Keller is also getting in line for a recall.
Riku Helenius stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win to even his record at 4-4-0 this season. He is now sitting on 1 shutout, a 2.18 GAA, and a .938 save percentage. What's the definition of a "good problem" to have? Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna acquitting themselves fairly well in the NHL while your young #1 starter is out injured, Helenius playing well in the AHL, and young Dustin Tokarski standing on his head in junior. That is a "good problem" to have.
BNG Mauldin, (12) (Regin, Hamel), 11:54
BNG Mauldin, (13) (Fata, Regin), 17:56
NOR Potulny, (8) (Brookbank, Jones), 1:27
NOR Jones, (11) (Lundin, Konopka), 14:44 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (21) (Keller, Konopka), 3:43
NOR Keller, (11) (Bochenski), 11:08
I find it fascinating that, despite spotting him a significant head start, Keller has caught Blair Jones in the goal department. Jones still has a mammoth lead on Keller in assists and a better points per game number, but that may be a little inflated with power play assists with Blair playing the point position so much. This may be another really good problem for the Lightning organization to have if Keller and Jones continue to hit the scoresheet and, along with Brandon Segal, continue to push for late season recalls.
For those who have been wondering, Vladimir Mihalik has been out with a nasty concussion.
Norfolk climbs back to 3 games under .500. I think the season would be considered a success, given the rocky beginnings, if the team could climb to a winning record. It could be the foundation of a return to the playoffs next season with the Admirals getting an injection of a little more speed and skill with guys like Dana Tyrell coming on board.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Close, but no cigar.
Karri Ramo allowed just 2 goals on 40 shots in regulation and overtime before surrendering goals to both shooters he faced for the shootout loss. One of his goals during regulation was pretty soft, but it's hard to complain about a .950 save percentage in the game. Unfortunately, the shootout has been really tough for Karri all season, and Patrik Elias absolutely de-jocked Ramo on the game winning shootout goal.
04:33 TB Malone (20), (St. Louis, Lecavalier)
12:55 TB Malone (21), (Lecavalier, Smaby)
02:16 NJ Clarkson (11), (Zubrus)(PP)
01:13 NJ Parise (35), (Zajac, Langenbrunner)(PP)
NJ- Parise, Elias
The effort level tonight from the whole team was much higher than in the Chicago game, and the club actually outpaced New Jersey 41-40 in shots tonight. Steve Eminger played 30:04? Holy cow!
Ty Wishart had 1 blocked shot in 9:05. He's been pretty invisible on this recall. That's good in some ways and not so good in others.
Steve Downie had 1 hit in 8:42.
Matt Smaby had 1 assist, 7 penalty minutes, and was +1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 20:29. He's really coming into his own as an NHL player now.
It's a shame that no one but the young kids showed up.
Karri Ramo allowed 5 goals on 49 shots for the loss. The game could've be 8 or 9 to 3 without Ramo. The Lightning got outshot 19-3 in the first period and 15-7 in the third. That's just hanging your goaltender out to dry. The kid deserved better. He showed flashes of what he was prior to this season's disappointments.
11:53 CHI Keith (7), (Havlat, Seabrook)
12:58 TB Stamkos (8), (Melichar, Krajicek)
10:28 TB Stamkos (9), (Prospal, Roberts)(PP)
11:38 TB Stamkos (10), (Eminger, Prospal)(PP)
19:12 CHI Toews (19), (Kane, Barker)(PP)
01:46 CHI Kane (18), (Campbell, Toews)(PP)
12:46 CHI Bolland (13), (Havlat, Keith)
15:59 CHI Toews (20), (Brouwer, Kane)
The team completely laid down after Stamkos' hat trick. It was bizarre, and sickening. I give him a lot of credit for playing hard to the final horn to break up a potential empty net goal. I wish some of the veterans on the team showed that much pride.
Ty Wishart had 1 shot in 8:02.
Steve Downie had 17 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 6:28.
Matt Smaby was -1 with 6 hits and 4 blocked shots in 22:00, which was a high among the defensemen.
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.
Wow. Atta boy, Riku!
Riku Helenius pitches a 41 save shutout in his first career AHL start. A star is born?
NOR Bochenski, (17) (Konopka, Keller), 11:31
NOR Bochenski, (18) (Smolenak, Lundin), 4:43
NOR Segal, (13) (Smolenak, Gratton), 15:38
Wow. This is where Karri Ramo needs to start feeling the heat coming up his back. Everyone's known for the past 2-1/2 years that Helenius is athletically capable, and the bizarre reshuffling and suspension situation has given Helenius an opportunity to finally get in between the pipes. And, damn-it-all if he hasn't seized the opportunity by the throat in his first start. Wow.
Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik just got back to even for the season with a +3 night tonight. His play has picked up since the embarassment of the San Jose Sharks game.
Box score from TheAHL.com.