NHL Game Night 11/6: Lightning at Rangers

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.

TB-2
NYR-5

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.

First Period
16:09 NYR Callahan (5), (Zherdev, Rozsival)(PP)

Second Period
14:23 NYR Drury (3), (unassisted)(SH)
18:36 TB St. Louis (3), (Prospal, Malik)

Third Period
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.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Keller Recalled to Norfolk

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Justin Keller to the Norfolk Admirals from the ECHL's Augusta Lynx, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced today.

Keller, 22, is a 6'0", 181-pound forward from Nelson, British Columbia. He was originally assigned from Norfolk to Augusta on October 22 and put up four goals and an assist in four games with the Lynx. In two games for Norfolk to begin this season, the third-year pro registered one assist.

Keller was one of just three players with a Lightning NHL contract that was not invited to this year's training camp, and has struggled to distinguish himself with the new forward depth in the Tampa system that the new club ownership has acquired. In two prior professional seasons with Norfolk and Springfield, Keller has scored 28 goals and 23 assists in 130 AHL games played. Keller's three-year entry-level contract expires at the end of this season.

Tyrell Adds CHL Player of the Week to his 2008 Resume

(CHL Release) – The Canadian Hockey League on Wednesday announced that Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell of the Prince George Cougars is the Boston Pizza CHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 2. Tyrell scored three goals and four assists for seven points helping the Cougars to a 1-0-0-1 record on the week.

Tyrell was named the first star of the game on Wednesday night playing the Brandon Wheat Kings at home. He netted two goals on the power play and added an assist in the 6-5 shootout loss. On Saturday Tyrell would score one goal and three assists for third star of the game honours as the Cougars would beat the Kamloops Blazers 7-2 at home.

Tyrell, a 19-year-old from Airdrie, AB is in his fourth WHL season with the Cougars. In 16 games this season he has scored 14 goals and nine assists for 23 points. Tyrell was a second round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He will be representing Team WHL in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge November 26 in Swift Current and November 27 in Prince Albert.

N.A. Juniors Game Night: 11/5

Wednesday's game results and more on the Fadden trade.

Did Mitch want out?

ECHL Game Night 11/5: Lynx at Sea Wolves

Justin Keller returned to the lineup for the Lynx scoring 55 seconds into the game and leading a 4 goal first goal 1st period as Augusta cruised to a 6-3 road victory over the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Keller fired a game high 9 shots and added an assist. Kevin Quick tallied 2 assists and was +2 and Riku Helenius stopped 40 of 43 shots for the win. The hometown media deserves an eyebrow raise for naming two Sea Wolves to the game's three stars.

Augusta 6 @ Mississippi 3
G Riku Helenius: 3 GA; 60 MIN; 43 SH; 40 SV
D Kevin Quick: 0-2-2; +2; 0 PIM; 1 SOG
W Justin Keller: 1-1-2; +1; 2 PIM (hooking); 9 SOG

Augusta improves to 4-3-1 and returns home to James Brown Arena to take on the Charlotte Checkers November 10th.

NHL Game Night 11/5: Lightning at Devils

The Lightning continue their quest to lead the league in overtime and shootout losses.

TB-3
NJ-4 (SO)

Mike Smith stopped 35 of 38 shots in regulation and overtime before going 1-for-3 in the shootout for the loss.

First Period
16:28 TB Jokinen (3), (Recchi, Artyukhin)

Second Period
16:05 NJ Clarkson (3), (Zubrus, White)
18:44 NJ Elias (4), (Zubrus, Gionta)(PP)

Third Period
10:52 TB Jokinen (4), (Meszaros, Recchi)(PP)
15:10 NJ Pandolfo (2), (Madden, Elias)
16:40 TB St. Louis, (Lecavalier, Ranger)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Lecavalier
NJ- Langenbruner, Elias

Steven Stamkos was -1 in 13:52 with 3 shots, 1 blocked shot, and he was 50% on draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Lethbridge Deals Fadden to Tri-City

(WHL Release) Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager, Roy Stasiuk and Tri City Americans General Manager, Robert Tory jointly announced a major trade today which sees high scoring forward and Lightning prospect, Mitch Fadden and defensemen, Cam Stevens and Brock Sutherland moving south in exchange for defenseman, Eric Mestery and forward Drew Hoff.

