Big night for #12.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the win in his first game in a Lightning uniform. He was good and lucky, in equal proportions, which will get you a W every time.
CAR 12:42, Staal 2 (Whitney, Cullen)(PP)
TB 13:24, Ranger 1 (Lecavalier, Veilleux)
TB 13:39, Malone 2 (Ohlund, St. Louis)
CAR 17:28, Brind'Amour 2 (Samsonov, Jokinen)(PP)
TB 10:46, Malone 3 (St. Louis, Ranger)
TB 13:00, Downie 1 (Meszaros, Ohlund)(PP)
TB 18:44, Malone 4 (unassisted)(EN)
The Lightning were again very successful at generating puck possession and pressure, outshooting Carolina 39-26 in the game.
Ryan Malone completed his hat trick with one of the best empty net goals you'll ever see, having his head up and shooting the puck while falling down and hitting the net from 100 feet out. Great play. Great night.
Steve Downie tipped in a power play goal and had 1 shot and 1 hit in 11:19.
Drew Miller had 1 blocked shot in 14:26.
Zenon Konopka had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 6:20.
James Wright had 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:52.
Victor Hedman was +2 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 26:13. Ho hum. Another 26 minute night for the rookie. Freakish.
Dustin Tokarski pitched a 26 save shutout in just his second professional start. Exciting.
NOR Bochenski, (2) (Simek, Szczechura), 5:54
NOR Craig, (1) (Wishart), 19:20 (EN)
Tokarski and Brandon Bochenski were the game's first and second stars, respectively.
Norfolk outshot Manchester 39-26 in the game. Radek Smolenak was in the lineup after being reclaimed off waivers from the Blackhawks.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The gang's all here!
St. Petersburg 3 @ Togliatti 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Togliatti, Loss, 20/23, 3.00 GAA, .870 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-5, 1 SO, 2.54 GAA, .910 sv%
This I know for sure: it's close to impossible for a goaltender to win a hockey game if his club can't manage a single goal for him. St. Petersburg benefitted from a goal from former Lightning prospect Anton But and a pair of assists by former Lightning forward Nils Ekman.
Omsk 5 @ Novosibirsk 3
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 14/17, 3.00 GAA, .824 sv%
Season totals: 12 GP, 7-5, 0 SO, 2.08 GAA, .900 sv%
On the flip side: it's difficult for a goaltender to lose when he gets five goals worth of support.
Ekaterinburg 3 @ Dynamo Moscow 1
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 14 GP, 1-2-3, -4, 2 PIM
So much for the floodgates opening up for Harju. He was 56% on draws in 16:59 of ice time. Meanwhile, at the other end of the rink, Kazionov saw limited ice time of 7:37.
Mytischi 4 @ Kazan 3
Dimitry Kazionov, Kazan, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 2-0-2, -5, 10 PIM
The elder Kazionov scored Kazan's second goal in a third period rally that fell just short. Kazionov got a robust 19:07 of ice time in the match, but his line's efforts weren't enough to overcome a pair of goals by former NHLer Jan Bulis.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed prospect forward Radek Smolenak on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks and have reassigned him to the Norfolk Admirals, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smolenak, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, skated in one regular season game with the Blackhawks and recorded five penalty minutes on Thursday in Detroit. Last season, Smolenak made his NHL debut by playing six games with the Lightning, recording an assist and 10 penalty minutes while averaging 8:20 in ice time. He made his NHL debut on December 2 at Philadelphia and recorded his first NHL point with an assist in that game.
Smolenak, 22, ranked third in goals, fifth in points and tied for fifth in assists with the Admirals last season. In 71 games with the Admirals he recorded 24 goals and 25 assists with 165 penalty minutes. In 147 career AHL games between the Admirals and Springfield Falcons, Smolenak has 39 goals and 37 assists with 281 penalty minutes. He also has appeared in 43 career ECHL games between Johnstown and Mississippi, scoring 15 goals and 20 assists with 35 penalty minutes.
Smolenak was originally drafted in the third round (73rd overall) by the Lightning in 2005. He appeared in 132 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League from 2004-06, scoring 74 goals and 70 assists with 167 penalty minutes.
The Admirals and Manchester Monarchs will square off again tonight at Scope.
Jonathan Bernier stymies the Admirals.
Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the loss. My guess is he'd really like that second goal back, because he got a piece of it and it turned out to be the difference.
MCH Bagnall, (1) (Moller, Parse), 1:20
MCH Moller, (1) (Bagnall, Parse), 13:43
NOR Bochenski, (1) (Lundin, Jones), 16:02
Brandon Bochenski was named the game's third star.
