Szczechura, Paul

AHL Game Night: 2-5-10 Wolf Pack at Admirals

Jim Johnson is 7-0-1-1 as Head Coach.

HFD-2
NOR-3 (OT)

Jaroslav Janus allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
HFD Locke, (20) (Byers, Nightingale), 0:52 (SH)
NOR Fadden, (3) (Fornataro, Wishart), 11:56 (PP)

Third Period
HFD Roche, (2) (Grachev, Nightingale), 8:45
NOR Keller, (8) (McGinnis, Szczechura), 16:55

Overtime
NOR Szczechura, (7) (Lashoff, Simek), 3:50

Paul Szczechura and Justin Keller were the game's first and second stars.

After a slow start in the first period, the Admirals outshot Hartford 34-17 from the second period on. The only downside of the night is that they surrendered a point in the standings to Hartford, which still presents a crossover problem from the Atlantic Division.

Norfolk still holds 3rd place in East Division with 52 points, and is now 1 game over .500. They have gained 2 points on 2nd place Albany and are now 5 points back of the River Rats with Albany holding a game in hand. They remain 2 points ahead of 4th place Adirondack and 5th place Syracuse with the Phantoms holding 2 games in hand. They gained 2 points on 6th place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which is now 4 points back with the Pens holding 2 games in hand. The Admirals also maintained their 8 point lead on last place Binghamton with the Sens still holding 4 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Szczechura Clears Waivers

After being reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals at the beginning of the week on a conditioning assignment, the Tampa Bay Lightning placed prospect forward Paul Szczechura on waivers on Thursday. Szczechura cleared waivers at noon on Friday and will remain with the Norfolk Admirals.

Szczechura has 6 goals and 8 assists in 16 games with the Admirals this season, while scoring twice and adding an assist in 37 games with the Lightning.

NHL Game Day: 1-31-10 Lightning at Capitals

The Lightning come within an eyelash of taking a point away from a very fired up Capitals team.

TB-2
WSH-3

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the loss. What a tough spot to be put in for your first game back. "So, uh, Smitty. You got the Caps tonight. They've won 9 in a row and they're super angry the way we whipped them last time we played them. Go get 'em tiger!" Give credit to Smith for battling and giving the Lightning a serious chance to get points out of this one.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
WSH 0:57, Backstrom 23 (Ovechkin, Fleischmann)(PP)
WSH 12:56, Laich 16 (Semin, Fleischmann)

Third Period
TB 5:00, St. Louis 16 (Foster, Stamkos)
TB 7:42, Stamkos 29 (Foster, St. Louis)(PP)
WSH 13:34, Ovechkin 35 (Backstrom, Poti)

There's no such thing as a moral victory, and I doubt the club feels very good about losing a point with under 10 to play. But, watching this game out of the corner of my eye while the Norfolk game was on, you could tell the Caps came out with playoff intensity and they were out there to try to embarass the Lightning after Tampa Bay spanked them so badly in the last meeting they had. For the most part, the Lightning handled the Caps' surges and they blocked a ton of shots to keep the overall shot total close at 31-27 even though they got outchanced. And, they played opportunistic hockey in the third and capitalized on a key power play opportunity that almost was enough to steal a point out of the capitol city. In other words, even in defeat, the Lightning managed to let Washnington know the last game in Tampa was not a fluke. The gap is closing in the Southeast.

How long has it been since a Lightning game didn't have a prospect in it? It's the first time in about a season and a half, at least, with Paul Szczechura being sent to the Admirals for a brief conditioning stint. On a somewhat related note, it'll be interesting to see if the Lightning send some reinforcements like Szczechura to Norfolk over the Olympic break to see if they can aid in the Admirals' own quest for the playoffs.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-29-10 Ducks at Lightning

With the point, the Lightning have entered into a five team pile-up for the final two playoff spots in the conference. But, if they were even mediocre in shootouts, they'd be snugly in.

ANH-2
TB-1 (SO)

Antero Niittymaki allowed 1 goal on 32 shots before allowing 2 of 3 shooters to defeat him in the penalty shot session.

First Period
TB 9:47, St. Louis 15 (Stamkos)

Second Period
ANH 6:36, Wisniewski 3 (Getzlaf, Whitney)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
ANH- Getzlaf, Wisniewski
TB- Stamkos

Do I really need to say much more about the Lightning's shootout futility this season? I don't know what it is about the Lightning that makes them so ineffectual at it, despite having some ridiculously skilled players. The gimmick at the end of the game aside (which I, A. Hate, and B. Isn't really that exciting), both teams played a strong game and both teams got strong goaltending. It was a chippy game, and the Lightning answered the bell fairly well against an Anaheim team that has a lot of size and toughness.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and 1 hit in 9:26. He's now 4 games from graduation here on Bolt Prospects.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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