Tampa Bay Lightning
And, just like that, the Lightning no longer control their division title destiny.
Johan Holmqvist allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss while Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 5 shots in relief. Filip Kuba had the only Lightning goal off assists from Doug Janik and Nick Tarnasky. The Lightning now trail Atlanta by six points in the division with a game in hand after the Thrashers' overtime win against Buffalo today. Just 4 points separate 6th place Tampa Bay and the 9th place New York Islanders now, putting the Lightning in the uncomfortable position of not only seeing their division title hopes slip away, but also seeing that making the playoffs may become a difficult task as well.
Bad, bad, bad time of year for a three game losing streak.
Washington 5:31, Tomas Fleischmann 3 (Boyd Gordon)
Washington 13:38, Tomas Fleischmann 4 (Kris Beech, Milan Jurcina)
Washington 1:14, Alexander Semin 35 (power play) (Chris Clark, Brian Pothier)
Washington 6:45, Alexander Semin 36 (Tomas Fleischmann)
Washington 8:18, Alexander Semin 37 (Kris Beech, Matt Bradley)
Tampa Bay 17:44, Filip Kuba 11 (Doug Janik, Nick Tarnasky)
Washington 10:34, Alexandre Giroux 2 (unassisted)
Washington 17:55, Boyd Gordon 5 (Tomas Fleischmann, Shaone Morrisonn)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Springfield Falcons have announced that defenseman Matt Smaby has been recalled to Tampa Bay of the NHL. In addition, forward Kyle Wanvig has been returned to the Falcons and goaltender Ryan Munce has been recalled from Johnstown of the ECHL.
Jonathan Boutin is in net tonight being backed up by Bryon Lewis, an emergency goaltender who was signed yesterday by the Springfield Falcons. This points to either an injury to Karri Ramo or a recall to Tampa Bay. Munce is still with Johnstown, apparently, playing backup tonight against Reading.
All of a sudden these 1 goal games aren't going the Lightning's way.
Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 20 shots in the loss. Vincent Lecavalier had both Lightning goals while Vaclav Prospal had a pair of assists in the game. Martin St. Louis and Dan Boyle added individual assists. The Lightning outshot the conference leading Sabres 37-20 in the game but were unable to break Ryan Miller when it mattered most.
The Lightning's loss couples with Atlanta's overtime win against the Rangers drops Tampa Bay to 4 points back in the Southeast Division with 1 game in hand.
Tampa Bay 2:11, Vincent Lecavalier 47 (Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal)
Buffalo 7:29, Jason Pominville 30 (Nathan Paetsch, Daniel Briere)
Buffalo 8:05, Derek Roy 14 (Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford)
Buffalo 10:24, Jason Pominville 31 (Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht)
Tampa Bay 4:38, Vincent Lecavalier 48 (Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Credit to Bolt Prospects member Mark for bringing this up in comments...
Fran Sypek writes on the Springfield Republican blog that the Springfield Falcons have called a Monday press conference to announce the team is dissolving their affiliation with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization to form a new one with the Edmonton Oilers. Sypek speculates the press conference means the Lightning have finalized a deal with the Norfolk Admirals to be the Lightning's affiliate next season, given that a precondition of the out clause of the recent deal signed between the Lightning and Falcons was that the Lightning needed to have a deal in place with another franchise to nullify the contract.