The two GM's made a huge splash two years ago when high scoring forward (and former Traverse City Lightning member), Colton Yellow Horn was moved to the Americans in exchange for a first round draft pick. Yellow Horn went on to become one of the more prolific scorers in the WHL and the Hurricanes' secured scoring prospect, Mark Reners in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.

"Mitch Fadden is an incredibly gifted, talented and exciting player, however, our biggest need right now is a solid top four defenseman and Eric Mestery fits that bill." said Stasiuk, the Canes' GM added, "With Luca Sbisa remaining with the Philadelphia Flyers, we had to use some of our offensive depth in order to address a more pressing need. Cam and Brock will both have more opportunity to develop in supporting roles with the Americans and Drew Hoff is expected to inject some energy into our forward groupings."

Niskala Reassigned to Europe

Multiple local Tampa sources are reporting today that Lightning overaged defensive prospect Janne Niskala cleared waivers at noon and will be reassigned to a European team. Niskala had reportedly signed a contract at the beginning of the summer with a European KHL team, prompting the Nashville Predators to trade his rights to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Lightning subsequently acquired Niskala's rights from the Flyers just prior to the beginning of free agency for a 2009 6th round pick, and signed the blueliner to a one-year contract with a European out-clause in case he was unable to make the Tampa roster.

Niskala earned a roster spot in training camp with solid offensive contributions both at even strength and on the power play. But the acquisitions of Lucas Krajicek and Marek Malik to the Lightning's blueline along with the return of Paul Ranger from IR after the team returned from their season openers in Prague relegated Niskala to the pressbox as the team's seventh defenseman. Niskala was reportedly unhappy about being scratched and recently met with Tampa GM Brian Lawton to discuss his future with the club.

With the European leagues on break, Niskala was reassigned to the Swedish National Team, and will eventually join a yet unnamed club in the SM-Liiga. Niskala will be available prior to the trade deadline for recall to Tampa, but would need to clear recall waivers. Niskala scored 1 goal and added 2 assists in 6 games for the Lightning this season.

NCAA Game Night: 11/4

RPI Engineers 1 @ No.18 Harvard Crimson 3 (ECAC)
C/W Alexander Killorn, HAR: 0-1-1, E, 6 PIM (hooking x2, holding), 2 SOG
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 8 PIM

Killorn had an assist on Alex Biega’s (Sabres – 5th/06) eventual game winner early in the third period. Biega, an undersized junior offensive defenseman, played on the backline with Lightning prospect Kevin Quick at Salisbury Prep. He had 22 points in 34 games for Harvard last year, and 18 points as a freshman.

Harvard improved to 2-0 on the year.

N.A. Juniors Game Night 11/4: Jung Takes Loss in Seattle

WHL
Edmonton Oil Kings 2 @ Seattle Thunderbirds 8
G Torrie Jung, EDM: Loss, 26 saves, 2 PIM (Delay of Game)
Season totals: 6 GP, 3-2-0-1, 2.38 GAA, .926 sv%, 1 shutout

It was just one of those nights for the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Tampa Bay Prospect and goaltender Torrie Jung. The Oil Kings lost to the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight (Tuesday 11/4) 8-2 and Jung was pulled with 8:17 to go in the game when he was scored on with a penalty shot making the score 5-1.

Do not let the score fool you, Jung played an incredible first period as Seattle took 13 shots on him. He flat out stood on his head in an effort to keep the Oil Kings in the game. The score after the first period was only 1-0 Seattle when the score could have been at least 3 or 4-0 had it not been for the play of Jung. He seemed to lose focus in the second period, especially on the fourth goal, but he sure played well up until that goal. This 2007 seventh round pick deserved better tonight and I am sure his effort did not go unnoticed, especially in that first period of play.

Other Lightning N.A. Junior prospect scores:

BCHL

Cowichan Valley 3 @ Victoria Grizzlies 6
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-2-2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
Season totals: 22 GP, 6-13-19, 34 PIM

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