Talk Lightning Hockey with fans and staff at the BP Message Boards and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

NHL Game Night: 12-30-15 Rangers at Lightning

Season in serious jeopardy.


Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss. I can't say any of the three goals were necessarily his fault, but you've got to make a situational save in a game like this when you need to get points.

First Period
1:53 NYR Boyle (5), (Yandle, Moore)
16:35 TB Marchessault (6), (Stralman, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
0:56 NYR Zuccarello (16), (Miller, Boyle)
19:51 TB Stralman (4), (Filppula, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
3:16 NYR Moore (4), (Stalberg)
18:39 NYR Stalberg (4), (unassisted)(EN)
19:27 NYR Nash (12), (Fast)(EN)

Anton Stralman was the game's second star.

You can micromanage the mistakes the Lightning made in this game to surrender each of the three goals they allowed before the empty netters, but what concerns me most is the flat effort level the team has shown the past two games. Other than a 3 minute flurry to start the Third Period, the Lightning looked like zombies in blue uniforms tonight. The passing was improved from the Toronto game, but the whole team almost to a man lacked any zip. The power play gave them a chance by potting two goals despite looking underwhelming, but even strength they just didn't have it tonight.

Now the Lightning have really put themselves up against the ropes as they near the midway point of the season. They need 3 of the next 4 possible points just to avoid making the hole they were already in deeper, based on the 12 points every 10 games model. It's hard for me to feel optimistic for the team if they slip 6-7 points behind pace by the midway mark. That's starting to feel like a bridge too far. Then you're talking about having to play .700 hockey most of the second half of the season, and that's a grueling pace to keep up.

Jonathan Marchessault had a power play goal and was -2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots. If nothing else, he's become a power play specialist on a team that could use one.

Box score and extended statistics from

U20 WJC Game Day: 12-30-15

Group B
Czech Republic 5 vs. Belarus 3
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM

Dominik Masin potted the empty net goal for Czech Republic as they outlasted Belarus 5-3. Undrafted 19 year old Jiri Smejkal of the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Czechs in the win.

Juniors Game Night: 12-29-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Saint John Sea Dogs 6 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 5 (SO)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: Did not play
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-9-13, -1, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 33 GP, 19-19-38, +14, 41 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Joseph didn’t score in regulation, but got the shootout clincher in Saint John’s 6-5 win over the Titan, who forced overtime with a goal with six seconds remaining. Joseph was in the box at the time serving a holding call. Boko Imama is currently serving a 15-game suspension.

Shawinigan Cataractes 3 @ Rimouski Oceanic 4

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 30 GP, 23-23-46, +2, 42 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Yan’s goal at 5:58 of the third period gave Shawinigan a 3-2 lead, but the Cataractes relinquished the lead late in the stanza.

Ontario Hockey League

Peterborough Petes 5 @ Mississauga Steelheads 1

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 3-14-17, +2, 31 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

The Petes returned from the Christmas break with a dominant win in Mississauga.

NOTES: The following players are with their respective countries for the World Junior Championships in Finland: Brayden Point (Canada), Mitchell Stephens (Canada), Dominik Masin (Czech Republic).

Juniors Game Night: 12-28-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 6 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 5 (OT)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: Did not play
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-9-13, -1, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 3-1-4, +2, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Season totals: 32 GP, 19-18-37, +14, 37 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM

Mathieu Joseph had two goals and an assist in the second period, then earned a hat trick when he scored the overtime-forcing goal with just over a minute left in regulation. The game was scoreless after the opening period, then Saint John had a 4-0 lead entering the third before giving up five goals in 14 minutes. Boko Imama is currently serving a 15-game suspension.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 0 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 8

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-1-1, +1, 9 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 29 GP, 22-23-45, +2, 42 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM

Dennis Yan snapped his 3-game scoreless streak with an assist Monday. He had missed the last couple games due to a shoulder injury. He got a game misconduct for a fight occurring in the last five minutes of the third period. Yan fought Matt Staples. Brandon Gignac (2016) had two goals and six points for Shawinigan, and Alexis D’Aoust (undrafted) had a hat trick.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 6 @ Windsor Spitfires 3

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 13-17-30, +17, 48 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

Sarnia scored the game’s final three goals en route to a 6-3 win. Boca Raton native Jakob Chychrun (2016), a highly rated defenseman, had an assist for the Sting. He has 16 goals and 33 points in 42 games this season.

