At least Ramo got some work.
05:02 WSH Semin (21), (Backstrom)
13:21 WSH Ovechkin (38), (Semin, Backstrom)
19:20 WSHS Morrisonn (2), (Steckel, Gordon)
05:33 WSH Green (22), (Semin)(PP)
09:30 TB Malone (19), (Lecavalier)
13:31 WSH Fehr (8), (Fleischmann)
Two AHL goaltenders and both your best d-men on the shelf is not the way you want to face this Caps team. The Lightning actually had their chances to make a game of it, but Washington's stars finished their chances. The Lightning's did not.
Steve Downie was -1 with 1 shot, hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:49.
Matt Smaby was -3 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 20:12.
David Koci had 2 shots in 8:43.
Dollars to donuts, Stamkos' penalty shot was in.
Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Tampa Bay outshot the Thrashers 41-24, but a soft goal by McKenna ended up being the margin.
01:24 TB Roberts (4), (Downie, Stamkos)
09:52 ATL Stuart (1), (Perrin)(SH)
02:02 ATL Kozlov (18), (Peverley, Havelid)
19:50 ATL Kovalchuk (23), (unassisted)(EN)
Steve Downie had an assist, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 9:59.
Matt Smaby had 1 shot, 5 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:58.
David Koci was +1 with 1 hit in 6:48.
Roberts goes from goat to hero in the span of a couple of nights.
Mike McKenna had a 28 save shutout for his first career NHL win.
13:34 TB Roberts (3), (Eminger, Stamkos)
Roberts, who got played like a fiddle by Matt Cooke to help cost his team a point in the standings against the Pens, tipped in an Eminger point shot for the game winning goal tonight. I sense mayhem on the message boards.
Steve Downie was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 9:37. He limped off after getting hit with a puck, so we'll have to see if he's ready to go next time out.
Matt Smaby got himself a 5 for fighting early in the game and also had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 19:22. Tonight was a really good night for Smaby. He got an opportunity to show the coaching staff what he can do with more ice time, and he was solid. He was even surprisingly good at pinching in and keeping plays alive at the blueline in the offensive zone. I've been extremely impressed since he came back from his injury. It looks to me like he may very well stick this time.
David Koci played 1:31 in the game.
The NHL league office is a mockery.
07:03 PHI Richards (17), (Knuble, Gagne)
17:55 TB Prospal (13), (Ranger)(PP)
08:05 PHI Jones (2), (Richards, Carle)(PP)
14:41 PHI Richards (18), (Lupul, Jones)
07:59 PHI Carter (31), (Hartnell, Timonen)
10:47 PHI Hartnell (18), (Vaananen, Niittymaki)
13:08 PHI Carter (32), (unassisted)
What do you do when the league won't even allow you to compete? What do you do when you know that any borderline call and Toronto will go get on the phone and rule against you? I am amazed the NHL still hasn't gotten egg all over their face yet for the obvious bias and conflict of interest their decision a few seasons ago to move video replay to a "war room" in Toronto, and the subsequent effect it's had on the objectivity of the video officiating. It's been, what, four seasons now? And, the next borderline call that goes the Lightning's way will be the first. Two nights. Three video goal reviews. Every single damned one of them went against the Lightning.
In the first period, Mark Recchi may have kicked a puck in front of him which he whacked at and touched before it crossed the goal line. It wasn't obvious on video but the audio very clearly registered the sound of Recchi's stick hitting the puck. The goal was called good on the ice by the referee, but the decision was overturned by Toronto, despite a lack of conclusive evidence. In the third period Steven Stamkos batted a puck in on a rebound off Philly's goaltender Antero Nittymaki. The goal was immediately disallowed on the ice as batted in by a stick above the crossbar. This time? Toronto hides behind a lack of conclusive evidence and upholds what the referee's original call was. Same game. Same refs. Same video goal "war room." And the exact opposite calls. The other constant? Both were goals that would've been huge for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Waved off. And, every single person who has followed the Lightning in the past four seasons knew what the outcome of the review would be long before the ref hung up the phone. I mean, hell, 6'9" Zdeno Chara could whack a puck in with a high stick at his eye level three seasons ago and it counted in Toronto's eyes because it was against the Lightning, but 6'1" Steven Stamkos, standing legs apart lower to the ice for balance, bats a puck in at around shoulder height and it's "inconclusive." It's become a joke. They might as well name Vince McMahon the NHL's comissioner at this point.
Steve Downie had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 3 hits in 11:25. He would've had a helper had Stamkos' goal counted, but that was before Toronto got involved.
Matt Smaby had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:45. It's striking how comfortable he has looked in these past two games. Have I mentioned I think this league is a joke?
David Koci got in a fight and had 1 blocked shot in 4:08. I wish he'd go to Toronto and slug every biased nitwit manning the "war room."
Now, don't get me wrong. There's no telling how the game might've turned out had either of the goals counted. Antero Nittymaki played a great game, stopping breakaways by Jeff Halpern and Marty St. Louis and a subsequent penalty shot by Marty St. Louis. There's no guarantee a 2-1 Lightning lead would've led to a Lightning victory or that the Lightning cutting a third period deficit to 3-2 would've led to a Lightning comeback. The point is, the league did not even allow the Lightning to compete in this game. They didn't allow the Lightning to have a chance. There was only one outcome possible to this game thanks to Toronto, and that was a victory by Philadelphia. And, that's a farce.
Key point of the game: Lightning kill the 5-on-3 in the first period to keep it 2-1.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the win.
03:08 TB Malone (14), (Artyukhin)
07:15 MTL Lapierre (9), (Markov, Komisarek)
08:06 MTL Kovalev (13), (unassisted)
02:49 TB Lecavalier (22), (St. Louis, Murphy)(PP)
14:57 TB Prospal (12), (Krajicek)
17:08 TB Downie (3), (Eminger, Stamkos)
11:04 TB St. Louis (18), (Lecavalier, Meszaros)(PP)
11:26 MT Lapierre (10), (Latendresse, Gorges)
That last goal on the 2-on-1 by St. Louis from Lecavalier, my Lord. That belongs hung on a wall in a museum somewhere. That's art, folks.
Good news and bad news. The good news is Toronto and Carolina lost. So, the Lightning finally jump over Toronto and gain 2 points on Carolina and idle Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Florida won, so the Lightning only gain 1 point on 8th place (8 points back) with the Panthers leapfrogging the Hurricanes. The Lightning hold 1 game on the Canes with the Panthers having 1 in hand on the Lightning. That second period laydown in the last game against Florida is still haunting them.
Steve Downie had 1 goal and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:55. He's very noticable, in a good way, on the handful of shifts he's out.
David Koci was -1 in 2:10.