Szczechura, Paul

NHL Game Night: 12-21-09 Lightning at Islanders

The Lightning's road trip is over. But, after two wins, the season isn't, thankfully.

TB-4
NYI-2

Mike Smith allowed just 2 goals on 38 shots for the win.

First Period
NYI 16:47, Hunter 6 (Bailey, Hillen)(PP)

Second Period
TB 6:20, Stamkos 21 (St. Louis, Malone)
NYI 16:25, Thompson 1 (Okposo, Nielsen)
TB 19:41, Lecavalier 9 (Tanguay, Malone)

Third Period
TB 2:48, Malone 17 (Stamkos, Foster)(PP)
TB 11:39, Malone 18 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)

The Lightning have climbed back to within 1 game of the .500 mark and 2 points of 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

Paul Szczechura had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 4 hits, and was 75% on draws in 14:05.

James Wright had 1 shot and 2 hits in 7:17.

Blair Jones had 2 shots and 2 hits in 12:34.

Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 19:47.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-18-09 Lightning at Blues

Light at the end of the tunnel?

TB-6
STL-3

Antero Niittymaki allowed 3 goals in 26 shots for the win.

First Period
STL 10:04, Winchester 1 (Backes, Kariya)(PP)
TB 10:37, St. Louis 7 (Tanguay, Lecavalier)

Second Period
TB 0:36, Stamkos 19 (Foster, St. Louis)
TB 6:24, Foster 5 (Hedman, Malone)

Third Period
STL 3:58, Oshie 7 (Kariya, Sydor)
TB 4:12, Halpern 6 (Lecavalier, Tanguay)
STL 9:03, Tkachuk 7 (Boyes, McDonald)(PP)
TB 11:15, Halpern 7 (Malone)
TB 19:02, Stamkos 20 (St. Louis)(EN)

I thought in the second period, in particular, the Lightning played with a determination and urgency that is very, very welcome to see. The team's puck movement was also particularly quick and crisp in that period. If they skate and pass the puck like that for 60 minutes a game here on out, they'll win a boat load of hockey games. In particular, Vincent Lecavalier was flying, and the team in general played with a chip on its shoulder. That's the kind of hockey I expected to see this season.

It's a week to Christmas and Steven Stamkos has 20 goals. He's 19 years old. He won't be 20 until February. Think about that.

Zenon Konopka was -1 in 6:45.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot, 3 hits, and was 44% on draws in 13:48.

James Wright played 9:57.

Blair Jones was +1 with a fight, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 10:27. He struggled a bit in his own end of the rink, but if you watched that second period you saw why we've been saying all along he could flourish under Rick Tocchet. He obliterated David Backes on a clean neutral zone hit and, when challenged, answered the bell pretty well again Carlo Colaiacavo. More importantly, there were times he showed hustle and strength on the puck in the forecheck, too, and his big screen on Kurtis Foster's goal helped give the Lightning a key goal that really put St. Louis behind the eight-ball the rest of the way.

Victor Hedman had an assist and was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 24:17.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-17-09 Lightning at Red Wings

We're on the road to nowhere.

TB-0
DET-3

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss.

First Period
DET 8:24, Miller 4 (Rafalski)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
DET 6:48, Bertuzzi 9 (Holmstrom, Datsyuk)
DET 10:10, Eaves 4 (Lidstrom, Rafalski)

What I want for Christmas from the Lightning? Something to actually cheer for. It's been weeks since we've had that.

Zenon Konopka had a fight and was 63% on draws.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 1 shot in 13:18.

James Wright was -1 in 7:25.

Blair Jones was -2 with 2 shots and 5 hits in 11:04.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-15-09 Lightning at Predators

An epic collapse.

TB-4
NSH-7

Antero Niittymaki allowed 4 goals on 14 shots before giving way to Mike Smith who allowed 3 goals on 13 shots for the back door loss in relief.

First Period
NSH 6:53, Smithson 5 (Legwand, Ward)
TB 11:35, Stamkos 18 (Malone, Ohlund)
TB 16:30, Lecavalier 7 (Foster, St. Louis)(PP)

Second Period
NSH 1:12, Legwand 7 (Ward)
NSH 2:57, Jones 3 (Spaling, Weber)
NSH 12:22, Hornqvist 8 (Goc)
NSH 12:50, Dumont 6 (Hornqvist)
NSH 16:09, Hamhuis 3 (Suter, Goc)

Third Period
TB 1:52, Foster 4 (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP)
TB 12:20, Lecavalier 8 (Meszaros)
NSH 13:47, Erat 11 (Sullivan, Arnott)

The offense finally wakes up and scores 4 goals and then the defense and goaltending collapse. People, it's bad.

Zenon Konopka was -1 with 1 hit and was 75% on draws in 12:33.

Paul Szczechura had 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:59.

James Wright was -3 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:25.

Blair Jones was also -3 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:59.

Victor Hedman was -2 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 blocked shot in 13:23.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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