NHL Game Night 3/19: Capitals at Lightning

For some inexplicable reason, the Lightning decided to do a drive by for the third period.

WSH-5
TB-2

Mike McKenna allowed 5 goals on 30 shots for the loss. He probably would've like to have had Washington's second goal back, and Washington's last goal came off a bad rebound. But the Lightning completely laid down in front of him in the third period, so it's not like McKenna is the one who takes the blame.

First Period
07:43 WSH Ovechkin (50), (Backstrom)
17:39 TB Stamkos (16), (Lecavalier, Lashoff)(PP)
19:50 WSH Green (26), (Morrisonn, Kozlov)

Second Period
15:54 TB St. Louis (27), (Malone, Lashoff)

Third Period
01:48 WSH Green (27), (Kozlov, Ovechkin)
07:38 WSH Nylander (8), (Kozlov, Ovechkin)(PP)
12:26 WSH Bradley (5), (Morrisonn, Steckel)

The Lightning's streak of getting points in games ends at four. It might be for the best considering the team was about to play itself out of the #2 draft slot. Still, I just don't get it. They played 40 minutes of hockey showing they could go toe-to-toe with one of the most talented teams in the league, and it's like they got on the bus early at the second intermission.

Noah Welch was -2 with 1 shot in 16:33. He's just not good.

Matt Smaby took the rough -4 treatment with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 20:25. Shake it off, #32.

Paul Szczechura was -2 with 3 shots in 13:32. He was also 44% on draws.

Martins Karsums was -1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 13:24. The chemistry he had on a line with Szczechura and Pettinger was fleeting, apparently. He's just not very good right now either.

Richard Petiot was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 21:58. He was one of only two players with a plus rating. He made some mistakes, but they didn't end up in his net.

Matt Lashoff had 2 assists and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 22:30. If you're looking for the silver lining from this game, it's Lashoff. When he came over from Boston, from what I had seen in his younger days playing in Providence, I figured he'd be a good two-way #5 d-man who could get you 25 points a season. Seeing him in extended minutes through two games, he looks like he very much might be the equal of Paul Ranger and Andrej Meszaros in terms of his skill and athleticism. Those are two players who should be 40 point a year d-men when healthy. The key is going to be whether these coaches can get Lashoff to pay attention to his own zone and to take the body consistently. They've already pulled that feat off with Meszaros, so there's reason for optimism on that front. You can see the talent, though. Damian Crisdotero did some Chicken Littling about Cory Murphy breaking his foot and Lashoff having to assume his minutes. Matt sure did answer the bell tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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Matt Lashoff

I agree, Matt Lashoff definitely was the silver lining last night. Maybe management knows what they are doing after all...or not.

Re: Matt Lashoff

It'd be nice to have that silver lining with Lashoff AND a still-developing Steve Eminger on the blueline entering next year. Add a free agent and that's a very good (not great) defense. Don't add a free agent, and it's still passable.

I'm sure Lawton thought Welch would be able to fill in Eminger's designated slot as a 4/5. Nope.

That's still a head shaker.

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