Dustin Tokarski stopped 33 of 34 shots for his first NHL victory. The young fella got it done against two goaltenders tonight who averaged 36.5 years of age. And, it wasn't a circus act. He was very calm and very under control in net. If you're not out of position, you don't have to breakdance like Hasek in net. Got his first NHL assist, too. Nice night for a young man who has worked hard to get where he is.
TB Pyatt (8), (Malone, Connolly), 1:56
TB Thompson (9), (Hall, Wyman), 2:26
TB Shannon (4), (Hedman, Tokarski)(PP), 4:31
TB Hedman (4), (unassisted), 15:38
TB Stamkos (49), (Purcell, Lee), 3:06
BOS Caron (7), (Boychuk, Chara), 1:55
TB Stamkos (50), (St. Louis, Lee), 3:06
Keith Aulie had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:16.
Tim Wallace had 1 hit in 10:10, and looked dazed and confused with the puck on a 2-on-1 late in the third period. I don't think he expected a chance that good in that situation.
J.T. Wyman had a helper and was +2 in 14:56.
The season slipping away.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the loss. He'll probably beat himself up a little over the first and third goals, but on Skinner's goals, his defense did him no favors. I can deal with Hedman's mistakes at this stage. He's still a puppy. I've grown to deeply resent Eric Brewer, though.
TB Malone (13), (Pyatt, Connolly), 1:20
CAR Spacek (5), (McBain, Jokinen)(PP), 3:46
CAR Skinner (18), (Jokinen, Larose), 12:29
TB Thompson (8), (Wyman, Hall), 17:14
CAR Skinner (19), (Allen), 6:36
CAR Larose (14), (Harrison, Faulk)(EN), 19:38
Ryan Malone was the game's third star.
Keith Aulie was -1 with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 11:52.
Tim Wallace had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 7:21.
J.T. Wyman had an assist and was +1 with 1 hit in 9:25.
Lightning skaters hang rookie out to dry.
WSH 3 (OT)
Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the overtime loss. The final 2 goals were a complete abdication of defensive responsibility by the players in front of Tokarski. You have to do better in front of a rookie making his first start. Overall, I thought Tic moved well and didn't look out of place. He deserved better than to have the team in front of him get outshot 16-3 in the final period and overtime. I suspect Garon would've gotten about the same result had he been healthy and between the pipes.
WSH Aucoin (2), (Alzner, Halpern), 17:08
TB Malone (12), (Stamkos, Purcell)(PP), 7:25
TB Purcell (20), (St. Louis, Clark)(PP), 18:42
WSH Johansson (13), (Wideman), 16:02
WSH Ovechkin (27), (Orlov, Chimera), 4:09
Teddy Purcell was the game's second star.
Way too many unforced errors by the Lightning defense in the final frame. The Lightning move to 3 points out of the 8th playoff spot behind Washington and Winnipeg, for the moment, with the Jets and Canucks playing later tonight. They also linger 5 points back of the Panthers in the division. They'll be kicking themselves for how much they let themselves down in the third period of this game.
Keith Aulie was -1 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 11:18.
Tim Wallace had 4 hits in 7:12.
J.T. Wyman had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:53.
Mathieu Garon made 3 saves on 3 shots before leaving the game with a lower body injury. Dwayne Roloson allowed 5 goals on 30 shots the rest of the way for the loss. This is bad news if Garon is hurt badly. One of the big differences between this game and prior contests was that Garon was making key saves and key times, even though his save percentage wasn't stellar. Roli not so much.
OTT Gonchar (3), (Greening, Cowen), 9:38
OTT Greening (13), (Michalek, Kuba), 17:37
OTT Turris (7), (unassisted), 18:30
TB Shannon (3), (Pyatt, Connolly), 1:24
TB Wallace (2), (Wyman, Pyatt), 7:12
OTT Karlsson (16), (unassisted)(PP), 11:58
TB Stamkos (48), (Purcell, Malone)(PP), 5:41
OTT Michalek (30), (Alfredsson, Kuba)(PP), 12:12
OTT Michalek (31), (unassisted)(EN), 18:33
OTT Michalek (32), (unassisted)(SH)(EN), 19:53
Tom Pyatt was the game's third star.
It's hard for me to protest too loudly considering the team got down 3-0 after the first period, but I think it's safe to say the referees did have a hand in the outcome of this game. I thought the extra 2 given to Aulie for his altercation with Greening was a poor call and I thought the interference call on Stamkos that led to Michalek's first goal was absolutely atrocious. True, in those situations, you need your PK to step up and you need your goaltender to be your best penalty killer. True, neither was the case on those two PK's. But, the Lightning had a lot of momentum before each of those penalties. The team was very fired up after the Aulie fight and even more fired up after Stamkos' power play goal. It looked like they were about to turn the game in their favor, but the refs interceded.
Keith Aulie was +2 with 7 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 6:31. I thought he skated a lot better in this game, and really got to show off his stride once he got off to a gallop a couple of times. And, he really handled his business in the fight against Greening. It's just a shame the ref gave him that extra 2. Like I said, poor call. Even with that call, I feel better about the Aulie acquisition after tonight. He might need some more polish though, and it didn't escape my notice that he was on Norfolk's Clear Day list, so Yzerman may have designs on sending him to the AHL for the playoffs.
Tim Wallace had 1 got, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 6:11, and oh what a shot it was. That was Stamkos-esque.
J.T. Wyman had a helper and was -1 in 8:02.
The Lightning are now getting close enough to smell it.
Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the win. The guy makes just enough saves to get the W's. I can't say his save percentage is pretty, but he's making key saves at key times. The guy is 7 games over .500 now. Yeah, I'm surprised, too!
TB Wallace (1), (Shannon), 5:58
CAR Stewart (8), (Staal, Spacek), 5:23
CAR Jokinen (10), (unassisted), 15:02
CAR Stewart (9), (Staal, Tlusty), 16:18
TB Stamkos (46), (unassisted), 18:00
TB Purcell (19), (St. Louis, Malone)(PP), 7:24
TB Stamkos (47), (Purcell)(PP), 2:41
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were the game's first and third stars. It would've been very easy for the Lightning to pack it up down 3-1 after their travel issues in a back-to-back game scenario. You can't undersell how important Stamkos' first goal in the game was.
Oh, memo to Showboat Malkin, #91 just passed you in the Art Ross Trophy race. Ta ta, for now.
And, just when it looked like the Lightning were going to fail on a third period 5-on-3, and that the powerless play was going to shut the lid on the season, Purcell got it done. Then Stamkos buried the 'Canes in overtime, again on the power play. It's gotten better in the past couple of weeks, and none too soon.
I forgot how sweet the tears of the 'Canes TV broadcast team were. Like cinnamon.
Now it gets really interesting, as the Lightning have pulled within 2 points of 8th place and 4 points of the Panthers for the division. Make no bones about it, the Panthers are starting to feel the back pressure coming from the Lightning, as should be the Caps and Jets. Tampa Bay gets Ottawa Tuesday night. Keep believing.
Keith Aulie had 1 hit in 8:54. The big man looked a little lost at times in his own zone. I am concerned.
Tim Wallace had his first NHL goal and was +2 with 1 shot on goal in 6:50. Enjoy it, young fella.
J.T. Wyman was -1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 12:07.