Newly acquired defenseman Shane O'Brien was featured in his hometown paper, the Northumberland News (Port Hope, Ontario), today. O'Brien talks about the phone calls he received from Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermeyer upon being traded, as well as the fact the Lightning pursued him for a month before Jay Feaster was willing to give up a first rounder. He also reflects on his first NHL goal, off a pass from Teemu Selanne vs. Dominik Hasek of Detroit.
One of the quiet success stories from this season continues...
Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless in Linkopings' 1-1 tie with Mora today. After spending much of the year on his club's 2nd pairing, Holmqvist has recently spent the majority of his time on his club's first pairing with Jonas Junland.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 5-4 win over Khimik.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Tver's 4-3 overtime win against Podolsk.
Mississauga 1 @ Kingston 4
The IceDogs continue to struggle, losing their third straight game to a team they should beat, this time dropping a 4-1 decision in Kingston. Chris Lawrence scored his 41st goal of the year for Mississauga. He was also minus-1.
Kitchener 5 @ Erie 4
For the second time in a week, Kevin Beech and Erie nearly beat the high-powered Rangers, but Kitchener came back from a 4-3 deficit to beat the Otters 5-4. Beech had stopped 50 of 52 shots in a 2-1 loss in Kitchener just a few days ago. This time, Beech stopped 40 of 45 shots.
Salisbury School 14 - Canterbury School 2
In their final game of the regular season the Knights won their 13th straight and clinched the #1 seed in the west for the New England playoffs. On a sour note, his team put up 14 goals but Lightning prospect Kevin Quick failed to record a point in the blowout.
Salisbury plays host to #4 seed South Kent School from South Kent, Conn. on Wednesday.
#18 Massachuetts 5 - Northeastern 3
John Wessbecker was scoreless and a minus-1 in the win. UMASS heads home to finish out the regular season against #12 Maine next weekend. The series will determine seeding the HEast tournament as both teams are tied for forth in the division with 29 points.
Northern Michigan 4 - #9 Miami 1
Dusty Collins and the Wildcats finished off their up and down season with an impressive win over a ranked team. Collins scored his third goal of the season in the win which turned out to be the game winner. He finished the regular season with three goals and two assists in 36 games played. He also recorded 30 PIM and was a minus-9. Northern Michigan takes on Ohio State in the first round of the CCHA tournament next weekend.
#12 Maine 5 - Merrimack 1
Maine completed the weekend sweep over Merrimack with Saturday's win. Mike Lundin was scoreless and even in both games. Maine concludes their regualr season next weekend with two games at Massachuetts.
You know things are bad when Dennis Packard drops a multi-point game on you.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 20 of 24 in the loss. Philippe Sauve stopped 24 of 24 for the shutout for Providence. Former Lightning prospect Dennis Packard was named first star of the game.
PRO Thompson, (6) (Stuart, Packard), 9:02
PRO DiCasmirro, (7) (Rosa, Zinger), 18:52 (SH)
PRO Packard, (4) (Talbot, Glenn), 16:06
PRO Pelletier, (13) (Trevelyan), 9:10
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
The Lightning just answered the bell with remarkable punctuality.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in the game for the victory. Consider that for a moment. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and all the impressive firepower the Pittsburgh Penguins can array the Tampa Bay Lightning shut them down and held them to a paltry 18 shots on goal. And Shane O'Brien hasn't yet added his particular talents to this defensive corps.
Brad Richards ran wild on Pittsburgh with 1 goal and 3 assists. Martin St. Louis added 1 goal and 1 assist while Richards' linemates, Eric Perrin and Ruslan Fedotenko, each had 2 assists. Vincent Lecavalier scored his league leading 41st goal, a shorthanded marker, Filip Kuba his 10th and Paul Ranger had his 4th talley of the season. Dan Boyle had an individual assist.
And so, the Lightning fully capitalized on their game in hand on Atlanta and Carolina and have opened up a 3 point lead on the Smirkin' Chikins and a 4 points lead on the Hurricanes with just 18 games remaining in the regular season. The trade deadline is Tuesday. With the addition of one or two more forwards, this is a Stanley Cup contender. The ball is in your court, Jay Feaster.
Tampa Bay 2:17, Martin St. Louis 38 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 3:56, Paul Ranger 4 (Eric Perrin, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 4:58, Filip Kuba 10 (Brad Richards, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Pittsburgh 8:26, Sergei Gonchar 10 (power play) (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby)
Tampa Bay 1:31, Brad Richards 22 (Eric Perrin, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Tampa Bay 14:16, Vincent Lecavalier 41 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)
Game sheet from NHL.com.