Dwayne Roloson has officially pulled himself up off the canvas with a 28 save shutout.
TB Lecavalier (5), (Stamkos, Brewer)(PP), 19:20
Roli and Vincent Lecavalier were the game's first and second stars. Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec got the third star, as he was the only thing keeping the Jets from utter annihilation for the first two periods before Roli slammed the door in the third.
And the third jerseys (and the black, and the celebration stripes) retain their unbeaten record this year...
Brett Connolly had 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:34. Diminished ice time with the score tight is the plight of the NHL rookie.
Defense/goaltending snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Mathieu Garon got lifted after allowing 5 goals on 17 shots for the loss. Dwayne Roloson stopped all 10 he faced the rest of the way. So, Garon's hot streak may be over, and hopefully Roli is refreshed from a few nights off.
NSH Kostitsyn (3), (Smith, Fisher), 6:25
NSH Fisher (1), (Kostitsyn, Smith), 14:05
TB Stamkos (5), (Purcell, Malone), 16:36
TB Purcell (3), (Connolly, Bergeron)(PP), 19:33
NSH Hornqvist (1), (Halischuk, Geoffrion), 7:43
NSH Spaling (1), (Hillen, Blum), 11:20
NSH Fisher (2), (Spaling), 12:10
TB Stamkos (6), (Bergeron, St. Louis), 17:03
Defensive zone coverage and turnovers continue to be an Achilles Heel. Offense continues to not be a problem, though, even with a fizzling power play. Heaven help the NHL if Boucher can get those items smoothed out. Lecavalier, Stamkos, and St. Louis all seem to be on their games, lately.
Brett Connolly had a helper and was -2 with 1 hit in 13:42.
The Lightning will have no prospects in the WHL this year, and that's just fine with Brett Connolly.
Late last night, after Connolly's ninth game in the NHL, the St. Pete Times reported Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman told Connolly he was staying in the NHL this season.
That loud obscenity you heard from the northwest around that time was the head office of the WHL's Prince George Cougars, who were counting on their captain and homegrown star to return to the club this season.
As soon as Connolly plays his 10th game his NHL contract kicks in. Nine games is the cut-off for junior age players who aren't yet old enough to play in the American Hockey League.
Lightning respond well to adversity to move above .500.
Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 39 shots for the victory. He kept the Lightning in the game in the first period. It could've been 4-0 after the first 10-15 minutes easily, and he held off the wolves at 3-2 long enough for Ryan Malone to get the key insurance goal.
BUF Vanek (7), (Pominville, Adam), 1:56
BUF Boyes (1), (McCormick, Ellis), 2:31
TB Lecavalier (4), (St. Louis), 13:03
TB Thompson (2), (Pyatt, Moore), 19:00
TB Stamkos (4), (Gilroy, Bergeron), 4:42
TB Malone (3), (Clark), 18:37
BUF Gerbe (2), (Gaustad, Boyes), 19:10
Garon and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and third stars.
Sloppy game. Ugly game. But, for the Lightning to pull themselves off the mat after falling behind 2-0 early is an outstanding sign. Special thanks to Ryan Miller for allowing a couple of iffy goals.
Brett Connolly was +1 with 1 hit in 15:17. He got higher ice time tonight playing with Vinny and Marty, and they were the most dangerous line on the ice tonight. It's decision time right now for Steve Yzerman, but my guess is the coaching staff has already given him the thumbs up with 15 minutes on the big line in this game.
Blair Jones was -1 with 1 hit in 7:18.
Game nine for Lightning prospect Brett Connolly is tonight against the Buffalo Sabres in New York. If he plays a tenth game for the Lightning, his entry level contract kicks in and the Lightning are on the hook for his full salary this year. Heâ€™s also one year closer to restricted free agency.
Their only other choice is to return Connolly to Prince George of the Western Hockey League (Major Junior). Because he is not yet 20 years of age, he canâ€™t play in the development-friendly AHL with Norfolk.
So the question hovering over the heads of Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman and Head Coach Guy Boucher is â€œWhat to do with Connolly?â€