Learning to play against the West's best is a different beast.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 39 shots for the loss. He gave the Lightning a chance in this one, but was outshined by Niemi at the other end of the rink.
5:23SJ Thornton (6), (unassisted)
10:37 SJ Kennedy (1), (Burns, Niemi)
9:35 TB Stamkos (11), (Sustr, Filppula)
Bishop was the game's second star.
The Lightning clearly were a little embarrassed by their effort against Chicago and came out hard tonight, but San Jose quickly answered their intensity and the Lightning are still figuring out how to handle the speed of the top Western Conference teams. They aren't used to playing as much without the puck and what it takes to get the puck back and generate scoring chances with less time and space. It's a learning process.
That little voice in your head right now is Espo proclaiming loudly the team that doesn't convert on a 5-on-3 power play is usually the team that loses. That happened tonight, too.
Jonathan Drouin had 3 shots in 14:19. The attempted Drouin/Namestnikov/Stamkos line was a bust tonight, but Drouin wasn't. Especially in the Third Period, he was creative and dangerous and nearly put one behind Niemi that was swept off the line.
Vladislav Namestnikov had 1 shot and was 50% on draws in 13:55. His one shot was a glorious opportunity in the First Period that Niemi held out. Otherwise, he wasn't quite as dangerous as Drouin.
Khanty-Mansiysk 2 vs. Nizhnekamsk 4
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 24 GP, 8-4-12, -2, 6 PIM
Nikita Gusev was -1 in 21:03 of ice time in Yugra's 4-2 loss to Nizhnekamsk. Ex-Stars defenseman Philip Larsen had 2 helpers in defeat for Yugra.
This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:
· Do the Lightning have a goaltending problem?
· Paquette turning into NHLer
· My big mistake (Sorry, Tyler)
· Interview with Dalton Smith
· BP Mailbag (D philosophy, What to do for Samson?)
· Weekly prospect review
To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.
Previous BP Podcast editions:
Tanner Richard doesn’t fit easily into a single category.
The Crunch forward, a top point producer in junior, turned into a grinder during his rookie campaign with Syracuse last season. With more opportunity on a scoring line this year, Richard has a shootout winner and six points — four of which came in the last three games — and 32 penalty minutes in his first 13 games this season.
Richard is hoping his versatility makes him a mainstay in the Crunch lineup — no matter what line he’s assigned.
“That’s what I was drafted as, a point producer,” the 21-year-old center said. “My numbers were nowhere near where they needed to be and where I wanted them to be last year, so that was frustrating. I’m just hoping I can produce and provide secondary scoring for the team and contribute that way. At the same time, be gritty in front of the net and stand up for teammates.”
Wichita Thunder 3 at Rapid City Rush 2
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 8 GP, 3-4-7, +4, 8 PIM, 17 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 0-2-2, -4, 14 PIM, 7 SOG
Wichita came back from a 2-1 deficit to break their winless streak with a 3-2 victory over Rapid City Wednesday night. The Thunder return home this weekend for a two-game tilt against Allen and Missouri.