NHL Game Night 11/17: Islanders at Lightning

Holy Holmqvist!

NYI-2
TB-3 (SO)

Johan Holmqvist stopped 29 of 31 shots faced in regulation/overtime before stopping 7 of 7 penalty shots in the shootout to outduel Rick Dipietro. Holmqvist is a perfect 5-0-0 in his last 5 starts and is now 5-2-0 on the season. Nikita Alexeev and Brad Richards had the Lightning's goals in regulation, but it took Dimitry Afanasenkov's shootout goal to secure the second point. Vincent Lecavalier had 2 assists and Filip Kuba chipped in an individual helper. Richards and Lecavalier were first and third stars of the game respectively. Holmer was robbed.

First Period
Tampa Bay 2:32, Nikita Alexeev 7 (Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 5:08, Brad Richards 6 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Filip Kuba)
NY Islanders 8:00, Radek Martinek 1 (unassisted)

Second Period
NY Islanders 19:21, Mike York 5 (Viktor Kozlov)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NY Islanders NONE
Tampa Bay Dimitry Afanasenkov

Doug Janik was +1 in 8:25 with 1 shot on goal. Eric Perrin was -1 in 13:01 with 3 shots and 1 hit and he was 4/4 on draws. Nick Tarnasky received just 2 shifts in the game for 54 seconds of ice time with 1 hit with Tim Taylor out due to injury. The Lightning continue to follow the policy that they just won't give Tarnasky ice time unless it is the third period of a blowout.

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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Denis

Are we pretty much seeing him lose his job right now?

The team seems to play harder in front of Holmqvist, and he's certainly outplayed Denis when you compare their wins, at least IMO.

Can Holmqvist maintain this?

Can Holmqvist maintain this? If you look at Johan's save percentage, it's not exactly sterling and he obviously gave up two softies tonight despite several incredible stops. Right now he's making key saves at key times. As long as he keeps doing that, he'll keep getting starts. The second he falters, Denis gets another shot. Good problem to have.

It's going to take both

playing well for the Lightning to succeed. Both guys will have to be consistently good for us to win the division and gain a seed that will help us recapture the cup. It doesn't matter which goalie has the hot hand come the playoffs. It is nice to have two quality guys that have a chance to make a long run.

Posts, not just softies

In addition to giving up those two softies, Holmqvist got beat four other times. Luckily they hit iron instead of twine. Hard to argue with five straight wins, but I'm not convinced that Honken is as good as his record seems to show. NYI could have easily walked out with a 5-3 victory.

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