Connolly, Brett

NHL Game Night: 1-24-12 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Man, Columbus is dreadful.

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Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the win.

First Period
TB Angelidis (1), (unassisted), 13:20
CBJ Lebda (1), (Brassard, Umberger), 15:07

Second Period
TB Lecavalier (19), (Gervais, St. Louis)(PP), 8:19
TB St. Louis (12), (Lecavalier), 16:56

Third Period
CBJ Johansen (9), (Umberger), 5:40
TB Thompson (5), (Moore, Smith), 11:29

Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Bruno Gervais were the game's three stars.

Columbus is horrible. If the Lightning had a more functional power play or if Curtis Sanford had been a little worse, the Lightning would've easily doubled their margin of victory. It's a nice win to have going into the All-Star Break, but they're terrible. They looked like a Junior A team, at times.

The Lightning probably will get a slew of guys back from injury after the break. That's good, because Norfolk's just about down to the popcorn vendors as far as their roster goes.

Brett Connolly had 1 hit in 6:43.

Trevor Smith had an assist and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:39. Here's a guy making a move to try and stick. At a bare minimum, he's getting quality minutes on tape for other NHL teams to evaluate.

Evan Oberg had 1 hit in 1:21 in his debut after being called up from the Delta Airlines Frequent Flyer Club.

Mike Angelidis had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot in 4:01. It was a soft as hell goal, but no one deserved that moment more than a hard working guy like Angelidis.

Finally, Pierre-Cedric Labrie was -1 with 3 hits in 5:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-21-12 Lightning at Coyotes

I'd like to thank Mike Smith for still being Mike Smith.

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Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the rare win.

First Period
TB Stamkos (32), (St. Louis, Moore), 12:02
TB Purcell (12), (Downie, Kubina), 15:39

Second Period
TB St. Louis (11), (Smith, Labrie), 6:15
PHO Korpikoski (11), (Gordon)(SH), 8:29
TB Downie (8), (Lecavalier), 16:39

Third Period
PHO Yandle (6), (Korpikoski, Whitney), 3:25
PHO Whitney (15), (Ekman-Larsson, Doan)(PP), 16:01

Steve Downie and Martin St. Louis were the game's second and third star.

The Lightning didn't have nearly the jump they had last night against Dallas, but they didn't require quite the same effort against Mike Smith, who allowed 4 goals on just 21 shots, including the gift to Steve Downie that ended up being the winner.

Brett Connolly was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 7:18.

Trevor Smith had a beautiful assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 8:25. His saucer pass to Martin St. Louis to spring him on his breakaway goal was a breathtaking little display of skill. Nice.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had his first NHL point on an assist and he was +1 with 3 shots in 6:30. You get the feeling he's quickly becoming sort of the unofficial team mascot. It's hard not to root for the guy.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-20-12 Lightning at Stars

Streaking Lightning extinguish Stars. (Cliche headlines are fun.)

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Mathieu Garon allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He shook off a little collision in the middle of the game to handle his business.

First Period
TB Purcell (10), (St. Louis, Gervais), 18:48

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
DAL Wandell (3), (Eriksson), 1:22
TB Purcell (11), (St. Louis, Lecavalier), 3:36

Teddy Purcell and Martin St. Louis were the game's first and second stars.

Karri Lehtonen saved the Stars from getting blown out early. The Lightning played one of their best periods of the season in the first, and their puck movement on the power play, in particular, was dazzling. They deserved to have a bigger lead going into the third and it was a relief that they held onto their 1 goal margin.

Brett Connolly had 4 penalty minutes in 6:28 and they were kind of lazy penalties. Bad rookie. Bad.

Trevor Smith had 2 hits in 4:41. Norfolk would like to clone him and send one of the two back to them right now.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 4 hits and a fight in 6:01. For those of you who were making a point to exalt Blair Jones' physical play even though he was averaging 1 hit a night: this is the kind of a stat line a 4th line lumberjack needs to put up. Keep chopping wood, Pierre-Cedric. He showed some nice technique on the short punches in close quarters at the start of the brawl with Nystrom.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-17-12 Bruins at Lightning

Heroes (just for one day).

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Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
TB Lecavalier (18), (Gilroy, St. Louis), 7:11

Second Period
BOS Horton (15), (unassisted), 4:28
TB Pyatt (5), (Downie, Gilroy), 14:11
BOS Horton (16), (Ference, Krejci), 16:48

Third Period
TB Malone (10), (Moore, Thompson), 4:58
BOS Paille (8), (Chara, Seidenberg)(SH), 10:53
TB Moore (4), (Malone, Downie), 16:15
TB Stamkos (31), (Lecavalier)(EN), 19:39

Dominic Moore, Tom Pyatt, and Ryan Malone were the game's three stars.

It took 44 games before the Lightning finally started to play with some pride in the 45th. 1 game in 45 isn't going to fix everything that's gone wrong, but tonight the Lightning are heroes once again.

Brett Connolly had 2 shots and 1 hit in 6:45.

Trevor Smith was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 4:53.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 5 hits in 3:35. Now, that's the kind of production the Lightning signed him for.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-15-12 Penguins at Lightning

The Lightning squander a rare opportunity to begin to turn their season around.

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Mathieu Garon allowed 5 goals on 43 shots for the loss. The inability to make key saves in the third period when the club desperately needed them may have contributed to the writing of their obituary this year.

First Period
PIT Neal (23), (Martin, Malkin)(PP), 2:43
PIT Park (3), (unassisted), 10:38

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
PIT Neal (24), (Malkin, Sullivan)(PP), 0:34
TB Gilroy (1), (Stamkos, St. Louis), 2:00
TB Malone (9), (Lecavalier, Purcell)(PP), 4:53
TB Purcell (9), (Lecavalier, Gervais), 6:50
PIT Malkin (19), (unassisted), 7:38
PIT Malkin (20), (Orpik), 9:27
PIT Malkin (21), (unassisted)(EN), 19:04

Vincent Lecavalier was the game's third star. I've been waiting for the kind of emotional outburst he showed in the third period today chasing down Malkin and throwing some fisticuffs. Frustration? Sure. But the Lightning are too robotic, and they need more than just Steve Downie to show a little fire. I didn't mind it. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it, in fact.

A 3 goal lead in the third period, as I've said many times, should be a death sentence in pro hockey. And, if you manage to be the team that overcomes such a deficit to win that slim 1 in 100 times it happens, well, it can have a lasting positive effect on a team's confidence. The Lightning desperately needed the kind of bounce in faith they would've gotten from completing their comeback from 3-0 down this afternoon. And, they were right there. It was there for the taking. The failure to convert the opportunity may have been the final nail in the coffin of the team's playoff hopes this year. They needed that. Badly.

Brett Connolly had 1 hit in 7:08. He's been playing hard and he's been close to creating chances, but they're not quite there for Brett like they were early in the season.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 2 hits, 1 blocked shot, and 5 for fighting in 2:48. That's the kind of stat line I expected to see.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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