It's hard to call this a signature win with Calgary holding onto a playoff spot by a fingernail, but the Lightning proved a lot of things tonight.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 1 goal on 26 shots for the win.
CGY 15:44, Giordano 10 (Glencross)(PP)
TB 1:00, Stamkos 32 (Smaby, St. Louis)
TB 1:58, Meszaros 5 (Downie)
The Lightning are continuing to look more and more like a playoff team as they prove they can win different types of games different ways. Good teams win games against bad teams even when they don't bring their best to the rink. The Lightning showed they could pull out those kind of wins in the past couple of games against Atlanta and the Islanders. Tonight, they proved they could win a very tight checking game against a very good trap team in Calgary, which is something they will see if they make the postseason and run up against teams like New Jersey. So, they proved they could win a different style of game, and they erased the bad taste of their last big television appearance on Versus when they got spanked by the Rangers with such a solid showing on HNIC. Now comes a really big test on Tuesday against Vancouver, which could very well come out of the West when all is said and done this year. So, as we said earlier this season, there's no rest for the wicked, and the Lightning can't afford to lose any games with only a 2 point lead on 9th place.
You know what they say about, "All good things..."
Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 35 shots for the loss.
NOR Keller, (9) (Simek, Szczechura), 3:17
HFD Couture, (7) (Potter, Locke), 3:54
HFD Soryal, (2) (Ambuhl, Potter), 18:32
HFD Couture, (8) (Williams), 5:03
HFD Byers, (14) (Potter, Locke), 11:43
HFD Roche, (3) (Heikkinen, Locke), 5:18 (PP)
Jim Johnson loses his first game in regulation as Head Coach of the Norfolk Admirals. His record drops to a still stellar 7-1-1-1.
Unfortunately, in a playoff chase this close, you cannot afford to lose any games. Norfolk drops back to 7 points behind 2nd place Albany in the East Division. They'll remain in 3rd place, which is the last playoff spot in the East Division, by virtue of Syracuse crushing Adirondack tonight. However, the surging Crunch will now move into a tie with Adirondack at 2 points behind the Admirals.
The situation with the crossover is much bleaker. Hartford (5th in the Atlantic) is now 5 points ahead of Norfolk and Bridgeport (6th in the Atlantic) is 1 point ahead. If Norfolk slips to 4th in the East Division, they must finish ahead of the 5th place team in the Atlantic to make it to the postseason.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Belleville Bulls 2 @ Ottawa 67â€™s 3
C Richard Panik, BEL: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 44 GP, 13-12-25, +6, 29 PIM
With Bulls: 11 GP, 4-3-7, -9, 10 PIM
With Windsor: 33 GP, 9-9-18, +15, 19 PIM
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 46 GP, 15-9-24, -12, 41 PIM
With Bulls: 33 GP, 13-8-20, -10, 23 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM
DeCoste set up Panik (pictured) for the game-tying goal early in the third, but the Bulls gave up the game winner six minutes later. Panikâ€™s goal came from Martin St. Louisâ€™ office (Watch).
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8 @ Sudbury Wolves 5
W Matias Sointu, SBY: 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 35 GP, 7-11-18, -2, 12 PIM
With Sudbury: 14 GP, 4-4-8, -7, 6 PIM
With Ottawa: 21 GP, 3-7-10, +5, 6 PIM
Sointu has points in three straight games and three of four since returning from injury.
Oshawa Generals 6 @ Kitchener Rangers 7
G Michael Zador, OSH: Loss, 40 saves on 44 shots in relief
Season Totals: 36 GP, 13-18-2-1, 3.56 GAA, .896 sv%, 2 SO
Kevin Bailie started for the Generals but was pulled after allowing three goals in just over seven minutes of action. Zador stepped in and allowed the Rangersâ€™ fourth goal within 40 seconds, but settled down after that to finish with 40 saves â€“ but a loss.
Saskatoon Blades 5 @ Regina Pats 4 (SO)
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM (tripping)
Season Totals: 49 GP, 21-19-40, -6, 86 PIM
With Regina: 21 GP, 8-6-14, +2, 34 PIM
With Lethbridge: 28 GP, 13-13-26, -8, 52 PIM
Regina has lost three straight games â€“ all in shootouts. Ashton was one of six Pats who failed to score in the shootout against their provincial rivals.
Everett Silvertips 0 @ Vancouver Giants 1
C/WJames Wright, VAN: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (hooking)
Season Totals: 5 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 4 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM
Thomas Heemskerk (undrafted) stopped 39 of 40 shots for Everett, who was outshot 40-18 in the game. The Giants have an 11 point lead on Kelowna for the B.C. Division title.
Harvard Crimson 5 @ Brown Bears 2
C/W Alexander Killorn, HAR: 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM (tripping), 4 SOG
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-9-15, +1, 22 PIM
With his two assists Friday, Killorn (pictured) set a new career high for points in a season at 15. He had 14 last year as a freshman in 30 games.
No.17 Vermont Catamounts 5 @ Providence Friars 1
C/W Matt Marshall , UVM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 24 GP, 1-3-4, -4, 14 PIM
Marshall was back in the lineup on the fourth line as Vermont improved to 13-9-3 on the year.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2 @ Western Michigan Broncos 7
D Luke Witkowski , WMU: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM (checking from behind, game misconduct), 0 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 2-3-5, -10, 45 PIM
A big upset win for the Broncos over the Irish. Witkowski was thrown out early in the third period for checking-from-behind. He now faces a possible suspension.
Jim Johnson is 7-0-1-1 as Head Coach.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win.
HFD Locke, (20) (Byers, Nightingale), 0:52 (SH)
NOR Fadden, (3) (Fornataro, Wishart), 11:56 (PP)
HFD Roche, (2) (Grachev, Nightingale), 8:45
NOR Keller, (8) (McGinnis, Szczechura), 16:55
NOR Szczechura, (7) (Lashoff, Simek), 3:50
After a slow start in the first period, the Admirals outshot Hartford 34-17 from the second period on. The only downside of the night is that they surrendered a point in the standings to Hartford, which still presents a crossover problem from the Atlantic Division.
Norfolk still holds 3rd place in East Division with 52 points, and is now 1 game over .500. They have gained 2 points on 2nd place Albany and are now 5 points back of the River Rats with Albany holding a game in hand. They remain 2 points ahead of 4th place Adirondack and 5th place Syracuse with the Phantoms holding 2 games in hand. They gained 2 points on 6th place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which is now 4 points back with the Pens holding 2 games in hand. The Admirals also maintained their 8 point lead on last place Binghamton with the Sens still holding 4 games in hand.
Box score from TheAHL.com.