NHL Preseason Game Night 9/24: Red Wings at Lightning

Kind of a mixed bag in this game.

DET-3
TB-4

Karri Ramo stopped 20 of 23 shots faced for the win. He was hung out to dry on the Wings two early goals but did manage to retain composure and made some key stops in the second before surrendering a soft goal in the third. More good than bad.

Martin St. Louis potted a pair of goals with double assists going to Jason Ward and Brad Richards. Andre Roy and Andreas Karlsson also had goals. Vaclav Prospal, Craig MacDonald, and Filip Kuba all had individual helpers.

Big winner of the night: Craig MacDonald who probably just made the Lightning's opening night roster by virtue of Ryan Craig's slipped back disc. He had an assist and was +1 with 3 shots on goal to celebrate.

The other big winner of the night: the Lightning power play which might've found a temporary solution with Martin St. Louis filling in for Dan Boyle on the point.

Finally, for the winners, Mike Lundin gets 12:02 of ice time with one shot on goal. However humble that might be, it was more than Janik and Lampman got tonight. The door may be open for Matt Smaby to charge back into the race now if he can play a strong, confident game Thursday night.

I wouldn't label any losers in this game although the quest for Ramo, Mathieu Darche, and Kyle Wanvig looks to be coming to a close. Ramo and Darche look like strong possibilities for recall down the road though.

Box score and extended stats from NHL.com.

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Good Win

Good win tonight. Looks as if some of the contested roster spots are starting to sort themselves out. I agree that Ramo, Darche and Wanvig need to be making their travel plans.

One who won't have to is Craig McDonald. It is rotten luck that Ryan Craig is on the shelf with a herniated disc. McDonald had a good game tonight and has done well overall in camp.

This also now creates a vacancy in the center position in Norfolk. Maybe there will be some serious consideration in either Tampa or Norfolk signing Justin Taylor to fill that void.

MacDonald, etc

I thought he was excellent tonight in his role. Good on a few important faceoffs - got a key shift at the end of the game.

I'd have no problems at all with MacDonald as TB's fourth line center, though he may be better value in NF. I'm sure he doesn't see it like that.

As for Lundin.... I thought Janik got better minutes and did more with his minutes tonight. Lampman was nearly invisible on the tele. Lundin got some nice compliments from Chief and Rick for his work along the boards in how he uses his body. This will sound odd, but I haven't seen him in shorts, so I don't know what kind of tree trunks he has, but he was effective along the boards tonight winning pucks. He also broke up a few plays and then he and SOB had a huge miscommunication gaffe that Ramo had to bail them out of.

SOB kept calling for the puck as DET made a linechange and sent in one forechecker, so the rook did what he's supposed to and handed it to him, then watched SOB try to stickhandle backwards to go forwards, going behind the net. Lundin retreated to give him an outlet that never came and left the front of the net. SOB lost possession and boom, there's a scoring chance.

Darche did well... should have buried that gimme shot in the 3rd. Wanvig looks slower than Prospal.

Ramo showed flashes. I don't know what the ref saw on the disallowed goal, but that looked like a softie. I still couldn't see after rewinding it several times where the Wing affected the play. Ramo's still exciting to watch. He's certainly more aggressive than previous TB goalies.

Jason Ward and Tarnasky also looked good - not that they are options for NF.

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