Dallas is good.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 26 of 28 shots faced in the overtime loss. Brad Richards had the only Lightning goal, shorthanded, off assists from Eric Perrin and Paul Ranger. Dallas absolutely dominated the first 20 minutes of play before the final 40 turned into a heavyweight street fight with both teams creating huge surges of pressure.
First impressions of Shane O'Brien? Worth the price. His passing ability is outstanding and although he lacks scintilating acceleration, once he hits his stride he's amazingly fast for a man that size. If he gets indoctrinated into the Lightning system quickly and starts looking up for those long stretch passes and, at the same time, uses his speed to jump in and hold in pucks along the wall from the point in, he's going to start racking up assists.
The Lightning's hard earned overtime point moves them 2 points ahead of Atlanta in the division and 5 points ahead of Carolina which dropped their game with Ottawa tonight 4-2.
Dallas 10:59, Jere Lehtinen 22 (power play) (Jussi Jokinen, Mike Modano)
Tampa Bay 19:41, Brad Richards 23 (shorthanded) (Eric Perrin, Paul Ranger)
Dallas 1:35, Ladislav Nagy 10 (Mike Ribeiro, Philippe Boucher)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Lightning GM Jay Feaster completed two more trades before the NHL trade deadline on Tuesday, offically closing the books on Nikita Alexeev's second tour with the Bolts. The Chicago Blackhawks acquired Alexeev in exchange for winger Karl Stewart and a 2007 6th round draft pick. Alexeev was originally drafted by Tampa in the 1st round (8th overall) of the 2000 draft by former Lightning GM Rick Dudley. Dudley is currently serving as the assistant GM of the Blackhawks. Stewart, 23, is playing in his first full NHL season and is listed at 5'11" and 185 lbs. In a radio interview by WDAE 620 in Tampa, Feaster indicated that Stewart would bring energy and a physical presence to the lower lines, using his speed and hitting on the forecheck.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports in his blog that newly acquired Shane O'Brien was to take Doug Janik's spot in the lineup. However, with Nikita Alexeev traded to Chicago, Andreas Karlsson on injured reserve, and Andre Roy suspended, Janik is back in the lineup in order to dress 20 healthy bodies. Look for Janik to sit on Thursday when Karl Stewart and Jason Ward make their Lightning debuts.
NHL.com is reporting the Lightning have sent defenseman prospect Doug Oâ€™Brien to the Anaheim Ducks for AHL veteran defenseman Joe Rullier. The 6-3, 230 pound Rullier was part of the Brad Richards Rimouski Oceanic team that won the Memorial Cup in 2000. Rullier was drafted in the 5th round by Los Angeles in 1998 and was signed by the Kings following the Memorial Cup, but did not last with the club as he was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Rangers in the summer of 2005, then by the Canucks in the summer of 2006. In January 2007 he was sent by Vancouver to Anaheim for a prospect.
Rullier totaled a career-high 31 points (8 goals) in 67 games last year for Hartford and Manchester. This year Manitoba and Portland he has 2 goals and 10 points in 31 games. Rullier had a career high of 322 penalty minutes and a plus-23 rating two seasons ago for Manchester.
Doug Oâ€™Brien, a native of Newfoundland, played in 5 games for Tampa Bay last season, going scoreless. After finishing last year with 32 points in 74 games for Springfield, he was expected to be an impact 2-way defenseman for the Falcons, but has a relatively quiet 19 points (6 goals) in 53 games. Oâ€™Brien will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Rullier likely comes into the Tampa Bay system as the ninth defenseman and first re-call on the backline from Springfield.
Rullier career stats from hockeydb.com