Good win tainted by lackluster garbage time performance.
Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory. For the longest it looked like he was going to get his second straight shutout, but then the Lightning decided to dog it a bit in garbage time. They'll learn. Eventually.
17:56 TB Stamkos (16), (Palat, Callahan)(PP)
6:54 TB Palat (18), (Carle)
19:51 TB Filppula (22), (Stamkos)
5:44 VAN Burrows (4), (Bieksa, Edler)(PP)
8:47 TB Pyatt (3), (Brown, Hedman)
11:44 VAN Burrows (5), (Jensen, Sedin)
15:16 VAN Hansen (11), (Burrows)(SH)
Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full person? A glass half full person notes that the Lightning controlled the first 40+ minutes of play in this game and looked like a very polished, well-structured team in the process. A glass half empty person will note that their garbage time stumbles could've easily cost them 2 points were it not for the team getting 2 greasy goal deflections off Canucks defensemen and that absolute gift of a soft goal Lack gave Pyatt. I'm feeling like more of a glass half full person tonight, with the caveat that these garbage time SH goals need to stop. Now. They're the root of a lot of the recent late game drama, and very easy to avoid/correct.
The victory puts the Lightning at 81 points with 14 games to go, now tied with Montreal for 2nd in the Atlantic Division, vaulting over their next opponent, which is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Needless to say, that's a big game. Through 8 games of this 10-game segment of the season, the team has 8 points. They'll need to win the next 2 to hit the 12 point segment goal or earn 3 of the next 4 available points to stay on the season pace to comfortably make the playoffs given the 1 insurance point they had coming into the segment.
My target for the season has always been not less than 96 points, so the magic number of points they need is 15 to hit that goal. Yes, they would likely make the postseason with 94 or 95 points, but 96 is the comfortable target that avoids last minute drama. Keeping this winning streak going at least another couple of games would go a long way to making sure that target goal is achieved.
Mike Kostka was -1 with 1 shot in 15:41. This was the most inactive I've seen him in a game since his first game coming over from the Blackhawks. He might've opened the door for Barberio to get back in the lineup. We'll see.
We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 17, 2014 is … Jonathan Drouin, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL – Canada).
He did it again.
Jonathan Drouin had a six-point game a week ago, earning him our Bolt Prospect of the Week. We jokingly said it was because the previous week’s winner, Matt Peca, had a six-point game and Drouin had never hit six points in a regular season game.
Not only did Drouin do it again, but he topped it.
In the final regular season game of his junior career, Drouin had seven points on Saturday vs Cape Breton – the same team he scored six against a week earlier. With 13 points in his last two games against the Screaming Eagles, Drouin is probably banned from visiting Sydney, Nova Scotia, for life.
Colorado College Tigers 3 @ No. 10 North Dakota 4
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 7-8-15, +5, 8 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
O’Donnell scored just over two minutes into the third period to give UND a 4-2 lead. They’d need that goal as Colorado College scored with 89 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one. UND held on to advance to the NCHC Frozen Face-off next weekend.
Ontario Hockey League
Ottawa 67’s 1 @ North Bay Battalion 12
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
Ouch. North Bay scored six times in the second period to take a 9-0 lead, then scored three more in the third. Kyle Locke was plus-8 for North Bay. No one had more than two goals for the Battalion, who finish their regular season as Central Division champs. They’re the No. 2 seed in the East and will face Niagara in the first round. Blujus finishes his final junior regular season (presumably) with 30 points in 55 games and a plus-12 rating. He was minus-double digits at one point mid-season.
Kingston Frontenacs 4 @ Mississauga Steelheads 1
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 54 GP, 25-45-70, +17, 49 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Kingston finished their regular season with a win. Ikonen was scoreless, ending his final junior regular season at 70 points. The Fronts are the No. 3 seed in the East and will play Peterborough in Round 1.
Crunch crushed by Albany.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the loss. Hard to be anything but apologetic to your goaltender when you get outshot 37-13 in a game.
ALB Hrabarenka, (6) (Zajac, Urbom), 16:53 (PP)
ALB Sislo, (20) (Hrabarenka, Zajac), 14:45
ALB Sislo, (21) (McPherson), 19:38 (EN)
Syracuse just couldn't manage anything on offense. Nothing. Thirteen shots is embarrassing. Flat out.
Box score from TheAHL.com.