Can you believe there was a time when people were trying to run Jussi Jokinen out of town?
Mike Smith was excellent, allowing just 1 goal on 36 shots for the win. I thought Barry Melrose might give Smith a couple of nights off after the frustration he showed late in the Rangers game, but he threw Smith right back in and the young netminder responded.
17:20 PHI Briere (4), (Gagne, Richards)(PP)
07:58 TB Jokinen (5), (Recchi, Roberts)
13:35 TB Prospal (3), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)
The best free agent signing of the offseason by the Lightning? Mark Recchi at $1.25M? Don't look now, but the old man has 8 points in 13 games so far this season.
Steven Stamkos had 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 44% on draws in 9:39.
Karri Ramo allowed just 1 goal on 21 shots for the win.
RFD Pelletier, (5) (Kontiola, Skille), 2:33
NOR Segal, (7) (Smolenak, Szczechura), 3:35
NOR Konopka, (3) (Ward, Heward), 3:47
NOR Kearns, (2) , 19:13 (EN)
Steve Downie was +1 with 9 penalty minutes in his Norfolk debut, including a fighting major with an unsportsmanlike conduct chaser.
This team started clicking this weekend thanks in part to Zenon Konopka snapping an eight game goalless drought to chip in goals in each of the games against Rockford. Norfolk is now 5 points back of fourth place Philadelphia in the division, and they will start a road trip through the Atlantic Division starting Tuesday against Lowell before back-to-back games against Manchester on Friday and Saturday. Both teams are under-.500 and give an opportunity for the 3-6-2 Admirals to start to climb the ladder.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Kevin Quick assisted on the game-winning power-play goal as the Augusta Lynx defeated the Charlotte Checkers in OT on Friday night. It was just Augusta's 2nd home game of the season as the Lynx surrendered a 3-1 lead in the 3rd period, but took advantage of an Charlotte hooking penalty in the extra session and reclaimed the victory. Riku Helenius was given the night off as recent signee Mike Brodeur made 30 saves for Augusta's 5th win of the season.
Charlotte 3 @ Augusta 4 OT
G Riku Helenius: did not play
D Kevin Quick: 0-1-1; +1; 0 PIM; 3 SOG
Augusta improves to 5-3-1 and continues their home stand against the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday afternoon.
Ward had been placed on waivers and cleared just over a week ago, and had been awaiting word on his playing future with the organization. Ward has been a scratch for all but one game this season, but indicated to the Tribune's Eric Erlendsson that he was relieved to have an opportunity to play instead of watching, even if it was at the AHL level. Ward's future with the Lightning had been in doubt since early in the summer when the new ownership group begin acquiring an abundance of forward depth. Ward's arrival in Norfolk will put the team 2 players over the veteran roster limit, which means Admirals head coach Darren Rumble will have decisions to make on who will play and who will sit.
DeCoste (pictured) gets off the schnide ... Fadden makes his Tri-City debut ... First Star for Wright vs. Tyrell
That, folks, is what this Admirals team is supposed to look like this season.
Karri Ramo stopped 32 of 34 shots for the win.
RFD Brent, (3) (Pelletier, Kontiola), 6:34 (PP)
NOR Kearns, (1) (Smaby, Boyle), 1:49
NOR Smolenak, (5) (Simek, Hutchinson), 13:58 (PP)
RFD Davis, (2) (Brent, Hambly), 16:07 (PP)
NOR Boyle, (1) (Kearns, Szczechura), 16:22
NOR Hutchinson, (1) (Smith, Heward), 12:44 (PP)
NOR Konopka, (2) (Bochenski), 15:41
Bracken Kearns, Darren Boyle, and Karri Ramo were the game's three stars.
Finally, the Admirals power play (led by Hutchinson) does something, going 2/6. Also, they got some veteran scoring from Konopka and Bochenski and Ramo got a lead and held it. Oh yeah, and the team outshot Rockford 45-34. That's what this is supposed to look like.
The Admirals have dug a nice little hole for themselves, but this felt like a turning point, and they're going to be just six points out of fourth in the division at the end of the night.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Steve Eminger, right wing Steve Downie and a fourth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Matt Carle and San Joseâ€™s third-round pick in 2009 (previously acquired) today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced.
Downie, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Newmarket, Ontario, has played in six games with the Flyers this year, recording 11 penalty minutes. He has played in 38 career NHL games, all with Philadelphia, recording six goals and 12 points. He also has one career shorthanded goal and one game-winning goal. The 21-year-old played in 190 career junior games with Windsor, Peterborough and Kitchener. He amassed 82 career goals and 234 points. He also appeared in 43 OHL playoff games, recording 18 goals and 53 points. Downie was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Chicoutimi Sagueneens 3 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 4 (SO)
D Michael Ward, LEW: 1-0-1, +3, 4 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 18 GP, 3-6-9, +2, 26 PIM
Plymouth Whalers 4 @ Brampton Battalion 8
W Kyle DeCoste, BRA: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: DeCoste: 15 GP, 3-3-6, -7, 17 PIM
No games to report, but Iâ€™m looking forward to the Tri-City (Fadden) vs. Spokane (Tokarski) match-up on Saturday night. The game should be available to watch on WHL WebTV for $6.95. (livestream.whl.ca)
When this Lightning team learns to play 60 minutes with the same urgency and work rate they showed after falling behind in the third, they'll be pretty scary to deal with.
Mike Smith allowed 5 goals on 35 shots in the game. He also came a bit unhinged at the end of the game culminating in a physical confrontation with Aaron Voros. We'll have to see if he can shrug off that late game frustration and start with a clean slate next time out.
16:09 NYR Callahan (5), (Zherdev, Rozsival)(PP)
14:23 NYR Drury (3), (unassisted)(SH)
18:36 TB St. Louis (3), (Prospal, Malik)
00:35 NYR Drury (4), (Gomez, Redden)(PP)
07:58 TBL Malone (3), (Recchi, St. Louis)(PP)
08:27 NYR Staal (1), (Zherdev, Voros)
19:32 NYR Drury (5), (Kalinin, Rozsival)(PP)
Put aside the score of this game, and just compare how the team looked in Prague against this opponent and how they looked tonight. There's significant improvement pretty much across the board, but it's still a work in progress. To me, the way to get this thing to a finished product is to just start playing 60 minutes with urgency, because when this team moves its feet it has a lot of speed and a lot of size and the Rangers really looked overmatched at times in the third period when the Lightning were pressing to try and make a comeback.
Steven Stamkos was -1 in 14:29 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and he was 40% on draws. I don't know if Coach Melrose would try this, but in order to get Stamkos out in space through the neutral zone to use his speed, I wouldn't be opposed to spot shifting Lecavalier or St. Louis with the kid. You get the feeling watching Stammer that he's close, but he needs to find a running partner to work with who has the speed to play with him. I'd also try to make sure I got Ranger or one of the other d-men who are good at making that long stretch pass out when Stammer is out.