It really hurts when you outplay a team but you don't get the bounces.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the loss.
16:55 TB Recchi (11), (unassisted)
05:34 CAR Larose (11), (Cullen)(SH)
18:36 CAR Cullen (11), (Pitkanen)
05:10 TB Malone (15), (Recchi, Downie)
18:24 CAR Staal (21), (Samsonov, Gleason)
The really bad news is that Florida is in the process of smoking Montreal tonight, so the Lightning will wake up tomorrow 10 points out of 8th place.
Steve Downie had 1 assist, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 9:59.
Matt Smaby was +1 with 2 hits in 9:59, and played really well for a guy who was a late decision to play tonight.
Key point of the game: Lightning kill the 5-on-3 in the first period to keep it 2-1.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the win.
03:08 TB Malone (14), (Artyukhin)
07:15 MTL Lapierre (9), (Markov, Komisarek)
08:06 MTL Kovalev (13), (unassisted)
02:49 TB Lecavalier (22), (St. Louis, Murphy)(PP)
14:57 TB Prospal (12), (Krajicek)
17:08 TB Downie (3), (Eminger, Stamkos)
11:04 TB St. Louis (18), (Lecavalier, Meszaros)(PP)
11:26 MT Lapierre (10), (Latendresse, Gorges)
That last goal on the 2-on-1 by St. Louis from Lecavalier, my Lord. That belongs hung on a wall in a museum somewhere. That's art, folks.
Good news and bad news. The good news is Toronto and Carolina lost. So, the Lightning finally jump over Toronto and gain 2 points on Carolina and idle Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Florida won, so the Lightning only gain 1 point on 8th place (8 points back) with the Panthers leapfrogging the Hurricanes. The Lightning hold 1 game on the Canes with the Panthers having 1 in hand on the Lightning. That second period laydown in the last game against Florida is still haunting them.
Steve Downie had 1 goal and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:55. He's very noticable, in a good way, on the handful of shifts he's out.
David Koci was -1 in 2:10.
In a series of back-to-back promotions with the Lightning system, Tampa Bay Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced on Monday that the Bolts have recalled prospect forward Steve Downie from the Norfolk Admirals. In addition, the Lightning announced that they also recalled prospect goaltender Karri Ramo from the Admirals to Tampa on an emergency basis.
Downie's recall was expected, with the Lightning indicating last week that he would be recalled after the NHL All-Star break -- a move that would prevent him from participating in the AHL All-Star game Monday night. However, Ramo's emergency recall was a bit of a surprise, as the St. Pete Times reported on Monday that Tampa veteran netminder Olaf Kolzig suffered a setback during the All-Star break with respect to his injured left arm, and was placed back on IR.
With Ramo recalled to Tampa, the Lightning announced on Tuesday that prospect goaltender Riku Helenius has been reassigned from Mississippi (ECHL) to Norfolk to back up Admirals goalie Mike McKenna. Helenius was assigned to the Gulf Coast last Friday, backing up Sea Wolves and former Bolt prospect goaltender Ryan Munce in two weekend games but seeing no game action.
As the NHL All-Star Break begins, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospects Steve Downie and Ty Wishart to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. Admirals General Manager Mike Butters also announced today that prospect goaltender Riku Helenius has been reassigned from the Admirals to the ECHL's Mississippi Sea Wolves.
Momentum is wearing a Lightning hat right now.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the victory.
04:45 TB Eminger (4), (Halpern)(PP)
05:19 TB Downie (2), (Murphy, Pettinger)
00:19 BUF Roy (17), (Pominville, Lydman)
01:23 TB Krajicek (1), (Meszaros, Prospal)
04:04 BUF Kotalik (10), (Rivet, Gaustad)(PP)
13:52 TB Halpern (3), (Recchi, Wishart)
16:55 BUF Roy (18), (Vanek, Pominville)(PP)
19:54 TBL Murphy (1), (Recchi)(PP)
All of a sudden, the Lightning have a power play thanks to Eminger, Recchi, and the newcomer Murphy really playing well from the point in the past couple of games. Here's the thing about Murphy: if you can keep him healthy he's going to hit the scoresheet. I remember a few years ago following Erikki Rajamaki when he played for Murphy's team, Ilves, in the SM-liiga. Murphy used to show up all over the box score like a rash when he played in Finland. I don't think the Dan Boyle comparison is necessarily apt, but Brian Rafalski might not be far off. You have to keep him in one piece though.
The Lightning pull into the break at 5 games under .500 about 9 points out of a playoff spot (that lay down in the second period against the Panthers really stings right now). They have six days off for the break before Montreal rolls into town next Tuesday. Those are six days where you have to hope the team gets Paul Ranger back and back for good. If they do, they've got a real shot to get back to .500 in February, and then the decisions at the deadline become a little bit more interesting. Yes, guys like Roberts and Kolzig are probably still goners, but I could foresee a scenario where Mark Recchi is kept, a la what the team did with Dave Andreychuk at the end of the 2001-2002 season. One thing I know for certain: the Lightning are starting to evolve into the kind of team you don't want to see come into your town as a seven or eight seed in the first round of the playoffs.
Ty Wishart got his first NHL assist off a blocked shot he was mysteriously not given credit for and was +1 in 9:43. I suppose, technically, you get the block or the helper, not both. He plays such a laid back game. Some would call it calm. Others might call it borderline comatose. He was solid tonight, though.
Steve Downie had 1 goal, 1 shot, and 3 hits and was +1 in 9:25. We're seeing the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning right now with Downie becoming a fixture on a line with Stamkos. Given the massive drop off in terms of quality of blueliners in the draft crop after Hedman, I have a suspicion the Lightning may be looking for a centerman to put between those two when the June draft comes around. The team might be playing its way out of position to grab the guy I think would really fit in with what Tocchet is doing, Brayden Schenn. If the Lightning pass Toronto in the standings, which feels like a likelihood, it might be tough for the Leafs to pass up little brother.
David Koci had 6 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 4:32. This was the first game where I really thought he was borderline stupid discipline-wise.