right hand in the first round against the New York Rangers. Also, D Dennis Wideman has recently begun to skate after having a hematoma in his leg before the end of the regular season. D Mike Green, who missed a good portion of the end of the season with a suspected concussion, was struck in the helmet with a shot in Game 5 against New York that knocked the screws out of his visor. He did not return to the game, though the team insists he is fine and has been skating with the team.