Connolly, Brett

NHL Game Night: 12-8-11 Lightning at Rangers

The best #19 on the ice tonight wore white.

TB-3
NYR-2 (SO)

Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 30 shots before turning away all 3 shooters he faced for the shootout win. Credit Garon with the second point tonight for standing on his head in overtime.

First Period
NYR Callahan (11), (Richards, Stepan)(PP), 7:49

Second Period
TB Malone (6), (unassisted), 11:23
NYR Anisimov (5), (Del Zotto, Dubinsky)(SH), 13:23

Third Period
TB Moore (2), (Hedman, Brewer)(SH), 18:03

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Moore
NYR- NONE

Dominic Moore and Ryan Malone were the game's first and third stars.

3:50 left in the game. Lightning down 1. Ryan Malone going off for boarding. Martin St. Louis laid up in the hospital with fractures from a puck to the face. Looking a 6 game losing streak square in the face.

And then Dominic Moore, who was the guy who broke St. Louis' face in practice earlier in the day, decided to put on a cape. The "S" on it stood for "shorthanded goal." Then it stood for "shootout winner." Then is stood for "streak is over."

Is the team fixed? No. But there's a little life in it, after looking dead as a doornail with 4 minutes left in regulation.

Oh, and a guy on a pace for 16 goals pretending like he's a longrifle wielding sniper is comical. If "Ovechkin" was Russian for "punk," then "Anisimov" must be Russian for "dummy." Wish I could've heard Tortorella's inner monologue when his player decided to act the fool like that.

Brett Connolly was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 9:55.

Blair Jones had 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 4:24.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-5-11 Lightning at Senators

And the Lightning continue to circle the drain...

TB-2
OTT-4

Dwayne Roloson allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the loss. He held the Lightning in the game when they didn't deserve to be in the first period, but the second goal he allowed was very questionable and led to the third period collapse.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
TB Gervais (2), (Stamkos, Bergeron), 13:52
OTT Smith (7), (Cowen, Daugavins), 16:46

Third Period
TB St. Louis (8), (Stamkos), 3:35
OTT Alfredsson (6), (Spezza, Anderson), 8:58
OTT Foligno (8), (Alfredsson, Winchester), 15:33
OTT Smith (8), (Gonchar, Phillips), 16:19

I give. If the Lightning don't pull out of this tailspin tomorrow, then Yzerman needs to start working the phones.

Brett Connolly was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 8:48. There was talk he'd be in the press box tonight. He hasn't looked very effective offensively, lately. It might be time for a brief look from upstairs a la what happened in Stamkos' rookie season.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-3-11 Rangers at Lightning

The Lightning are setting themselves up for a very difficult second half.

NYR-4
TB-2

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the loss.

First Period
TB Downie (3), (Stamkos, Purcell), 1:24

Second Period
NYR Fedotenko (4), (Richards, Callahan), 6:38
TB Pyatt (2), (Tyrell, Thompson), 17:42

Third Period
NYR Anisimov (3), (Stepan), 6:16
NYR Stepan (5), (Anisimov, McDonagh), 16:41
NYR Richards (10), (McDonagh)(EN), 19:34

Taylor Pyatt and Victor Hedman were the game's second and third stars.

I wouldn't say the Lightning have played poorly during this 3 game losing streak. Tonight, the frustration is that the team led most of the game and saw a third period lead slip away into a loss late. The unfortunate thing is that it's digging a hole that will eventually the require the Lightning to put together some sizable winning streaks in the second half to make the post season. I guess the only silver lining is that the Caps aren't running away with the division this year, so that may still be in play in the second half. Still, the Lightning need to mind those details that will tip the balance and turn these close losses into wins.

Brett Connolly had 1 hit in 9:54.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-30-11 Lightning at Red Wings

The devil is in the details.

TB-2
DET-4

Dwayne Roloson allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the loss. He made some key saves early to keep the Lightning in it, but the 4th goal was a back breaker that he should have made a better effort on.

First Period
DET Datsyuk (7), (Bertuzzi, Franzen), 4:58
DET Ericsson (1), (Filppula), 11:04

Second Period
TB St. Louis (7), (Purcell, Bergeron)(PP), 9:35
TB Stamkos (16), (Gilroy, Lecavalier), 19:46

Third Period
DET Holmstrom (4), (Lidstrom, Datsyuk)(PP), 4:22
DET Helm (3), (Kindl, Ericsson), 13:14

Martin St. Louis was the game's second star.

What tonight proved is that from a skill and athleticism standpoint, the Lightning can absolutely hang with the Detroit Red Wings. That bodes well for down the road. But, what it also proved is they're just a better team, detail-wise, than the Lightning, and that's why they got the 2 points. That's what these past two games proved to me. Tonight it was faceoffs. Monday night it was making some untimely mistakes. It's details, and it's a shame, because those were two pretty good efforts from the Lightning and they obviously didn't get the results. But, I'm sure Guy Boucher will emphasize that it's a process and they'll work on shoring up those areas.

Brett Connoly had 1 shot and 4 hits in 9:30. Coach Boucher's not stupid. He's not throwing a rookie out against the Wings for big minutes to let the young man get eaten alive.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-28-11 Lightning at Wild

Little mistakes can cost you a game.

TB-1
MIN-3

Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
TB Stamkos (15), (unassisted), 5:53
MIN Clutterbuck (7), (Koivu)(SH), 7:39
MIN Bouchard (3), (Johnson), 17:06

Third Period
MIN Koivu (4), (Spurgeon, Clutterbuck)(EN), 19:36

It's frustrating to see the Lightning play a really good first 27 minutes of hockey and see it unravel because of one puckhandling mistake by Eric Brewer. That's what happened tonight, though. The first half of the game the Lightning looked outstanding. That was the best their forecheck looked all season and the first time this Lightning team looked like it was playing the kind of Lightning hockey they played last season.

But, one mistake and you lose momentum. One mistake and the Lightning started turning over the puck. One mistake and before you know it you're behind the eight ball trying to go through a very disciplined team just to get a chance on a very good goaltender in Backstrom. It's a pity they didn't end up maintaining it and getting the result.

Bolt Prospects alumni Mike Lundin knifed his ex-team with a 3rd star effort where he played 19:35 in his first game of the season and blocked 5 shots. Not surprised. He's a very good regular season player.

Brett Connolly was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 16:19. He also missed 4 shots.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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