Quite simply the best game the Lightning have played this season.
Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory.
TB 6:54, Stamkos 16 (St Louis, Hedman)
TB 19:24, Foster 2 (St Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
TB 8:05, Downie 3 (St Louis, Stamkos)(PP)
TB 12:25, Szczechura 1 (Wright, Walker)
TB 8:24, Foster 3 (Konopka)
NYR 17:53, Callahan 4 (Anisimov, Staal)
The Lightning have struggled to get shots on goal, and they finally got to 30 tonight (31) even with the Rangers blocking quite a few shots (14). If the Lightning can get up over 30 shots a game consistently, I believe they're going to start scoring 3-4 goals a night and they've got enough goaltending to make it stand up.
More than just the shots and the goals, though, I thought the Lightning also physically handled the Rangers. Walker and Konopka both treated Brian Boyle like a speed bag with eyes and the Lightning outhit the Rangers 15-13.
One other thing: Recent BoltProspects graduate Steve Downie and Kurtis Foster are really coming on lately. Downie, in particular, has an unbelievable knack for breaking up passes and clearing attempts along the wall. He's a lot like fellow little guy Martin St. Louis in that respect.
Zenon Konopka had an assist and was +1 with 17 penalty minutes, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 8:16. He was also 75% on draws, including the clean win that got him the helper on Foster's second goal. More than that, though, he landed a couple of nice bombs on Brian Boyle after Boyle made a dangerous hit on young Mr. Wright.
Paul Szczechura got his nose bloodied and then responded with a 1 goal, +1 performance with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and he was 69% on draws in 14:34. It was his best game of the season, and given the circumstances Coach Tocchet may want to take a stick and pop Chewey square in the nose before every game.
James Wright had a helper and was +1 in 13:55.
Victor Hedman had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 21:33. He's looked a little lost without Ohlund, but he played a strong, workmanlike game tonight.
Apologies for the lateness of this post, and apologies for the Lightning stubbing their toe for their first regulation loss at home of the year.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 4 goals on 30 shots for the loss. It was an uncharacteristic performance for Niitty.
TOR 6:45, Kulemin 4 (Gunnarsson, Primeau)
TOR 11:54, Hagman 10 (Beauchemin, Gunnarsson)
TB 14:14, Meszaros 3 (Downie, Stamkos)(PP)
TB 14:44, Lecavalier 5 (Halpern, Tanguay)
TOR 1:20, Hagman 11 (Grabovski, Exelby)
TB 7:51, Malone 15 (Stamkos, St Louis)
TOR 18:13, Stajan 6 (Gunnarsson)
Zenon Konopka had 2 hits in 9:44.
Paul Szczechura was -1 with 1 shot in 10:14.
James Wright was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 12:07.
Victor Hedman was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 17:01.
Stinks to give Atlanta anything, but it was important for the Lightning to get two points.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the win.
TB 5:45, Veilleux 1 (Konopka, Foster)
TB 19:36, Malone 14 (St Louis, Stamkos)
ATL 5:29, Enstrom 3 (Kozlov, Antropov)
TB 9:20, Foster 1 (Tanguay, St Louis)(PP)
ATL 15:37, Kozlov 2 (Antropov)
ATL 17:29, Kane 7 (White, Enstrom)
TB 2:56, Stamkos 15 (St Louis)
Don't look now, but after going scoreless in his first 10 games of the season, Kurtis Foster has 1 goal in 3 points in the last couple of games.
Steve Downie had 4 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 11:03 on graduation night. Congratulations to Downie on his 82nd career NHL game, which graduates him from prospect status on this website.
Zenon Konopka had a helper and was +1 with 2 hits in 8:15.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot in 15:32.
James Wright was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 13:50.
Victor Hedman was +1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 20:25.
Strange. I had forgotten what a regulation loss feels like.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss.
TB 15:18, St Louis 5 (Foster, Lecavalier)(PP)
CAR 2:35, Ruutu 6 (Whitney, Pitkanen)(PP)
CAR 13:46, Jokinen 6 (Corvo, LaRose)
CAR 15:37, LaRose 1 (Samsonov, Corvo)
It was a tough spot to be in, flying 5 hours cross country. The important thing is to now allow the loss to snowball. They have Atlanta tomorrow night and that's a game they really need to get two points out of.
Steve Downie had 1 shot and, oh my gosh, 7 hits in 15:01. He's really playing well, and tomorrow night's game against Atlanta will be his 82nd career NHL game, which graduates him from prospect status here on BP.
Zenon Konopka had 1 hit and was 78% on draws in 7:03.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot in 12:33.
James Wright had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 12:18.
Victor Hedman was -2 in 22:45 and really got rocked on a hit trying to cross the opposing blueline on a rush. He seems a little rudderless at times without Matias Ohlund around.
Hard not to be proud of the team for battling back tonight.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss.
ANH 6:25, Selanne 11 (Getzlaf, Perry)
ANH 18:12, Getzlaf 3 (Selanne, Perry)(PP)
ANH 6:52, Ryan 9 (Lupul, Boynton)(PP)
TB 7:23, Halpern 2 (Downie, Hedman)
TB 7:41, Stamkos 14 (Lecavalier, Malone)
TB 1:38, St Louis 5 (Downie, Malone)(PP)
ANH 0:52, Niedermayer 2 (Getzlaf, Selanne)(PP)
Usually falling into a 3-0 hole is a death sentence, particularly for an east coast team that's a long way from home. So, to get a point under the circumstances was pretty outstanding.
Steve Downie had 2 assists and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 11:22. Tonight was Steve's 80th NHL game, so he's now 2 away from graduating from prospect status on Bolt Prospects.
Zenon Konopka had 5 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 7:55.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and 2 hits in 12:29.
James Wright had 1 hit in 11:04.
Victor Hedman had an assist and was +1 with 1 hit in 24:22.