Holmqvist, Johan

NHL Game Night 3/1: Lightning at Capitals

As furious as I am that the referees made this game last far longer than it should have, how can you not love Secret Weapon 74 for the winner?

TB-5
WSH-4 (SO)

For a guy who statistically allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, Johan Holmqvist played a pretty amazing game. True, his friend the crossbar played a part throughout the game, but to make critical stop after critical stop in the 3rd period and overtime and then put down a 10 for 10 perfect stand in the shootout is amazing. Holmqvist's record remains perfect in shootouts and only 1 shooter, just 1, has found the back of the net against Holmer all season.

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each scored 1 goal and 2 assists in the game as the Lightning stormed back out of a 2 goal hole late in the second period to once again claim a key win in a close game. Ruslan Fedotenko got the comeback ball rolling with a critical individual effort for a goal with under a minute remaining in the second period and Vaclav Prospal added the other Lightning talley. Nick Tarnasky, the night's hero, added an individual helper as did Cory Sarich and Shane O'Brien. The assist was O'Brien's first point as a member of the Lightning (the first of many, knock on wood).

St. Louis' goal with 3:18 left in regulation looked like the winner before the referees began a bizarre string of borderline calls that put the Lightning down at a 6-on-3 disadvantage in the waning moments. As if that wasn't enough, one of the referees also blocked a Brad Richards attempt on the empty net just moments before Washington sent the game to overtime with under 11 seconds on the clock on a centering attempt that deflected in off of Nolan Pratt. The ridiculousness continued in overtime as the referees overlooked a hold by a Caps defender on Martin St. Louis in overtime only moments later to call a hook on Vincent Lecavalier. Undeterred, the Lightning stonewalled a full 2 minute 4-on-3 penalty in overtime to eventually deliver the game to the shootout. Someone needs to be reprimanded for what occured in that game.

Fortunately, after 10 rounds of shootout madness that included the unbridled excitment that is a Donald Brashear penalty shot, Tarnasky decided to pull the plug on the Caps with a wrister that beat Brent Johnson and lifted the Lightning to the 5-4 win. With the victory, the Lightning move 4 points ahead of Atlanta in the division with the Thrashers now holding a game in hand. The gap on Carolina also extends to 7 with both teams having played 66 games. Thank you Nick Tarnasky.

First Period
Washington 11:35, Shaone Morrisonn 3 (Milan Jurcina, Tomas Fleischmann)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 2:17, Vaclav Prospal 10 (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Washington 10:11, Alexander Ovechkin 38 (Jiri Novotny, Steve Eminger)
Washington 14:04, Matt Pettinger 15 (Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley)
Tampa Bay 19:32, Ruslan Fedotenko 12 (Nick Tarnasky, Cory Sarich)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 12:44, Vincent Lecavalier 42 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 16:42, Martin St. Louis 39 (Vincent Lecavalier, Shane O'Brien)
Washington 19:49, Alexander Semin 33 (power play) (Alexander Ovechkin, Kris Beech)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
Tampa Bay- Nick Tarnasky
Washington- NONE

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/27: Stars at Lightning

Dallas is good.

DAL-2
TB-1 (OT)

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.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
Dallas 10:59, Jere Lehtinen 22 (power play) (Jussi Jokinen, Mike Modano)
Tampa Bay 19:41, Brad Richards 23 (shorthanded) (Eric Perrin, Paul Ranger)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
Dallas 1:35, Ladislav Nagy 10 (Mike Ribeiro, Philippe Boucher)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day 2/25: Penguins at Lightning

The Lightning just answered the bell with remarkable punctuality.

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Johan Holmqvist stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in the game for the victory. Consider that for a moment. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and all the impressive firepower the Pittsburgh Penguins can array the Tampa Bay Lightning shut them down and held them to a paltry 18 shots on goal. And Shane O'Brien hasn't yet added his particular talents to this defensive corps.

Brad Richards ran wild on Pittsburgh with 1 goal and 3 assists. Martin St. Louis added 1 goal and 1 assist while Richards' linemates, Eric Perrin and Ruslan Fedotenko, each had 2 assists. Vincent Lecavalier scored his league leading 41st goal, a shorthanded marker, Filip Kuba his 10th and Paul Ranger had his 4th talley of the season. Dan Boyle had an individual assist.

