It's a loss, but it feels like a win.
Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before allowing 1 of 2 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. He was magnificent in overtime, helping the team kill off a 4-on-3 PP. Absolutely magnificent. Here's the upshot with Anders: he still doesn't graduate from prospect status on this site until his next NHL decision. Tonight was just the second shootout in his NHL career. He's got a lot of time to gain experience and get better.
19:17 MTL Gionta (3), (Plekanec, Subban)(PP)
8:21 MTL Subban (3), (Eller)
18:54 MTL Moen (1), (Eller, Armstrong)
14:04 TB Hedman (3), (Pyatt, Pouliot)
18:17 TB Hedman (4), (Purcell, Salo)
19:16 TB Salo (1), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP)
Victor Hedman and Anders Lindback were the game's first and second stars.
As any reader of this blog should know by now, being down by 3 goals in the third period is supposed to be a death sentence in professional hockey. Unofficially, I'll bet 98% of the time you don't come back from it. That's why cutting leads to 2 goals to give yourself a chance heading into the third period is so important. So, when a team beats the long odds to overcome a 3 goal deficit to steal a point like the Lightning did tonight, it's a big deal for that team's confidence and swagger. And the way the Lightning got the game tied tonight is they made their own luck and got a couple of bounces on their last 2 goals. I expect the team to really break out of their slump in the next game feeding off their performance in the third period tonight. This was a shootout loss that feels like a win, for sure.
Alex Killorn was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot on goal in 10:53.
Richard Panik was -1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 9:58 in his NHL debut. As with Killorn's debut in the last game, we're proud papas on the site to see Panik make it to the show.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 2 hits in 14:15.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 12 is … Alex Killorn, C/W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)
More than five years after his draft day, Alex Killorn made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning at the world’s most famous arena.
Killorn, a third round pick of the Bolts in 2009, had an assist on Sunday in the Lightning’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Killorn started on the third line, but worked his way up to a scoring line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell by game’s end. He brought grit on the forecheck and his willingness to play in front of the net resulted in an assist.
The Lightning brought Killorn to the big club to add size and skill to the Bolts’ third line. Dana Tyrell was waived and assigned to AHL Syracuse.
Suddenly, the entire organization is circling the drain.
Mathiru Garon allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the loss before being pulled for Anders Lindback who allowed 2 on 13 the rest of the way. Garon's played like hot garbage the past few starts he's had, and the third goal he allowed was horribly soft.
00:31 NYR Hagelin (2), (Nash, Girardi)
15:13 NYR Callahan (3), (unassisted)
09:58 NYR Hagelin (3), (Staal)
14:42 TB Lecavalier (5), (Hedman, Killorn)
12:22 NYR Asham (1), (McDonagh)
19:51 NYR Nash (3), (Hagelin, Girardi)
It's an embarassing, frustrating time to be a fan of the Lightning organization, as both Tampa Bay and Syracuse got shelled tonight and had to pull their goaltenders mid stream en route to being thumped. The symptoms are similar. Stupid turnovers. Uneven effort. Goaltending that can't seem to make big stops when they're needed to erase mistakes. It's hard not to feel disgusted right now.
Alex Killorn had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in his NHL debut. He also had 2 shots on goal in 13:17 of ice time, earning a promotion to the Lecavalier line. It was a pretty good debut after some early shifts where he looked a little wide eyed about the pace of the game. I just wish the result for the team had been better for his first game.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 1 hit in 6:45. I'm not seeing a lot of positives in his shifts. He's second to a lot of pucks, and not really landing any hits in the process.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 20:03. The fact the Lightning have to play a rookie, even one as good as Conacher, 20+ minutes to try to spark offense is an awfully bad omen.
Last night's collapse continues into today's match.
Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Dustin Tokarski, who allowed 2 on 12 shots the rest of the way. At some point you'd like one of your two championship pedigree goaltenders to step up and act like it and steal you a game rather than getting lit up like Roman candles.
ADK Gustafsson, (4) , 7:02
ADK Mangene, (2) (Sim), 0:37
ADK Dimmen, (3) (Mangene, Sim), 10:56
ADK Laliberte, (2) (Syvret, Akeson), 12:34 (PP)
ADK Eddy, (2) (Wellwood, Lauridsen), 1:30
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Akeson, Noebels), 13:21
SYR Johnson, (23) (Connolly, Neilson), 18:38 (PP)
This is the kind of embarassing loss where you'd expect Julien BriseBois to start looking to make some moves, now. The Crunch let some valuable veteran components like Segal, Smith, and Jackson walk over the offseason with the thought there was enough good youth to handle it. And, yes, there is a lot of good youth. But, in my mind, a piece needs to be added to, at the very least, try to fill some of what was lost between Conacher and now, possibly, Alex Killorn, to Tampa Bay.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
If Lightning prospect Alex Killorn makes his NHL debut today for Tampa Bay as expected, it will mark 2,060 days from his draft day to debut.
The Lightning play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Killorn, a 2007 third round pick of the Bolts, was scratched last night by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leading to speculation he will be recalled by the Lightning for the first time in his career.
Syracuse Post-Standard Crunch reporter Lindsay Kramer confirmed with Killorn after the game that he was headed to the big show.
"It's a really good feeling. You don't know when it's going to come,'' Killorn told Kramer, who also reported Killorn’s mother cried when the 23-year-old Montreal native told her the news.
Killorn is a rookie in the AHL though he finished last season with the Norfolk Admirals upon graduating from Harvard University. Killorn graduated from Harvard and won an AHL championship within a few weeks of each other.
His mother likely cried then, too.