The Lightning haven't lost a regular season game to the Philadelphia Flyers since the 2002-2003 season.
He wore the goat horns in the game against Washington, so I'll give Burke some love for the performance he turned in tonight stopping 30 of 32 shots for the victory. Also, the checking line came up big tonight accounting for three of the four goals scored. Big game by former Springfield Falcon Martin Cibak with a goal and an assist. Robbie DiMaio with two assists. Old man Taylor with 1G 1A. Outstanding work by a group of checkers that is just now finally starting to find its stride.
Amongst the rookies, Artyukhin had an assist and a +1 rating in 13:35 of ice time. I thought he was very strong on the forecheck tonight and helped create a lot of space for his linemates. Paul Ranger logged perhaps the most ice time he has all season with 21:22 of even rating playing time. Only his pairing partner Dan Boyle logged more ice time tonight. Very impressive.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
After receiving a one game suspension for his involvement in a brawl against HV-71, Fredrik Norrena returned today helping Linkopings defeat Sodertalje 4-1. Norrena stopped 24 of 25 shots faced to improve his record to 12-3-2 this season. Defenseman Andreas Holmqvist chipped in a power play assist in the win.
Karri Ramo returned to the lineup for HPK today after missing roughly a month of action due to a knee injury. The 19 year old netminder fell 3-2 to SaiPa in a shootout moving his record to 2-1-3 for the season. He stopped 28 of 30 shots faced in the contest. Ramo remains in first in the SM-liiga statistically with a 1.13 GAA and a .961 save percentage.
My God, he did it again.
Vasily Koshechkin had his 8th shutout in his last 12 starts today defeating Salavat Yulayev 2-0. Koshechkin improves his record to 9-3-1 on the season. For those around the Superleague who might've hoped the decline in talent in front of Koshechkin after Lada's November fire sale would slow the big netminder down, no such luck. In his three games since the Karjala break Koshechkin is a 2-1 with two shutouts and just 2 goals allowed.
The Springfield Falcons have announced the signing of veteran defenseman Anders Eriksson to a professional tryout contract. Eriksson is a replacement for veteran Brad Bombardir who was also on a PTO contract when he went down with a knee injury in the Falcons' opening game. Eriksson brings to the table 412 NHL games of experience. Last year during the lockout he played for HV 71 of the Swedish Elitserien where he had 1 goal, 10 points and 54 penalty minutes in 32 games. Eriksson spent the season prior with the Columbus Blue Jackets where he had a solid statistical season with 7 goals and 27 points in 66 games. In his last full season in the AHL in 2002-2003 with the St. John's Maple Leafs, Eriksson had 5 goals, 39 points and 133 penalty minutes in 72 games.
Mark Tobin and the Rimouski Oceanic won for just the fifth time in twenty-five games this season, beating the Victoriaville Tigres 5-2 in Rimouski. Tobin had an assist for Lâ€™Oceanic in the victory. Rimouski is six points behind expansion St. Johnâ€™s for second last place in the entire QMJHL.
In other CHL action on Sundayâ€¦
Red Deer, after losing 11 straight games, has won 2 of their past 3. The Rebels beat Calgary 2-1 Sunday thanks to two third period goals. Vladimir Mihalik was minus-one for the game, however.
Chris Lawrence was minus-three for Sault Ste. Marie as the Greyhounds dropped a 6-3 decision in Oshawa and Marek Bartanus was scratched for the third straight game for Owen Sound. In the WHL, Kelowna lost 4-1 at Kamloops. Keller was minus-one.
Fran Sypek of the Springfield Republican reports the reason for Jim Campbell's absence from the lineup this weekend is a minor knee injury. Also, Darren Reid was not in the lineup tonight for the Falcons as he was returning to Alberta to attend to personal matters with a death in his family. Condolences to Darren Reid and his family, and here's to hoping he'll be back soon.
Ahhhh the cries of the Carolina announcers whining that fatigue was a legitimate excuse for their team's play. Music to my ears.
I cannot overemphasize how important an early season win this was. The 4 point in division swing made this a very very key victory, even if it is November. A loss would've dropped the Lightning to 10 points behind in the division, so the Lightning did themselves a huge favor by taking the win tonight.
And, tonight was the first of what I suspect will be quite a few multi-point games for Paul Ranger's career. 2 assists and a +1 in just a shade under 15 minutes of ice time. It may not be this year, but at some point expect the offense to really start to flow given how strong his skating and instincts are. Evgeny Artyukhin with 9:18 and an even rating.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Johan Hagglund had Oskarshamn's lone goal today in a 3-1 defeat against Malmo. Since the Karjala break Hagglund has been moved up from second line left wing to first line center for his club. Through 14 games he has 3 goals, 4 points, a +7 rating and 28 penalty minutes. Oskarsham currently sits 8th in the 15 team Allsvenskan with a 5-4-5 record.