Niitty thieves two points from PantherNation.
Antero Niittymaki had a world beating 31 saves on 33 shots, including several breakaways and other outstanding post to post saves. He even had an assist. The book on Nitty is that he's a streaky goaltender, and when he's hot like this you ride him 'til the wheels fall off. I doubt we see Smitty next time out.
FLA 8:10, Dvorak 1 (Kreps)(SH)
TB 18:32, Stamkos 3 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
FLA 6:33, Horton 1 (Weiss, Kulikov)(PP)
TB 7:17, St. Louis 3 (Lecavalier, Hedman)(PP)
TB 13:29, Malone 5 (Stamkos, Niittymaki)
The Lightning, frankly, played their worst hockey since the Atlanta game. The difference was that they got great goaltending and they were a little bit tighter in the neutral zone than they were against the Thrashers. Good teams find a way to win when they don't play their best hockey. That said, the Lightning ought not make a steady diet of giving up breakaways at key junctures of games.
Steve Downie had 3 shots and 3 hits in 12:37 and keeps drawing penalties from the opposition right and left.
Drew Miller had 1 shot and 2 hits in 11:38.
Zenon Konopka had 1 shot and 2 hits in 9:34 as the fourth line's ice time crept up by about four minutes in this game. They are fun to watch.
James Wright had 1 shot in 11:26.
Victor Hedman rebounded from an earlier shorthanded giveaway that ended up in the back of his net to have an assist, 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 24:30. The hilarious thing is that 24:30 seems like a light night for Hedman in the ice time department.
Omsk 2 @ Novokuznetsk 1
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 18/19, 1.00 GAA, .947 sv%
Season totals: 13 GP, 8-5, 0 SO, 2.00 GAA, .903 sv%
Karri Ramo, after a bit of a slow start, has gotten on a roll along with his Omsk teammates. Jaromir Jagr and Eric Perrin had Omsk's goals while former Lightning prospect Albert Vishnyakov had the lone marker for Novokuznetsk.
Ekaterinburg 1 @ Dynamo Minsk 3
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 13 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
Congratulations to Denis Kazionov, who scored his first KHL goal. Kazionov's marker was the lone tally for Ekaterinburg in the match. The young forward played 11:12 in the game.
Magnitogorsk 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 5
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 1-2-3, -4, 2 PIM
Harju was 54% on draws in 16:27 of ice time, but he still is struggling to find the scoresheet in his first season in Russia. Harju's lifelong teammate, Linus Omark, had an empty net goal in the match, which was his 5th goal and 8th point of the season.
Cherepovets 3 @ Togliatti 2 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Togliatti, No statistics available
Season totals: 10 GP, 4-6, 1 SO, 2.47 GAA, .906 sv%
No game stats are available for Koshechkin, who stopped just 2 of 4 shooters in the shootout session to take the loss.
St. Petersburg 4 @ Kazan 3 (SO)
Dimitry Kazionov, Kazan, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -4, 10 PIM
Kazionov assisted on a goal by former Thrashers prospect defenseman Ilya Nikulin in the match. Former Lightning prospect Anton But helped key a St. Petersburg comeback on the first of a pair of late third period SKA goals assisted by former NHLer Sergei Zubov and former Lightning winger Nils Ekman.
Halifax Mooseheads 1 @ Moncton Wildcats 8
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-5-6, +2, 12 PIM
Barberio scored his first goal of the year to open the scoring, and from there the onslaught started for Moncton. Barberio, who is starting to heat up, led the team in shots on goal with seven.
Sarnia Sting 6 @ Windsor Spitfires 5
C Richard Panik, WSR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 8 GP, 3-2-5, +6, 2 PIM
Sarnia notched a big win on Windsor ice when they scored with just under two minutes left to finally take the lead for good in this back-and-forth game.
Ottawa 67â€™s 4 @ Kingston Frontenacs 5
LW Matais Sointu, OTT: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM (tripping)
Season totals: 10 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 4 PIM
Doug Gilmour's Frontenacs swept the home-and-home series this weekend with Ottawa. Sointu had given Ottawa a brief 1-0 lead early in the first. Gilmour, aka "Killer," began coaching Kingston mid-way through last season.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 0 @ Moncton Wildcats 2
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-4-4, E, 10 PIM
Barberio assisted on the insurance goal scored on the power play late in the third period.
Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 6
RW Kyle DeCoste, SSM: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM (holding)
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 10 PIM
After winning seven to start the year, the Soo has now lost two straight. DeCoste scored his first goal of the season. He had 15 in 65 games last year.
Erie Otters 4 @ Barrie Colts 7
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM (slashing)
Season totals: 9 GP, 6-7-13, +5, 4 PIM
Hutchings has a five game point streak in which heâ€™s scored eight points. He has three goals in his last two games. Erie, who outshot Barrie 46-40, misses goalie Jaroslav Janus, who remains with the Norfolk Admirals on a tryout contract.
Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 (OT)
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, E, 15 PIM (major for checking-from-behind, game misconduct)
Season totals: 8 GP, 6-2-8, -6, 16 PIM
Ashton was kicked out at 3:58 of the first period after a checking-from-behind major penalty. His four game goal streak was snapped.
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.