That was another signature win by the Lightning, beating a team they haven't bested in what seems like forever.
Mike Smith allowed 2 goals on 12 shots before leaving with an injury likely suffered when Brooks Laich ran him in the first period. Antero Niitymaki allowed 2 goals on 23 shots the rest of the way for the win.
TB 6:34, Lecavalier 11 (Tanguay)
TB 12:03, Stamkos 24 (Bochenski, Foster)(PP)
WSH 14:05, Semin 19 (Fleischmann, Schultz)
TB 17:28, Stamkos 25 (Bochenski, St. Louis)(PP)
TB 18:35, Veilleux 2 (unassisted)
WSH 1:34, Green 11 (Semin, Ovechkin)(PP)
WSH 7:44, Fehr 11 (Morrison, Chimera)
WSH 12:08, Green 12 (Backstrom, Ovechkin)(PP)
TB 17:28, St. Louis 12 (Stamkos, Bochenski)(PP)
TB 4:00, Foster 7 (Hedman, St. Louis)
TB 9:54, Halpern 8 (Lecavalier, Tanguay)(PP)
God I hate the Caps. I hate their fans. I hate their players. I'll never forgive Alex Ovechkin for that disrespectful dancing bull crap last season. How do you say "punk" in Russian? "Ovechkin." Did I love Steve Downie popping him in the mouth in round one? You betcha. Did I enjoy the emasculation of Ovechkin when Matt Bradley had to jump in to fight his battle for him against Downie in round two? Oh yeah. And knowing what a chirper Downie is, he's got material for the next two seasons out of that. "Does he hold your hand when your cross the street too, Ovie?" Beautiful.
And then the coup de gras: Zenon Konopka beating David Steckel up one side and down the other. Steckel's ancestors felt that beating. He looked like a speed bag with eye balls: a 6'5" 222 pound speedbag who got the drum part from "Wipe Out" played on his skull by a man four inches shorter in height, but clearly at least that much bigger in cojones. Love it. The Lightning whipped them on the scoreboard and they whipped them physically, too. That was a statement. Not only did the Lightning let the Caps know that the days of them rolling up huge wins on them are over, but they informed them that on any street, alley, boulevard, overpass, or underpass (take your pick) the Lightning are ready to bloody their nose. When the Lightning pass the Caps in the standings within the next three seasons and take over as the dominant team in the division, remember this game. They don't have the talent to live in the penthouse yet, but tonight was their down payment.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 12:22.
Kazan 1 @ Ekaterinburg 2
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 4-3-7, -15, 12 PIM
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 15-5-20, +5, 12 PIM
It was brother against brother in Kazan, as Ekateriburg and the younger Kazionov sibling, Denis, knocked off Kazan 2-1 to move with 2 points of the final playoff spot in the KHL Eastern Conference. Denis played 10:59 in the contest while big brother Dmitri got 15:31 for Ak Bars.
Nizhnekamsk 3 @ Magnitogorsk 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 26/28, 2.04 GAA, .929 sv%
Season totals: 38 GP, 19-16, 6 SO, 2.01 GAA, .925 sv%
Nizhnekamsk got 2 goals from Evgeny Lapenkov to help give Vasily Koshechkin his 16th loss of the season for Magnitogorsk. It should be noted that out of Vasily's 16 losses, 7 have come after regulation.
Omsk 3 @ Yulaev 2 (OT)
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 27/29, 1.93 GAA, .931 sv%
Season totals: 33 GP, 18-14, 3 SO, 2.05 GAA, .912 sv%
Omsk got 2 goals and 1 assist from former NHLer Timofei Shishkanov, including the overtime winner. Avangard also got a goal from former Lightning first rounder Alex Svitov. Yulaev is currently in second place in the KHL Eastern Conference.
Halifax Mooseheads 0 @ Moncton Wildcats 3
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 40 GP, 8-25-33, +20, 36 PIM
Barberio has scored in consecutive games, and after a slow start is approaching his career-high of 15 goals in a season. His plus-20 rating obliterates his previous career-high of plus-9. Both marks were set last season.
Sudbury Wolves 7 @ Oshawa Generals 4
W Matias Sointu, SBY: Did not play.
Season Totals: 31 GP, 5-9-14, E, 12 PIM
With Sudbury: 10 GP, 2-2-4, -5, 6 PIM
With Ottawa: 21 GP, 3-7-10, +5, 6 PIM
G Michael Zador, OSH: 2 saves on 4 shots
Season Totals: 28 GP, 11-13-2-1, 3.60 GAA, .894 sv%, 1 SO
Zador started on the bench for the third straight game, but entered the contest when Kevin Bailie was pulled after giving up five goals on 27 shots. Itâ€™s been almost a month since Oshawa has given up less than three goals in a game. The Generals are in fourth in the East Division, five points ahead of Richard Panik, Kyle DeCoste and Belleville. Meanwhile, Sointu still hasnâ€™t rejoined Sudbury after the WJCs because he recently had surgery in Finland for an undisclosed injury, according to the Sudbury Star. He is expected to rejoin the team in late January. Sudbury is in third in the Central Division.
Fortunately, all this bizarreness results in two important points for the Lightning.
Mike Smith allowed a total of 2 goals on 35 shots for the win.
TB 6:58, Downie 9 (Foster, Malone)(PP)
TB 5:13, Bochenski 1 (Stamkos, Foster)(PP)
TB 10:04, Stamkos 22 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)
NJ 8:36, Zajac 12 (Langenbrunner, Oduya)
TB 9:35, Stamkos 23 (St. Louis, Bochenski)
NJ 19:26, Parise 20, (Zajac, Langenbrunner)
It was frightening to see the Lightning have less shots on goal in the second half of this game than they had in the first half. Still, they made it stand up. No complaints. Just get out of New Jersey while the lights are still on.
Paul Szczechura ended up -1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 15:23. He was also 70% on draws.
Blair Jones had 3 shots and 2 hits in 12:33.
Victor Hedman played a total of 23:11 in this, his graduation game from prospect status on Bolt Prospects.