Western Hockey League

Everett Silvertips 2 @ Vancouver Giants 4 (Sunday)

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 39 GP, 3-12-15, -15, 21 PIM
With Vancouver: 25 GP, 3-9-12, -5, 11 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Vancouver played Everett for the third straight game, spanning nearly two weeks. The Giants went 2-0-1 in those games.

NOTES: The following players are with their respective countries for the World Junior Championships in Finland: Brayden Point (Canada), Mitchell Stephens (Canada), Dominik Masin (Czech Republic). Apologies for the late posting due to holiday travel.

United States Hockey League

Lincoln Stars 5 @ Omaha Lancers 2 (Sunday)

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Loss, 33 saves on 38 shots
Season totals: 13 GP, 8-4-1, 2.49 GAA, .922 sv%, 1 SO
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha signee)

Oldham returned from the World Junior A Championships and took a second consecutive loss to Lincoln. Omaha led the game, 2-0, at one point. Lincoln is second in the league (first in the West) at 18-11-0.

Sioux City Musketeers 3 @ Fargo Force 1 (Sunday)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, SC: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 22 GP, 0-17-17, -7, 26 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Zuhlsdorf had a roughing penalty in his first game back since the World Junior A Championships in Ontario.

WJC Game Day: 12-29-15

Switzerland 2 vs. Canada 3 (SO)
Brayden Point, Canada, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM

Mitchell Stephens, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Brayden Point had the SO winner (which counts as a goal in IIHF tournament statistics) for Canada in their 3-2 victory over Switzerland. Canada fell behind 2-0 early in the First Period on goals by 18 year old Damien Riat and 19 year old Dario Meyer, the latter of whom plays his junior hockey in the WHL for the Edmonton Oil Kings. Undrafted 19 year old defenseman Joe Hicketts had the tying goal in the Second Period that eventually forced Overtime. Hicketts is just 5'8" tall and had 64 points in 62 games last season for Victoria in the WHL. He's a lefty shot, if you were wondering.

AHL Game Night: 12-29-15 Crunch at Bears

Brolldozer with the GWG.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory. He raised his save percentage to .932 with the win while also beating Dan Ellis, which is chicken soup for the soul for Lightning fans.

First Period

Second Period
SYR McGinn, (10) (Tambellini, Koekkoek), 9:15
HER Camper, (5) (Carey, Boyd), 17:47 (PP)
SYR Broll, (1) (Darcy), 19:48

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (11) (Walcott, Mormina), 4:58

Tye McGinn, Vasilevskiy, and David Broll were the game's three stars.

Syracuse actually was outshot 30-17 in the game. They got just 1 shot on goal, combined, from callup returnees Angelidis, Blunden, and Gourde.

Box score from

Liiga Game Day: 12-29-15

KalPa 2 vs. JYP 3 (SO)
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 4-2-6, +3, 14 PIM

Jonne Tammela was scoreless in a hefty 20:21 of ice time in KalPa's 3-2 SO loss to JYP. KalPa forced OT with a late goal by undrafted 21 year old forward Joni Nikko with less than a minute in regulation. KalPa slips to 7th on the SM-liiga team, 1 point out of a first round bye.

NHL Game Night: 12-28-15 Canadiens at Lightning

Another opportunity slips away.

TB-3 (SO)

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before allowing 2 of 3 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss. The 5-hole goal he gave up to Flynn in the SO was abysmal.

First Period
15:58 MTL Plekanec (8), (Subban, Andrighetto)

Second Period
5:40 TB Kucherov (13), (Filppula, Stralman)(PP)
9:57 MTL Galchenyuk (9), (Markov, Petry)

Third Period
13:21 TB Garrison (4), (Killorn)
13:42 TB Callahan (5), (Filppula, Sustr)
14:14 MTL Weise (11), (Desharnais, Pacioretty)


MTL- Flynn, Pacioretty
TB- Filppula

Ryan Callahan and Nikita Kucherov were the game's second and third stars.

I would call tonight's contest another bizarre and regrettable exercise that the Lightning may live to regret when they're scratching for points in the standings later this year. The First Period was awful. The effort level was unacceptable and the team looked completely flat and unprepared to play a hockey game. They disrespected an opponent on a losing streak and they surrendered an early power play opportunity to them to allow them to build a ton of early momentum. They almost weathered it, but then Nesterov and Johnson got abused by two of Montreal's stars and the Lightning found themselves down 1-0 at the intermission. They probably deserved to be down 1-0 at the intermission, mind you, but it still hurts because they nearly got away with the flat start.

