Boy, right about now Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman must be really glad his predecessors didn’t trade Vinny Lecavalier.

The Lightning’s captain now has his team halfway to an Eastern Conference finals berth.

Lecavalier scored his second goal of the game 6:19 into overtime yesterday to lift Tampa Bay to a 3-2 win over Washington in Game 2 of the conference semifinal series between the two Southeast Division rivals. For his efforts, Lecavalier is the Star of the Night.

The Lightning now lead the series, 2-0, heading home to Tampa for Game 3 and 4.

It has seemed like every year prior to this season and Yzerman’s taking of the reins in Tampa, Lecavalier has been on the trading block. But under Yzerman he has gone back to being a building block and important member of a team on the verge of going deep in the playoffs.

John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times had this so say about Lecavalier:

What’s even more crazy is sometimes we forget this is the magic Lecavalier is capable of creating. Perhaps because we have watched him for so long, we have become guilty of taking him for granted. That includes his work on the ice, and off.

Few athletes have ever embraced Tampa Bay with quite the fervor that Lecavalier has. And few have ever been as generous with their money or time as Lecavalier has when it comes to pediatric cancer causes.

The problem is the years dull our memories. We forget that Lecavalier has battled shoulder injuries. We forget that the previous management team played with his head.

He certainly does not score with as much regularity, but in some ways he has become a far better player.

Lecavalier has scored four goals in these playoffs. Because of his re-emergence, there are going to be plenty of games left for him to add to that total.

Honorable mention: Martin St. Louis (1-1-2) and Dwayne Roloson (35-for-36 saves) of Tampa Bay; Brooks Laich (1-1-2) of Washington; Jimmy Howard (35-for-37) of Detroit; Niclas Wallin (GWG) and Antti Niemi (33-for-34 saves) of San Jose.

Yesterday’s scores
San Jose 2, Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 3, Washington 2 (OT)

Tonight’s game
Boston at Philadelphia, 7:30