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.
Marek Bartanus again failed to hit the scoresheet, but Owen Sound defeated Ottawa 3-2. Bartanus was minus-1 in the game.
Kevin Beech got his second start in as many nights and turned in a superb performance, but the Otters ended up losing 2-1 in overtime to Guelph. The Storm outshot Erie and Beech 37-23. Beech's 35 saves earned him the game's first star award.
In the WHL, Dane Crowley and Everett beat Portland 5-2. Crowley scored his first goal as a Silvertip - his fifth of the season. He was also plus-3.
In Kamloops, the Prince George Cougars lost to Kamloops 6-0. Vladimir Mihalik was not in the Cougars' lineup. Mihalik is with the team, having flown to Kelowna from Slovakia to meet his teammates, but he has not been able to play because his equipment has not yet arrived.
Officially in free fall.
Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 28 shots before leaving the game for Jonathan Boutin with a little over 10 minutes left in the game. Boutin stopped 2 of 2 shots faced. Daniel Corso had 1 goal and 1 assist and was named second star of the game. Sylvain Dufresne had the other Falcons goal while David Spina and Andy Rogers had individual assists.
The Falcons have now lost four in a row and six of their last seven games. With Norm Milley and Justin Keller out of the lineup they've been reduced to a one line team and other than David Spina none of the supporting cast has really stepped up to fill the void. Blair Jones? Zero shots on goal. Marek Kvapil? -3. Something's got to give.
SPR Dufresne, (2) (Spina, Corso), 12:07
WOR Darche, (25) (Mink, Stafford), 9:02
WOR Leisenring, (1) (Bernier), 18:02
WOR Leisenring, (2) (Prudden), 0:45 (SH)
WOR Kaspar, (3) (Prudden, Leisenring), 8:32
SPR Corso, (8) (Rogers), 11:12
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
What a big win to keep the fledgling streak alive.
Marc Denis stopped 32 of 34 shots faced for the win. The second goal he allowed to Kotalik was obviously inexcusable, but other than that I thought he played an outstanding game particularly in that third period where the Lightning were under siege getting outshot 13-5. Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle and Brad Richards had the Lightning goals. Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger and Ruslan Fedotenko had individual helpers. Ranger, in particular, made a great play to set up Richards' third period game winner.
With his 41st game of the season tonight, Nick Tarnasky has graduated from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria. Tarnasky will be moved to the Bolt Prospects Alumni section on the prospects page once we release our Midterm Rankings for the organization within the next week. Congratulations to Tarnasky who played an even 10 minutes tonight. In the last couple of weeks he's finally started to become more than a spot shifter and started to really contribute to the team's success on a nightly basis. That's a 9th round pick folks. The Lightning have given Nick the opportunity and his hard work has carried him the rest of the way.
The Lightning move to 2 games over .500 and will establish a small measure of breathing room between them and Toronto which is getting pasted tonight by Vancouver.
Monday, noon. 5 in a row?
Tampa Bay 10:05, Vincent Lecavalier 27 (power play) (Martin St. Louis)
Buffalo 4:06, Jason Pominville 20 (Jaroslav Spacek, Daniel Briere)
Buffalo 4:50, Ales Kotalik 13 (Brian Campbell)
Tampa Bay 15:38, Dan Boyle 10 (unassisted)
Tampa Bay 6:56, Brad Richards 15 (Paul Ranger, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Marty ST. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier have been added to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. I thought Boyle should've gotten a chance to go as well but at least Tampa will be well represented.
Mike Lundin had an assist in Maine's 6-5 loss to Boston University. The helper kept Lundin's point streak alive, now at 6. He finished a -1.
John Wessbecker was scoreless but +3 in UMASS' 5-1 win over UMASS-Lowell.
Dusty Collins was scoreless and -2 in Northern Michigan's 5-2 loss to Michigan.
Art Femenella was scratched while Vermont tied Northeastern 2-2.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play in Dynamo's 1-1 tie with Khimik.
Anton But was scoreless in SKA's 5-3 loss to Novosibirsk.
Vasily Koshechkin posted his 3rd shutout of the season today helping Togliatti topple Ufa 3-0. Last season Koshechkin posted 10 shutouts in an amazing breakout year. Koshechkin's record improved to 13-10-3 on the season and he now possesses a 2.19 GAA.
Evgeny Artyukhin did not play in Yaroslavl's 3-1 loss to CSKA.
Alexei Glukhov had an assist in Cherepovets' 4-1 win over Nizhnekamsk. Glukhov has 1 goal and 11 points in 35 games for Severstal with 68 penalty minutes and a -3 rating.