That's the pride of a champion right there.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 28 shots in regulation and overtime but still managed to get the win as the Lightning overcame a pair of 2 goal deficits in the second period and a 1 goal deficit in the 3rd period to take the division lead free and clear. Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 2 assists with Marty potting the deciding game winning goal. Dan Boyle had 2 assists while the other Lightning goals came from Eric Perrin, Vincent Lecavalier and the Doomsday Device, Andre Roy. For Lecavalier, it was his league leading 40th goal of the campaign; the first 40 goal season of his career. Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger had individual assists.
The Lightning took the Thrashers' best punch in this game and still came out on top in an amazing display of character and resiliency. Coming out in the first period this team had zero jump and, indeed, looked like they were skating in quicksand as the Thrashers jumped all over them to eventually stake a 2-0 lead on a Marc Denis Charminy soft short side goal. The Lightning then struck with Brad Richards' goal but were quickly answered by a shot that went in off of Eric Boulton's shoulder and arm. Lesser teams would've folded up with the bounces going against them like that. The Lightning just rose to the challenge. I feel like I just watched one of those great 15+ round heavyweight fights from the 60's and 70's, and in the end the Lightning played the role of Ali and the Thrashers played the part of sucker on the canvas.
The win moves the Lightning clear of the Thrashers into sole posession of the Southeast Division lead at 73 points, maintaining a 4 point lead on third place Carolina. More importantly, I think, the Lightning sent a deep psychological message to the Thrashers tonight. No matter what the Thrashers throw at the Lightning, when the chips are down, the Lightning win. That's one of those intangibles that make sports such great drama. The pride of a champion doesn't show up on paper, but it damn sure showed up on the scoreboard tonight.
Atlanta 2:38, Steve McCarthy 4 (power play) (Scott Mellanby, Marian Hossa)
Atlanta 7:50, Eric Belanger 10 (Slava Kozlov, Andy Sutton)
Tampa Bay 11:24, Brad Richards 21 (Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal)
Atlanta 13:08, Eric Boulton 3 (Bobby Holik, Steve McCarthy)
Tampa Bay 13:38, Eric Perrin 11 (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 15:43, Vincent Lecavalier 40 (power play) (Brad Richards, Dan Boyle)
Atlanta 0:30, Marian Hossa 35 (Eric Belanger)
Tampa Bay 2:28, Andre Roy 1 (Paul Ranger, Dan Boyle)
Tampa Bay 3:44, Martin St. Louis 37 (Brad Richards)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Barrie 1 @ Owen Sound 5
Marek Bartanus did not register a point and had an even rating in the Attack's 5-1 home win over the Colts Wednesday night.
Prince George 3 @ Spokane 5
Spokane got two late goals to beat Vladimir Mihalik and Prince George 5-3 in Washington. Mihalik had no points and an even rating for the game.
Good effort. They just can't score goals to save their lives.
Karri Ramo stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the loss. David Spina had the only Falcons goal (shorthanded) off assists from Dan Cavanaugh and Matt Smaby. At this point of the season, many of these non-contract players are playing for jobs and Spina, in his last 24 games, has 6 goals and 18 points. In my opinion, he's a guy that the organization needs to keep around on an AHL contract next season. Smaby, quietly, has posted 4 assists over the last 5 games. Ramo was named second star of the game.
Springfield outshot the Admirals 35 to 33 in the game. That's no small feat considering that the Admirals hold the best record in the Eastern Conference. It seems clear that the Falcons have picked up their play of late. What they really need now is one of the youngsters like Justin Keller or Marek Kvapil to start putting the puck in the net. Each were held to just 1 shot on goal tonight.
NOR Bolland, (11) (Parenteau, Hendry), 4:34
SPR Spina, (8) (Cavanaugh, Smaby), 19:44 (SH)
NOR Richmond, (10) (Versteeg, Corazzini), 2:59 (PP)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Salisbury School 3 - Hotchkiss School 0
Kevin Quick was scoreless and plus-2 as Salisbury beat Hotchkiss for the first time in three tries this season. The win gives the Knights at least a share of the Founders League regular season title. The winning streak now sits at 12 with the regular season concluding Saturday at home against Canterbury School out of New Milford, Conn.
Salisbury School 7 - Albany Academy 1
Kevin Quick picked up an assist as Salisbury (17-3-2) won their 11th straight. For the season Quick has one goal and nine assists, is a plus-20 with 4 PIM.
Salisbury takes on Hotchkiss School (14-4-3) tonight, a game with huge Founders League and New England Playoff ramifications. The two teams are involved in a three-way tie atop the standings with Avon Old Farms and the Knights have lost both matchups against the Bearcats this season, 1-0 on Dec. 6 and a double overtime loss in the Flood-Mar Tournament final 4-3.
Prince George 3 @ Everett 4 (Overtime)
Dane Crowley had two assists, including the primary assist on Everett's overtime winner, to help the Silvertips to a 4-3 win over visiting Vladimir Mihalik and Prince George Tuesday. Mihalik had a power play assist for the Cougars, who were outshot 40-13. Mihalik was minus-1 with a boarding minor, and Crowley had an even rating.
Got away with murder.
Marc Denis was just short of amazing in this game stopping 29 of 32 shots faced in regulation and overtime before stopping 2 of 3 penalty shots for the shootout victory. We'll put the save he made on Jokinen up once it gets youtubed. Save of the year. Ryan Craig and Martin St. Louis had the Lightning's goals. Andreas Karlsson, Doug Janik, Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier had helpers. Richards and St. Louis scored in the shootout.
And the Lightning deserved squat tonight. They only showed up for about 15 of the 65 minutes of hockey played tonight and they're lucky, lucky, lucky that A.) Marc Denis looked like Patrick Roy redux tonight and B.) the Panthers are a Mickey Mouse Junior B team masquerading as an NHL franchise. Kudos to the Lightning for wounding Panthers color man Denis Potvin's inner child by stealing the 2 points tonight after Potvin practically gloated for 2 1/2 periods about the Panthers' play. All in favor of Potvin and Carolina color man Tripp Tracey getting rear ended while carpooling in a pre-recall 1978 Pinto, say aye.
Speaking of which, in Carolina, Atlanta defeated the defending champs 3-1 to keep pace with the Lightning at 71 points with Tampa holding a game in hand.
Tampa Bay 2:15, Ryan Craig 13 (Andreas Karlsson, Doug Janik)
Florida 5:30, Nathan Horton 20 (unassisted)
Florida 10:53, Nathan Horton 21 (Martin Gelinas, Bryan Allen)
Tampa Bay 7:43, Martin St. Louis 36 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay: Richards, St. Louis
Game sheet from NHL.com.
It's on the Falcons front page dated today 2/20
Springfield, MA â€“ The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today that left wing Adam Henrich has been recalled from their ECHL affiliate, the Johnstown Chiefs. The Falcons also announced that forward Radek Smolenak and goaltender Gerald Coleman have been reassigned to the Chiefs.
Henrich is back with the Falcons and has played in 11 games with Springfield this season collecting two goals and two assists for four points. In 32 games with the Chiefs this season, Henrich is averaging a point a game collecting 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points, including 12 points in his last six games with Johnstown.
I want to apologize for the lack of Superleague score updates over the past week or so. For whatever reason, the official stats site of the Superleague, global-sport.ru, has gone dark over that period of time and still hasn't come back up. In the meantime, we will be looking for other sources of information out of Russia. But for now, so you know, we have nothing coming out of Russia.