Tampa Bay Lightning
Why do I get the feeling every time the Lightning play Florida it's their Stanley Cup?
Johan Holmqvist allowed 2 goals on 2 shots before being pulled for Marc Denis who took the back door loss allowing 4 goals on 34 shots faced. Nolan Pratt and Vaclav Prospal had the Lightning goals. Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Eric Perrin and Dan Boyle added assists. The Lightning now must regroup on the long flight out to a Western Canada swing which could make or break the team's division title ambitions. The Lightning's loss gives Atlanta a game in hand and the Thrashers loom large just two points behind.
Florida 5:03, Nathan Horton 23 (Martin Gelinas)
Florida 5:25, Olli Jokinen 30 (Jozef Stumpel, Rostislav Olesz)
Tampa Bay 8:16, Nolan Pratt 1 (Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier)
Florida 11:11, Stephen Weiss 15 (Bryan Allen)
Florida 15:38, Stephen Weiss 16 (power play) (Martin Gelinas, Alexei Semenov)
Florida 7:54, Ville Peltonen 12 (penalty shot)
Florida 8:27, Nathan Horton 24 (Alexei Semenov, Jay Bouwmeester)
Tampa Bay 17:20, Vaclav Prospal 11 (Eric Perrin, Dan Boyle)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
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?
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.
Washington 11:35, Shaone Morrisonn 3 (Milan Jurcina, Tomas Fleischmann)
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)
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)
Tampa Bay- Nick Tarnasky
Game sheet from NHL.com.
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.
The lightning traded Nikita Alexeev to Chicago for Karl Stewart and a 6th round pick. They also acquired Jason Ward for a 5th round pick. Sad to see Alexeev go, but his play hasn't been too good lately.
This is per Spector's Blog post.
Looking around for other confirmation though.
Update- they are on tsn.ca's tracker.