Bolt Prospects would like to wish a safe and happy Thanksgiving to its readers.
I'd like to also personally extend holiday thanks to Chad, Tim, Joe, Erik and the the rest of the Bolt Prospects staff.
Now THAT is some exciting NHL action.
The Lightning reacted to falling behind 3-0 in a very positive way and charged back to tie the game 3-3 partly on the strength of two Dan Boyle goals and had numerous opportunities to win it in regulation and overtime. But, perhaps, this way is better as the Lightning finally got the shootout monkey off their backs thanks to John Grahame and shootout markers by Brad Richards and Vaclav Prospal.
Amongst the rookies, I thought Paul Ranger quietly had an outstanding game at his end of the rink. He continues to surprise me with how poised he is defensively. The young man is very active with the stick and is very cool, calm and adept at spinning away from forecheckers and making the smart play to move the puck out of danger. 19:20 of even ice time tonight. Evgeny Artyukhin with 11:07 of ice time, 3 hits and 2 minor penalties.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Whew. Sometimes it feels like the Falcons are as inept at protecting leads as Ranger Smith was at protecting picnic baskets.
The good news is that the Falcons charged out to a 4-0 lead in this game. The bad news is they almost coughed it up. Gerald Coleman made 34 saves on 37 shots to hold onto the win by a fingernail. Young Dave Spina got the game's first star with his first AHL goal and assist in this contest. O'Brien, Packard and Kvapil added goals as well and veteran Anders Eriksson had an assist on the power play in his first game for the Falcons.
I can't believe Colin Forbes (Lowell) is still playing hockey. Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
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.