In case BoltProspects hasn't made this crystal clear over the past three years: Karri Ramo is real, real good.
Ramo stopped 45 of 47 shots in the victory tonight and was named the game's first star.
NY Rangers 7:56, Lauri Korpikoski 1 (Dan Fritsche, Daniel Girardi)
Tampa Bay 2:18, Ryan Malone 1 (Steven Stamkos, Andrew Hutchinson)
Tampa Bay 4:36, Martin St. Louis 1 (Matt Carle, Michel Ouellet)
Tampa Bay 19:41, Evgeny Artyukhin 1 (empty net) (Steven Stamkos, Matt Carle)
The positives tonight were Ramo and that several of the marquee newcomers found their way onto the scoresheet. Matt Carle getting assists in triplicate was an obvious positive, as was Ryan Malone finding the back of the net and Steven Stamkos chipping in a pair of assists.
The negative is that the Lightning were once again soundly outshot despite having most of their NHL regulars in the lineup. We're seeing the convergence of at least three factors here: 1.) the installation of a new system, 2.) lack of chemistry due to so many newcomers being in the lineup, and 3.) a ridiculously inexperienced blueline. Speculation in the broadcast tonight also centered around whether or not the Lightning are in the best of condition right now. Considering the compressed preseason schedule the Lightning are playing right now, and that they've been traveling quite a bit, it might be fatigue setting in more than the Lightning being out of shape.
The extended statistics from the NHL are delayed right now, so I'll update the lines of the prospects later. When I took a peek earlier tonight, Matt Carle also was working on a monster line of his own that was worth mentioning, so I'll add that later too.
Cowichan Valley Capitals 2 @ Victoria Grizzlies 4 (Tuesday)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 2 PIM (hooking)
Evan Pighin scored the fourth and final goal for Victoria. It was his first this season in the BCHL after leaving Chilliwack of the WHL. After scoring 48 points in 53 games last year in Chilliwack, the 20 year-old Pighin joined the Grizzlies â€“ owned by Lightning co-owner Len Barrie â€“ with approval from B.C. Hockey and without permission from his WHL club. The situation is causing much controversy in B.C. and could affect future player movement between CHL and provincial junior clubs. Pighin attended the Lightning's prospect camp in Victoria this summer.
Vancouver Giants 3 @ Kamloops Blazers 4 (SO)
C James Wright, VAN: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Wright scored the gameâ€™s opening goal â€“ his first of the year â€“ but Vancouver would lose a 3-1 lead in the second period and fall in the shootout. Wright had 13 goals in 60 games last year for the Giants.
Good start to the season for Mike Smith.
Mike Smith stopped 38 of 40 shots faced for the win.
Tampa Bay 7:01, Steven Stamkos 1 (power play) (Radim Vrbata, Ryan Malone)
Tampa Bay 10:00, Martin St. Louis 1 (power play) (Matt Carle, Jussi Jokinen)
NY Rangers 19:36, Daniel Girardi 1 (power play) (Scott Gomez, Wade Redden)
NY Rangers 17:07, Fredrik Sjostrom 1 (power play) (Pierre Parenteau, Lauri Korpikoski)
This was much closer to the opening night lineup, so there were fewer prospects in uniform:
Janne Niskala was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 19:23.
Vladimir Mihalik had 1 blocked shot in 16:04.
Steven Stamkos had 1 goal, 1 shot, 3 hits, and was 67% on draws to go with a +1 rating in 14:46.
Alexei Glukhov did not play in Mytischi's 4-3 overtime win over Cherepovets. Glukhov has yet to appear in a game this season.
Albert Vishnyakov was -1 in Novokuznetsk's 3-2 shootout win over Voskresensk.
Vasily Koshechkin did not play in Togliatti's 2-1 shootout loss to Magnitogorsk.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 4-1 loss to Chelyabinsk.
Anton But was -1 in CSKA's 4-3 loss to Riga.