And so, the Lightning fully capitalized on their game in hand on Atlanta and Carolina and have opened up a 3 point lead on the Smirkin' Chikins and a 4 points lead on the Hurricanes with just 18 games remaining in the regular season. The trade deadline is Tuesday. With the addition of one or two more forwards, this is a Stanley Cup contender. The ball is in your court, Jay Feaster.

First Period
Tampa Bay 2:17, Martin St. Louis 38 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 3:56, Paul Ranger 4 (Eric Perrin, Brad Richards)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 4:58, Filip Kuba 10 (Brad Richards, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Pittsburgh 8:26, Sergei Gonchar 10 (power play) (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 1:31, Brad Richards 22 (Eric Perrin, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Tampa Bay 14:16, Vincent Lecavalier 41 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/23: Bruins at Lightning

Ambush.

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TB-2

Marc Denis stopped just 5 of 7 shots faced before being lifted for Johan Holmqvist who was even more horrid allowing 4 goals on 16 shots faced. Dan Boyle and Filip Kuba had the Lightning goals. Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Eric Perrin recorded assists. Positives? Not many. Kuba getting back on the scoreboard after a prolonged drought is nice. Getting Blair Jones some development time in the third period after playing just 2 (albeit long) shifts last night in Atlanta is also nice. Jones had 1 shot in 10:13 of ice time tonight.

Ball this one up and throw it in the trash can. The Lightning really left it all on the ice last night in Atlanta and had little in the tank to deal with Boston, especially considering what a poor goaltending effort they got tonight. Boston was laying in wait in Tampa soaking up the sun. Rested and ready they pounced. That's just the way the situation unfolded. Certainly, it stinks to burn the team's game in hand on Atlanta this way, but I don't believe this is foreshadowing of things to come.

First Period
Boston 1:46, Marco Sturm 20 (Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski)
Tampa Bay 5:29, Dan Boyle 14 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)
Boston 9:41, Brad Boyes 10 (Bobby Allen, Marc Savard)

Second Period
Boston 3:58, Brad Boyes 11 (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 12:41, Phil Kessel 8 (Brandon Bochenski, Marco Sturm)

Third Period
Boston 4:30, Brandon Bochenski 8 (power play) (Marc Savard, P.J. Axelsson)
Boston 9:31, Stanislav Chistov 5 (Zdeno Chara, Mark Mowers)
Tampa Bay 14:29, Filip Kuba 9 (Eric Perrin)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/13: Coyotes at Lightning

Lion= Lightning, Antelope=Thrashers

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TB-5

Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 of 26 shots faced for the win. Vincent Lecavalier led the way with 2 goals and 1 assist while Martin St. Louis had 1 goal and 2 assists. The other member of the MVP Line, Vaclav Prospal, had helpers in triplicate. Brad Richards dropped 1 goal and 1 assist including a salty game winning slap shot on the power play and Ruslan Fedotenko had a pair of assists. The Lightning's insurance goal came from Eric Perrin and Paul Ranger chipped in 1 assist.

The Lightning temporarily move within 3 points of division leading Atlanta while the Thrashers are playing on the road tonight in Calgary. A little over midway through the game at the Saddledome, Atlanta is down 3-1. If the score holds, the Lightning will not only have shaved a once commanding division lead down to 3 points but they'll still also hold 2 critical games in hand.

First Period
Tampa Bay 5:56, Vincent Lecavalier 36 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 7:52, Martin St. Louis 33 (Vincent Lecavalier, Vaclav Prospal)
Phoenix 8:18, Mike Zigomanis 10 (Oleg Saprykin, Georges Laraque)
Phoenix 11:48, Oleg Saprykin 11 (Keith Ballard, Mike Zigomanis)
Tampa Bay 15:19, Vincent Lecavalier 37 (Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger)

Second Period
Phoenix 18:16, Derek Morris 4 (Travis Roche, Shane Doan)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 1:24, Brad Richards 20 (power play) (Ruslan Fedotenko, Vaclav Prospal)
Tampa Bay 11:45, Eric Perrin 9 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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