Lightning win Game Eight of the '04 Finals.
Marc Denis stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the win. The Secret Weapon, Nick Tarnasky, and Maurice, er, Vincent Lecavalier led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist each in the game. Dan Boyle added the game winning overtime goal and Tim Taylor, Jason Ward, Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin St. Louis each had individual helpers.
And tonight, I think this Lightning team took their game to another level. It might have been premature to label this team a Stanley Cup contender even up until the past few games. But, to go into a hostile building (the hardest building to get a road win in the NHL) where the entire city of Calgary of geared up for payback for the '03-'04 Finals and where there's so much emotion on the ice and come out with two points, that's the stuff of champions. And, to me, it's the way they did it. True, he only got 6:32 of ice time, but little by little Nick Tarnasky's role on the team is expanding. And, also, Jason Ward playing 13:07 and getting his first point in a Lightning jersey is also seeing his role expand. This team needs to get quality minutes out of guys like Ward and Tarnasky on their lower lines if they're going to be successful in the playoffs and as time goes by these players are starting to show they may very well be up to the challenge.
The Lightning's win, coupled with Atlanta's earlier loss to Florida, puts the Lightning back into a tie with Atlanta in points atop the Southeast Division and they've managed to eat up that game in hand the Thrashers were holding for much of the week. Good good deal. And, don't look now, Marc Denis is starting to play winning hockey again. If the Lightning can get Holmqvist and Denis playing well going into the playoffs then the team is going to have the kind of tandem that last year's Cup winner in Carolina proved can be successful.
Tampa Bay 18:25, Nick Tarnasky 4 (Tim Taylor, Jason Ward)
Calgary 13:56, Jeff Friesen 5 (Rhett Warrener, Andrei Zyuzin)
Calgary 4:28, Craig Conroy 11 (Andrei Zyuzin, Alex Tanguay)
Tampa Bay 6:35, Vincent Lecavalier 46 (Nick Tarnasky, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Tampa Bay 2:59, Dan Boyle 15 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Ramo slays Goliath.
Karri Ramo stopped 38 of 40 shots faced for the win. Norm Milley led the way offensively with a pair of goals, including a shorthanded talley. Veteran Eric Healey had the game winning goal and added an assist. Individual helpers belonged to Radek Smolenak and PJ Atherton. In 4 games since his recall, Atherton has 2 goals, 3 points and, just as importantly, a solid even rating.
Brady Greco suited up but did not play in the game for Springfield. Milley, Ramo and Healey were named the game's three stars. Ramo and the Falcons ended a Providence winning streak which had reached six games.
SPR Milley, (21) (Smolenak), 4:49
PRO Krejci, (23) (Lashoff, Glenn), 18:35 (PP)
SPR Milley, (22) (Healey, Atherton), 19:44 (SH)
SPR Healey, (24) , 2:20
PRO LeClerc, (1) (Stuart), 9:32
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
One step forward, two steps back...
Morgan Cey allowed 4 goals on 24 shots in the loss. Grant Jacobsen stayed hot scoring the only Chiefs goal with an assist from Doug Andress. Johnstown remains two points behind Reading for the final playoff spot in the North Division due to Reading's loss to South Carolina.
CIN Wirll, (39) (Gallagher, Lisabeth), 9:06
CIN Stewart, (7) (Ehgoetz, Wirll), 10:15
JHN Jacobsen, (9) (Andress), 10:55
CIN Wirll, (40) (Ehgoetz, Lisabeth), 8:27 (PP)
CIN Daoust, (26) (Macdonald), 15:55
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Windsor 4 @ Owen Sound 9
At the end of the first period, Owen Sound was down 4-1 to the league's second-worst team. Whatever Owen Sound's coach, Mike Stothers, said in the lockerroom worked as the Attack scored eight unanswered goals in the final two periods to beat the Spitfires 9-4. Marek Bartanus had a goal for Owen Sound, his sixth of the year. He was also plus-3.
Saginaw 5 @ Erie 2
Kevin Beech was back in the nets tonight for Erie after sitting for two-plus games, and allowed 4 goals on 42 shots before watching as Saginaw scored an empty net goal to end the game.
Kamloops 2 @ Prince George 4
Prince George erased a 2-0 deficit with 4 straight goals to beat Kamloops for the second consecutive night on home ice. Vladimir Mihalik was scoreless and plus-1.
Everett 3 @ Tri-City 5
Dane Crowley had an assist and was minus-2 for Everett in their loss in Tri-City. Everett only managed 20 shots on goal.
Andreas Holmqvist is playing like a man possessed.
Linkopings took a commanding 3-0 lead in their opening round Elitserien playoff series today defeating Lulea 2-1. Lightning prospect Andreas Holmqvist led the way scoring a goal on a 2-man power play advantage and adding a power play assist. Through three playoff games Holmqvist leads Linkopings in scoring with 2 goals, 5 points, 2 penalty minutes and a -1 rating. Game Four of the series is slated for Monday.
With Holmqvist playing so well, it's likely Holmqvist will earn a spot on the Swedish World Championships team and could see a considerable amount of ice time for a young Elitserien player. A good World Championships might very well clinch a contract with the Lightning who are not only short on offensive defensemen in the system but also short on right handed defensemen. The fit looks good and the time might be right to bring Andreas back to North America.