Strange the way the farm team and the big league club seemed to face similar fates, outshooting their opponent by a wide margin but still falling short. Norfolk outshot Manchester 42-23 but could not crack Jonathan Bernier in an interesting matchup of 2006 1st round picks with Helenius.
If there's one criticism to carry over from Hershey, it's that special teams once again reared its head. The Admirals managed to hold Manchester off the board with the man advantage, but went 0-for-7 themselves including a late power play that could have tied the game up. The good news is that, with the man advantage, Norfolk has the pieces. They just haven't had enough practice time to gel, but they should come together.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Lightning victimized by bad fortune despite playing an excellent game.
Mike Smith stopped 31 of 34 before going 0 for 2 in the shootout session for the shootout loss. He can't seem to stop much in the shootout, and the Lightning skaters can't seem to score in the shootout to save their lives.
NJ 4:46, Parise 1 (Zajac, Martin)(PP)
TB 9:49, Stamkos 1 (St. Louis, Hedman)
NJ 18:09, Pandolfo 1 (Clarkson, Niedermayer)
TB 1:52, Stamkos 2 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
TB 5:41, Fedoruk 1 (Hedman, Ohlund)
NJ 19:59, Zajac 2 (Rolston, Parise)
NJ- Parise, Langenbruner
The Lightning played fairly passive hockey for the first 22 minutes but really turned it on and played some dynamite hockey for most of the last two periods, eventually outshooting New Jersey 44-34. But, one or two little details like a bad clear by Paul Ranger and the Lightning ended up getting robbed of a second point. It's demoralizing. This is where the team's veteran leadership needs to stand up and hold it all together.
Steve Downie was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 10:16. On balance, I thought he was great, particularly on a shift late in the third period where Konopka almost got a key insurance goal.
Drew Miller had 3 shots and 3 blocked shots in 17:04. His best game in a Lightning uniform.
Zenon Konopka was +1 with 5 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot and was 71% on draws. Konopka's becoming a guilty pleasure for me.
James Wright had 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 12:37. I love his effort, positioning, and skating. I love that he sticks his nose in. But, if you breath on him, he goes down. He's just not strong enough to really compete at this level.
Victor Hedman = MANchild. He had 2 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots in 26:38. His offensive instincts were grossly underrated by the pundits. His ability to see the ice is just fantastic. He got the Lightning the go-ahead goal on a brilliant rush with speed and then an even more brilliant cross-ice pass to Fedoruk. Breathtaking. Some people were saying he'd top out at 40-45 points a season. Those figures need to be revised. He looks more like a 55-60 point a year guy once he gets a little more seasoning. Between Hedman and Stamkos, the Lightning are in ridiculously good shape for the future.
Ekaterinburg 4 @ Riga 2
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Ekaterinburg crawled out of the basement in their conference with the win. Coincidentally, it's Kazionov's old club, Khabarovsk, that is now in the cellar. Kazionov played 11:11 in the match.
Chelyabinsk 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 4
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 13 GP, 1-2-3, -3, 2 PIM
Finally! The Lightning's prized Swedish sniper scored his first goal in the Russian league by tallying Dynamo's opening goal of the match. He finished with 18:18 of ice time and was 33% on draws. Will the floodgates now open?
Cherepovets 3 @ Kazan 1
Dimitry Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 1-0-1, -6, 10 PIM
Kazionov played 13:32 in the match.
Mytischi 1 @ Togliatti 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Togliatti, Win, 29/30, 1.00 GAA, .967 sv%
Season totals: 4-4, 1 SO, 2.49 GAA, .914 sv%
Koshechkin seems to be re-establishing himself as perhaps the premiere goaltender in all of Russia, following up a shutout with a masterful effort against Mytischi. One can only wonder what might have been if Koshechkin had ever consented to cross the pond to come to Tampa Bay.
The Norfolk Admirals announced today that they have signed former NHL All-Star forward Mark Parrish to a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO). In addition, the Admirals announced that they have released forward Travis Whitehead from his Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO).
Parrish, 32, is a 5-foot-11, 200-pound veteran of ten National Hockey League seasons. He has appeared in 704 career NHL games between the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars, recording 216 goals and 169 assists in those games. Parrish, who appeared in the 2002 NHL All-Star Game, was originally a third round draft pick (79th overall) of the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
Parrish appeared in 44 NHL games last season with the Stars, recording eight goals and five assists. He also appeared in three games with the American Hockey Leagueâ€™s Bridgeport Sound Tigers and netted one goal and one assist in those games. Parrish has only appeared in six career AHL games between the Sound Tigers and the Beast of New Haven, scoring three goals and one assist.
Whitehead did not appear in any games with the Admirals. The professional rookie completed his collegiate career at Buffalo State University last season.
The Admirals open the home portion of their season this Friday and Saturday against the Manchester Monarchs.