Connolly, Brett

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

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

TB-2
DAL-1

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).

BOS-3
TB-5

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.

PIT-6
TB-3

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.

NHL Game Night: 1-13-12 Lightning at Capitals

You know, if you don't start every game in a 2,3, or 4 goal hole, you don't need to try to make a miracle comeback.

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WSH-4

Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the loss.

First Period
WSH Ovechkin (18), (Johansson, Wideman)(PP), 3:52
WSH Brouwer (12), (Semin, Wideman)(PP), 5:45

Second Period
WSH Brouwer (13), (Laich, Knuble), 5:25
TB Pyatt (4), (St. Louis), 17:06

Third Period
TB Stamkos (30), (Malone, Lecavalier)(PP), 16:34
WSH Brouwer (14), (Laich, Halpern)(EN), 19:00
TB Lecavalier (17), (St. Louis, Purcell), 19:49

It seems like every game this month has been an exercise in taking the first 20 minutes off and then trying to come back in the last 20. You can't survive on a half or a third of a game's effort. It doesn't work that way.

Brett Connolly had a hit in 8:43.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 3 hits in 7:04.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Prospect of the Week (1.10.12)

This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions. There are no trophies or plaques, but we did have a medal in mind for this one since we’re late with the announcement.

Quite simply, we wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospect’s achievement on the ice.

This week’s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to … Brett Connolly, Team Canada.

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