You can't afford to spot a team like the Ducks any soft goals, and the one Denis allowed tonight cost the Lightning at least a point.
Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots and Chris Kunitz's shot from behind the net riccocheting off Denis' left skate and in as the netminder left his post to early on a rush in the third period proved to be the Lightning's death knell. Martin St. Louis had 2 assists while goals were scored by Eric Perrin, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards. Vincent Lecavalier and Paul Ranger added individual assists, but it was a sputtering power play that went 0-for-5 including a squandered long 5-on-3 power play in the third period with the Lightning chasing the tying goal that was the real story offensively. Atlanta picks up a point in the standings and now has an 11 point lead on the Lightning in the division.
Anaheim 3:07, Dustin Penner 11 (Todd Marchant, Shawn Thornton)
Tampa Bay 10:20, Eric Perrin 8 (Paul Ranger, Martin St. Louis)
Anaheim 10:58, Dustin Penner 12 (power play) (Shawn Thornton, Francois Beauchemin)
Anaheim 12:48, Teemu Selanne 17 (Andy McDonald, Chris Kunitz)
Tampa Bay 17:25, Ruslan Fedotenko 8 (Vincent Lecavalier)
Anaheim 2:26, Chris Kunitz 16 (Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer)
Tampa Bay 10:10, Brad Richards 11 (Martin St. Louis)
The moral victory is the Lightning proved they can go toe to toe with the second best team in the NHL and certainly hold their own. But moral victories don't count in the standings and the brutal December schedule rolls on as this Lightning team is still trying to hit its stride.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
First, a stat correction last night. The AHL website originally had both Karri Ramo and Jonathan Boutin allowing 2 goals last night against Albany. The corrected sheet has Ramo allowing 3 goals on 14 shots while Boutin allowed 1 goal on 16 shots faced, which is relevant because of what Boutin did tonight.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 32 of 32 shots faced tonight and was the proverbial stopper getting the win to break the team's 2 game losing streak and the shutout which was his first of the season and second of his AHL career. Boutin's night included a crucial third period where the Falcons were outshot 12-4 but Boutin stood up to the test. Justin Keller scored Springfield's first goal on a 5-on-3 power play and Norm Milley added an insurance marker on a 5-on-4 power play before Marek Kvapil sealed the win with an empty net goal. Eric Healey had 2 assists while individual assists went to Daniel Corso and Eric Healey.
SPR Keller, (8) (Corso, Healey), 11:56 (PP)
SPR Milley, (11) (Delmore), 0:30 (PP)
SPR Kvapil, (4) (Healey), 19:45 (EN)
Don't look now, but Jonathan Boutin is 3-0-0 in December with 1 shutout, a 1.30 GAA and a .958 save percentage in 5 games this month. Coach Stirling has become confident in Boutin's ability and now has two talented, athletic young goaltenders in his arsenal, and until Springfield learns to put in a full 60 minute effort, they'll rely heavily on their goaltenders to weather surges and get wins. The Falcons are now 14-12-0 with 28 points, just 3 points behind division leading Portland with the Pirates holding a game in hand.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Johnstown gets a point at least.
Morgan Cey allowed 3 goals on 25 shots faced in the game for the OT loss. Randy Rowe led the way for the Chiefs with an assist on the opening goal and the key tying goal to send the contest to overtime with 59 seconds left in the third period. Adam Henrich had the other Johnstown goal with assists going to Doug Andress, Maxime Boisclair and Andrew Martens. Rowe and Henrich were named second and third stars of the game. The Chiefs outshot Reading 29-28.
REA Zappala, (4) (Becker), 6:09
JHN Henrich, (5) (Andress, Rowe), 11:55 (PP)
REA Hogeboom, (12) (Hiebert, Germain), 13:31
JHN Rowe, (10) (Boisclair, Martens), 19:09
REA Hiebert, (8) (Christie), 2:13 (PP)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Marek Bartanus was -1 in Owen Sound's 4-2 loss to Guelph.
Kevin Beech allowed 4 goals on 37 shots for the loss as Sudbury fell 5-3 to Plymouth.
Chris Lawrence assisted on the game winning goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes as Mississauga knocked off London 5-4.
Dane Crowley was -1 with 4 penalty minutes in Swift Current's 5-2 loss to Moose Jaw.
Vladimir Mihalik was -1 in Prince George's 3-2 shootout win against Red Deer.
"Oh no. We suck again!"
Karri Ramo stopped 15 of 17 for the loss before giving way to Jonathan Boutin who fared no better stopping 11 of 13. Right about this time last year the Falcons plummeted from playoff contention deep into the division basement. The team has now fallen to just 1 game over .500 and desperately needs to stop the bleeding tomorrow night at Worcester. The Falcons seem to have reached a fork in the road this season. We'll see what path they choose as a team.
ALB Dwyer, (7) (McCormick, Flood), 13:45
ALB McCormick, (1) (Guite), 5:44
ALB Boychuk, (1) (Estrada, Peters), 11:32
ALB Finger, (2) , 3:00
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
You have got to be kidding. The Chiefs were outshot 40-15.
Gerald Coleman probably deserves a medal for stopping 37 of 40 shots faced in the game. Andrew Martens scored the lone Chiefs goal off assists from Maxime Boisclair and Adam Henrich. 40-15? Mercy. Whatever the team meal was, never have it again.
DAY Maiser, (4) (Cullen), 17:27 (SH)
DAY Ford, (3) (Cullen, Labenski), 1:11 (PP)
JHN Martens, (1) (Henrich, Boisclair), 12:53
DAY Walton, (3) , 14:19
It should be noted, the game marked the return of defenseman Brady Greco who had missed the first 2+ months of the season and Lightning camp with shoulder surgery. Greco was even with 2 penalty minutes in tonight's game.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Vasily Koshechkin ran his season record to 11-6-3 as Togliatti defeated Chelyabinsk 2-1.
Evgeny Artyukhin had an assist in Yaroslavl's 3-1 win over Novokuznetsk.
Anton But had an assist in garbage time as SKA was pasted by Omsk 6-2.
Both Kazionovs were scoreless in Kazan's 6-5 overtime win against Tver. Denis was a scratch for KHK.
Albert Vishnyakov was scoreless as Dynamo fell to Nizhnekamsk 4-2.
Lightning Superleague Prospect Statistics Through 12/8:
Dimitri Kazionov, Kazan (RUS), 32 GP, 8-8-16, 16 PIM, +13*
Anton But, St. Petersburg (RUS), 31 GP, 7-8-15, 49 PIM, -2
Albert Vishnyakov, Dynamo (RUS), 23 GP, 6-5-11, 28 PIM, +3
Evgeny Artyukhin, Yaroslavl (RUS), 30 GP, 2-7-9, 141 PIM**, -3
Alexei Glukhov, Cherepovets (RUS), 30 GP, 1-7-8, 52 PIM, -2
Denis Kazionov, Tver (RUS), 21 GP, 0-0-0, 8 PIM, -4
Vasily Koshechkin, Togliatti (RUS), 22 GP, 11-6-3, 2 SO, 2.30 GAA
* Dimitri Kazionov is currently tied for 5th in the Superleague in +/-.
** Evgeny Artyukhin is currently second in the Superleague in PIMs.