As furious as I am that the referees made this game last far longer than it should have, how can you not love Secret Weapon 74 for the winner?
For a guy who statistically allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, Johan Holmqvist played a pretty amazing game. True, his friend the crossbar played a part throughout the game, but to make critical stop after critical stop in the 3rd period and overtime and then put down a 10 for 10 perfect stand in the shootout is amazing. Holmqvist's record remains perfect in shootouts and only 1 shooter, just 1, has found the back of the net against Holmer all season.
Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each scored 1 goal and 2 assists in the game as the Lightning stormed back out of a 2 goal hole late in the second period to once again claim a key win in a close game. Ruslan Fedotenko got the comeback ball rolling with a critical individual effort for a goal with under a minute remaining in the second period and Vaclav Prospal added the other Lightning talley. Nick Tarnasky, the night's hero, added an individual helper as did Cory Sarich and Shane O'Brien. The assist was O'Brien's first point as a member of the Lightning (the first of many, knock on wood).
St. Louis' goal with 3:18 left in regulation looked like the winner before the referees began a bizarre string of borderline calls that put the Lightning down at a 6-on-3 disadvantage in the waning moments. As if that wasn't enough, one of the referees also blocked a Brad Richards attempt on the empty net just moments before Washington sent the game to overtime with under 11 seconds on the clock on a centering attempt that deflected in off of Nolan Pratt. The ridiculousness continued in overtime as the referees overlooked a hold by a Caps defender on Martin St. Louis in overtime only moments later to call a hook on Vincent Lecavalier. Undeterred, the Lightning stonewalled a full 2 minute 4-on-3 penalty in overtime to eventually deliver the game to the shootout. Someone needs to be reprimanded for what occured in that game.
Fortunately, after 10 rounds of shootout madness that included the unbridled excitment that is a Donald Brashear penalty shot, Tarnasky decided to pull the plug on the Caps with a wrister that beat Brent Johnson and lifted the Lightning to the 5-4 win. With the victory, the Lightning move 4 points ahead of Atlanta in the division with the Thrashers now holding a game in hand. The gap on Carolina also extends to 7 with both teams having played 66 games. Thank you Nick Tarnasky.
Washington 11:35, Shaone Morrisonn 3 (Milan Jurcina, Tomas Fleischmann)
Tampa Bay 2:17, Vaclav Prospal 10 (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Washington 10:11, Alexander Ovechkin 38 (Jiri Novotny, Steve Eminger)
Washington 14:04, Matt Pettinger 15 (Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley)
Tampa Bay 19:32, Ruslan Fedotenko 12 (Nick Tarnasky, Cory Sarich)
Tampa Bay 12:44, Vincent Lecavalier 42 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 16:42, Martin St. Louis 39 (Vincent Lecavalier, Shane O'Brien)
Washington 19:49, Alexander Semin 33 (power play) (Alexander Ovechkin, Kris Beech)
Tampa Bay- Nick Tarnasky
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Springfield Falcons announced today that defenseman Doug Andress and forward Brandon Elliott have been reassigned to the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL.
Andress played in nine games for the Falcons collecting two assists and 16 penalty minutes. Andress has also appeared in 43 games with the Chiefs this season collecting 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound blueliner remains tied for the Johnstown team lead in scoring among defensemen. Andress played in three games with Springfield during the 2005-06 campaign and scored his first AHL goal as a member of the Falcons last year.
Elliott has appeared in 10 games with Springfield this season collecting one assist and 27 penalty minutes. In 38 games with the Chiefs this year, Elliott has produced 10 goals, four assists, 14 points and 99 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Orangeville, Ontario is in his second season of pro hockey after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fifth round (158th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Elliott spent the entire 2005-06 season with Johnstown collecting 10 goals, seven assists, 17 points and 207 penalty minutes.
(Springfield Falcons press release)
Owen Sound 1 @ Guelph 4
Marek Bartanus did not register a point, was even, and had a minor penalty for delay-of-game in the Attack's 4-1 loss in Guelph Wednesday night.
Everett 4 @ Kamloops 1
Dane Crowley was plus-1 with 4 minutes in penalties for Everett as they defeated the Blazers in Kamloops, 4-1. Although the WHL doesn't list it on their web site, Washington online newspapers say Crowley scored an empty net goal, his 8th goal of the season.
Roster upheval leads to a critical loss.
Morgan Cey allowed 4 goals on 31 shots in the loss. Randy Rowe had the only Chiefs goal off assists from Geoff Waugh and Dimitri Tarabrin. Johnstown's loss puts them three points behind Dayton for the final playoff spot in the North Division. And, with the Falcons recently calling up two of the team's scoring liners and now having their two highest scoring defensemen in Springfield, things look like the could get a little bleak.
JHN Rowe, (15) (Waugh, Tarabrin), 16:48
DAY Herneisen, (14) (Farynuk), 4:24
DAY Konsorada, (11) (Walton, Kelly), 17:58
DAY Kelly, (13) (Manson, Denike), 19:44 (SH)
DAY Walton, (15) (Farynuk, Cullen), 2:18 (PP)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Just plain awful.
Karri Ramo allowed 6 goals on 43 shots before giving way to Jonathan Boutin who stopped 2 of 2 shots the rest of the way. Norm Milley and Daniel Corso each had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Falcons while Eric Healey added an individual helper, but with Nick Kuiper and Joe Rullier not in the lineup the Falcons were little match for the Sharks' onslaught tonight getting outshot a staggering 45-27. Milley managed to be named third star of the game, which is little consolation.
The Falcons are now an unlucky 13 games under .500 for the season.
WOR Darche, (26) (Ferguson, Iggulden), 11:55 (PP)
WOR Armstrong, (16) (Valette, Stevenson), 13:15
SPR Milley, (20) (Corso), 12:27 (SH)
WOR Traverse, (5) (Mink, Valette), 19:52
WOR Darche, (27) (Stafford, Kaspar), 7:46
SPR Corso, (14) (Milley, Healey), 8:16
WOR Iggulden, (23) (Darche, Ferguson), 10:31 (PP)
WOR Cavanagh, (8) (Prudden, Mink), 12:41
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.