That one hurts.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 27 shots faced in the loss. Lightning goals came from Vincent Lecavalier and Dan Boyle with individual assists belonging to Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards.
The team deserved better. They absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of the game but Andrew Raycroft stood on his head and although they were running out of steam on the tail end of the back to back in the third period, they looked to have at least a point in hand before the lucky play that saw a scuffed shot by Stajan become an easy game winning goal.
Tampa Bay 14:52, Vincent Lecavalier 29 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich)
Toronto 2:18, Nik Antropov 6 (Alexei Ponikarovsky, Chad Kilger)
Tampa Bay 17:33, Dan Boyle 11 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Toronto 19:53, Johnny Pohl 7 (Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 15:39, Alexander Steen 10 (power play) (Matthew Stajan, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 19:05, Alexei Ponikarovsky 12 (empty net) (Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Tver's 3-2 win over Nizhnekamsk.
Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Yaroslavl's 4-2 loss to Ufa.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in Cherepovets' 1-1 tie with CSKA.
Vasily Koshechkin threw his 2nd consecutive shutout, and 4th of the season, in helping Togliatti defeat 4th place Novosibirsk 2-0. Koshechkin is now 14-10-3 on the season.
Anton But had a goal in SKA's 5-3 loss to Khimik.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play as Dynamo was shutout by Magnitogorsk 1-0.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 1-1 tie with Chelyabinsk.
Andreas Holmqvist assisted on his club's only goal as Linkopings fell to Skelleftea 3-1. Holmqvist's pairing was moved up to top pairing minutes in the game, the first time that has occured in over a month, and Holmqvist now has 5 goals and 18 points in 37 games.
Karri Ramo started the game and was in net until the 9:50 mark of the second period when he gave way to Jonathan Boutin for the final 10:10 of the period before returning for the third period. Boutin ended up taking the loss allowing a pair of power play goals on 3 shots. Ramo stopped 16 of 18 shots faced in his portion of the game. No word on if Ramo suffered any minor injury as of yet. Randy Rowe and David Spina had the Falcons' goals with assists going to Dan Cavanaugh, Mitch Fritz, Eric Healey and Daniel Corso. The Falcons did manage to outshoot Manchester 33-25 in the game buy allowed the Monarchs to go 3-for-5 on the power play giving up 3 PP goals in the span of 5 minutes in the second period to lose the game.
The Falcons drop to 1 game under .500 and are now in last place in the Atlantic Division. That's the bad news. The good news is they're only 2 points out of 4th place which represents the final playoff spot, so if Norm Milley and/or Justin Keller can get back in the lineup posthaste and the Falcons can find a way out of this tailspin, they're not sunk yet.
MCH Zeiler, (11) (Moulson), 15:25
SPR Rowe, (2) (Cavanaugh, Fritz), 17:36
SPR Spina, (5) (Healey, Corso), 7:37 (PP)
MCH Stephenson, (3) (Ryan, Hoffman), 9:50 (PP)
MCH O'Sullivan, (15) (Schmidt, Kemp), 11:28 (PP)
MCH Moulson, (9) (Werner, Clarke), 15:11 (PP)
MCH Gauthier, (8) , 18:48 (EN)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
It was a difficult week in the Lightning prospect system, but at least one player managed to shine through...
15 shots on goal?
Morgan Cey stopped 24 of 26 shots faced in the loss. Andrew Martens scored the lone Chiefs goal on the power play with assists from Zbynek Hrdel and Eric Przepiorka. The Chiefs were outshot 26-15 in the game as the Lightning minor league system continues to suffer from an organization-wide offensive power outage.
WHE Guenther, (18) , 11:25 (PP)
JHN Martens, (2) (Hrdel, Przepiorka), 17:10 (PP)
WHE Colwill, (5) (Sonnenberg, Foster), 14:48
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Happy Birthday Junior.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 33 of 36 shots faced for the win. Vaclav Prospal led the way for the Lightning with 1 goal and 2 assists while Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 1 assist. Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Perrin and Nolan Pratt each added individual helpers.
With the win the Lightning pull to 3 games over .500 and extend their winning streak to 5 games. They have temporarily solidified their hold on a playoff spot and, moreover, have moved within single digits at 8 points behind Atlanta for the division lead. Two words: road warriors.
NY Islanders 3:38, Alexei Yashin 13 (power play) (Chris Simon, Chris Campoli)
Tampa Bay 6:55, Vaclav Prospal 7 (power play) (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 9:21, Brad Richards 16 (power play) (Eric Perrin, Vaclav Prospal)
Tampa Bay 15:37, Martin St. Louis 29 (Vincent Lecavalier, Nolan Pratt)
NY Islanders 1:10, Viktor Kozlov 16 (power play) (Mike Sillinger, Jason Blake)
Tampa Bay 7:13, Vincent Lecavalier 28 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)
NY Islanders 10:40, Trent Hunter 9 (Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Chris Lawrence and Mississauga continued their road trip and were blown out for the second game in a row, this time 8-3 by Kevin Beech's former team, Sudbury. The Ice Dogs have given up 15 goals the last two games. They beat Sudbury in Mississauga 4-2 earlier this week. Lawrence was scoreless and minus-1 in the game today.
Mike Lundin was scoreless and even in #2 Maine's 3-0 loss to #12 Boston University. The Terriers swept the weekend series against Maine, snapping the Black Bears eight game unbeaten streak Friday.
Art Femenella was back in the lineup and recorded an assist in Vermont's 3-0 win over Northeastern. It was Femenella's 2nd assist and 3rd point of the season. He finished the night a +1 and 2 PIM.
Dusty Collins was scoreless and even in Northern Michigan's 2-1 win over #13 Michigan.
I added a photo album in the BP Media Gallery containing several historical photos of Dusty Rhodes using by the Lightning community over the years to signal a Lightning or Falcon victory. I had noticed that Dusty's face has not been showing up lately, so I figured he didn't have a reference home on the web anymore.
We'll BP is here to serve... Welcome back, Dusty. Put the boys on your back and take 'em to the post-season.