Flat Lightning play down to competition.
Dan Ellis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the overtime loss. He deserved better. He made more than enough saves for a team with this much firepower to win against a bottomfeeder like the Islanders. Shame on the skaters, tonight.
11:28 TB Malone (10), Clark (8), Purcell (18)(PP)
19:43 NYI Parenteau (6), Tavares (9), MacDonald (3)
03:23 NYI Tavares (9), Wisniewski (16), MacDonald (4)
Ellis was the game's third star.
I guess the Lightning didn't want to be tied for the division lead with 2 games in hand on the Capitals and Thrashers. I guess they didn't want all that "success" baggage following them around. So they came out flat for the first ten minutes of the game, potted a power play goal to take the lead, put in another ten minutes of effort to try to get it to 2-0, and then took their foot off the gas the rest of the way. Look, I get that it's hard to get motivated when you're playing a bunch of glorified AHLers inside a building which is quieter than a tomb because no one is there, but for the love of God, that's a game you have to win if you want to get where you want to go as a team.
And, I would not mind Dwayne Roloson on my team.
Dana Tyrell had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:26.
A feel-good romp in Tampa Bay.
Dan Ellis allowed just 1 goal on 22 shots for the victory in a surprise start he was not scheduled for. He made a huge save early in the Second Period that allowed the Lightning to maintain momentum and go on to crush Carolina. That's three straight games where the Lightning's goaltenders have only allowed 1 goal. Beautiful.
05:48 TB Moore (6), Purcell (16), Tyrell (4)
15:52 CAR Samsonov (6), Skinner (16), Cole (8)(PP)
19:59 TB St Louis (13), Malone (17), Moore (7)
14:51 TB Clark (7), St Louis (29), Hedman (11)
16:26 TB Stamkos (26), St Louis (30), Purcell (17)(PP)
18:58 TB Bergenheim (7), Clark (7), Lecavalier (8)(PP)
This was a solid win in a fairly important game. The Canes came into the night six points back of the Lightning, and Carolina happened to be the 9th place team in the conference. So, it was critical for the Lightning to hold serve at home, especially with Cam Ward out with a rash(?) and a young goaltender who was in the AHL last season between the pipes. Now they've got an 8 point spread on 9th place and are 1 point back in the Division with 2 games in hand on the Thrashers. It's a bigger win than it might have appeared on the surface.
Dana Tyrell had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots in 15:07.
Who is the alien in the #41 jersey who has only allowed 2 goals in the span of 2 games.
Mike Smith stopped 22 of 23 shots for the wins. I know! Who knew?
12:16 TB Gagne (3), Lecavalier (7), St Louis (27)(PP)
18:10 TB Stamkos (25), St Louis (28), Malone (16)
19:12 BUF Pominville (5), Hecht (6), Sekera (7)
19:58 TB St Louis (12), Stamkos (21), Ohlund (4)
It was a workmanlike effort by the Lightning tonight. They played their system and were close to hitting on all cylinders. Their forecheck was strong, their best players played well, and their defense and goaltending were efficient. Make no mistake, Buffalo is in the toilet right now, but they're still a talented team and it takes quite an effort to make them look as inept as they did tonight, getting outshot 37-23.
Dana Tyrell had 2 shots and 1 hit in 14:19 and was very dangerous shorthanded, to the tune of his speed generating two shorthanded breakaways. And if you were allowed to score goals by putting the puck under the side of the goal, he'd have had his first NHL shortie tonight. It's probably just a matter of time, now. His speed is lethal. Heaven help the NHL if his finishing ever catches up.
Finally Hedmania has come to the shootout.
Mike Smith took the first step in his emotional rehabilitation by stopping 27 of 28 shots he faced before going 4-for-4 in the shootout for the victory. He's not going to earn style points for the way he plays, but I'll take it.
13:56 ATL Peverley (8), Hainsey (3)(SH)
14:18 TB Bergenheim (6), Jones (9), Kubina (8)
Sean Bergenheim and Mike Smith were the game's first and third stars.
Vincent Lecavalier surprised everyone with his return tonight and had a pretty impressive first game back on the forecheck. That means the Lightning just need to get Steve Downie off IR to be back at full strength.
Dana Tyrell had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 13:37 tonight. I thought he struggled a bit relative to some of his other efforts at some of the finer details like passing the puck and getting it out at his own blueline.
The Lightning accomplish something they've never accomplished in team history: win in Vancouver.
Dan Ellis allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, including a terrible 4th goal, but his team bailed him out for the overtime win.
10:23 VAN Sedin (16), Sedin (29), Burrows (5)
14:05 TB Thompson (5), Malone (14), R. Jones (8)
01:05 TB Clark (6), Moore (6), Purcell (15)(PP)
03:02 TB Stamkos (23), Lundin (7)
04:59 VAN Malhotra (5), Samuelsson (12), Schneider (1)(PP)
13:01 TB Purcell (6), Stamkos (20), St Louis (25)
09:38 VAN Sedin (4), Sedin (18), Schneider (2)(PP)
14:13 VAN Ballard (2), unassisted
00:34 TB Stamkos (24), St Louis (26), Malone (15)(PP)
Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell were the game's first and third stars.
My kingdom for a goaltender. This team's 3 points out of first place with a game in hand on the Caps despite the fact they're -12 in goal differential and the team GAA is around 3.50 and despite having Steve Downie and Vincent Lecavalier out. This Western Canadian swing was very interesting to me, because all three of the netminders the Lightning faced are guys that I think Steve Yzerman should at least inquire about. I know it might take the jaws of life to pry Kipprusoff out of Calgary, but both he and Khabibulin are older goaltenders stuck on bad teams and Cory Schneider, who the Lightning faced tonight, is a prized young netminder doomed to be trapped behind Roberto Luongo for a long time. I don't expect an Eastern Conference team to give a dangerous Lightning squad a legit goaltender, so it's probably going to have to come from out west.
Dana Tyrell had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 14:43.