The Second Period was a case study in sheer frustration as the Lightning outshot Montreal 16-8 and outchanced them by an even wider ratio. Unfortunately, Condon was somehow making ten bell saves despite using the unorthodix thrashing around his crease like a dying fish technique. Kucherov was able to tie the game early in the frame on a greasy goal on the PP, but a temporary loss of coverage by Condra (one mistake) allowed Galchenyuk to quickly re-establish Montreal's margin.

The Third Period was one of the sloppiest displays of passing you'll ever see the Lightning put on the ice this season, and for the bulk of the final frame it looked like Montreal would coast to victory. Tampa Bay couldn't hit a break out pass to save their lives and Montreal was more than content to work the play below the Lightning goal line. Then, somehow, Garrison scored a wraparound goal on the rush and 20 seconds later a broken play led to Callahan potting one in an open side, and it looked like the Lightning might snatch victory for the jaws of defeat. Not so fast, as they came out flat the shift after the goal and lost coverage on Weise on a bang-bang goal in tight that was put on the board by replay. Oof. We head to Overtime.

The first half of Overtime was a textbook display of possession by the Lightning. They held onto the puck for nearly all of 2:30 seconds and developed some chances from the slot but couldn't finish. It could've easily been all over in that first half of OT, but the Lightning just couldn't find that moment to bear down and finish. Montreal then managed to surge at the end of OT where the Lightning had to survive some goal mouth scrambles before it headed to the Shootout where the Lightning suffer from a significant handicap.

That handicap: Ben Bishop's 5-hole. The book's out around the league. Galchenyuk nearly scored on Bishop's 5-hole on the Habs' first attempt and Flynn scored a laughably lazy shot through Bishop's 5-hole on the second attempt. It puts the Lightning in a situation where they're spotting opponents 1-2 goals in the SO every time. It's bad.

Like the Vancouver game, a big opportunity to grab points and set themselves up to cut into their overall season deficit goes by the board. Tampa Bay sits at 9 points through 7 games of Segment Four of the season. If they go .500 the rest of the way in the segment, they won't dig the hole any deeper, but the time is running out to slice into that 5 point season deficit and get firmly back in playoff position. That makes this next game against the Rangers, a really tough opponent, doubly huge.

Tyler Johnson was back tonight, along with Brian Boyle, but he looked rusty as a wrecked ocean liner at the bottom of the ocean. That was rough to watch.

Jonathan Marchessault was -2 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 12:53. Johnson's return is going to seriously curtail Marchessault's ice time and role, and I don't know that the Lightning got quality for the trade off tonight, although it is obviously hugely important to knock the rust off Johnson.

Nikita Nesterov was -2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:31. He was God awful against the rush tonight. Simply God awful. He was directly responsible for Montreal's opening goal and there were times tonight he looked more like a bullfighter (a really good one!) than a NHL defenseman. All he needed was the red cape. Ole!

Box score and extended statistics from

U20 WJC Game Day: 12-28-15

Group A
Canada 6 vs. Denmark 1
Brayden Point, Canada, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM

Mitchell Stephens, Canada, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Angry Canada, fresh off their opening match loss to USA, outshot Denmark 56-11 in a 6-1 laugher. Coyotes first rounder Dylan Strome, Maple Leafs first rounder Mitch Marner, and the Lightning's own Brayden Point each had 2 points a piece.

Group B
Slovakia 0 vs. Czech Republic 2
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Capitals second rounder Vitek Vanecek, the pride of the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays, stopped all 18 shots he faced as Czech Republic blanked Slovakia 2-0. Bruins forward David Pastrnak had the winner for the Czechs on the power play.

KHL Game Day: 12-28-15

Magnitogorsk 2 vs. Dynamo Moscow 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 27/28, 1.00 GAA, .964 sv%
Season totals: 37 GP, 16-12-7, 1 SO, 2.28 GAA, .918 sv%

Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead Magnitka to a 2-1 win over Dynamo Moscow.

Dinamo Riga 1 vs. Novgorod 4
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 9-7-16, +1, 51 PIM

Carter Ashton took a minor for tripping in 19:48 of ice time as Novgorod crushed Riga 4-1. Novgorod got a goal from ex-NHLer Alexander Frolov.

Syndicate content