Tampa Bay Lightning
The long climb back begins now.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 12 of 13 shots faced for the win. Holmqvist improves to 10-8-0 this season. Brad Richards had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game while Dan Boyle had 2 assists. Vaclav Prospal snapped a two month long goalless drought and Filip Kuba added an insurance goal in the game. Individual helpers went to Martin St. Louis, Ruslan Fedotenko and Cory Sarich. The Lightning move back to 1 game under .500 and out of the basement of the Southeast Division.
Tampa Bay 11:28, Brad Richards 14 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis)
Montreal 2:07, Alexander Perezhogin 5 (Mike Johnson, Francis Bouillon)
Tampa Bay 7:00, Vaclav Prospal 4 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Cory Sarich)
Tampa Bay 7:07, Filip Kuba 6 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Brad Richards)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
According to Erlendsson's blog, Dimitry Afanasenkov has been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers, removing the rest of his annual $738K salary from under the Lightning salary cap. Center Andreas Karlsson did clear waivers however, but he will not be sent down to Springfield and will be in the lineup tonight against Montreal.
Erlendsson posts more on his blog shedding light on the manuevering going on as the Lightning try to give themselves the cap flexibility to make a trade. According to Jay Feaster, if Afanasenkov and Karlsson clear waivers they will not be assigned to the minors unless a deal is done and the Lightning need the cap room to fit a new player in. The Lightning will have 30 days or 10 games played for each player in which to make a deal and send them down before they have to send each of them through waivers. Basically, Feaster is attempting to give himself a one month window in which he has the opportunity to free $1.2M under the cap to make a deal.
More in extended...
According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune's blog, forwards Andreas Karlsson and Dimitry Afanasenkov have been waived by the Tampa Bay Lightning to free $1.2 million dollars in anticipation of either a trade or the recall of a defenseman after Filip Kuba and Paul Ranger suffered minor injuries (to their reputations in Ranger's case) in last night's loss to Philadelphia. When and if Afanasenkov and Karlsson clear waivers they can be assigned to the Falcons.
This was a Lightning team that was not mentally prepared to play tonight.
Johan Holmqvist stopped just 22 of 26 shots he faced tonight for the loss. Dan Boyle had a pair of assists for the Lightning who got goals from Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba and Ruslan Fedotenko. Individual assists went to Eric Perrin, Brad Richards, Holmqvist and Vincent Lecavalier.
The Flyers came out in the first five minutes of the game and really ambushed the Lightning with a lot of speed and hustle, but that isn't what cost the Lightning the game. Mental mistakes destroyed the team in this game and three goals came directly from preventable Tampa miscues. Holmqvist allowed an awful short side goal to go through him on Zhitnik's opening goal, they allowed a 2-on-1 on a bad defensive change on the second goal and Paul Ranger fell down surrendering a breakaway on Kapanen's winning goal. This is a team that's just 1 point out of the basement in the Southeast Division now and they continue, time after time, to play down to inferior opponents and leave critical points on the table. This was the Lightning's 38th game so we're just shy of the midway point of their season and no one in that lineup seems to have gotten the memo that the drive to the playoffs has to start now. Better to get the points you need now than be sitting in March four or five points out of the hunt scoreboard watching desperate for help.
Philadelphia 4:01, Alexei Zhitnik 3 (power play) (Peter Forsberg, Joni Pitkanen)
Tampa Bay 10:06, Martin St. Louis 25 (power play) (Eric Perrin, Dan Boyle)
Philadelphia 16:41, Simon Gagne 18 (Mike Knuble, Peter Forsberg)
Philadelphia 9:30, Simon Gagne 19 (Joni Pitkanen, Peter Forsberg)
Philadelphia 19:42, Sami Kapanen 5 (Jeff Carter)
Tampa Bay 1:18, Filip Kuba 5 (power play) (Brad Richards, Johan Holmqvist)
Tampa Bay 14:02, Ruslan Fedotenko 10 (Dan Boyle, Vincent Lecavalier)
Game sheet from NHL.com.