Tampa Bay Lightning
A good start to the game and good effort throughout, but nothing to show for it.
Daniel Briere scored his first career hattrick and Ryan Miller was in all-star form as Buffalo erased a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered goals on their way to a 4-1 victory on Dave Andreychuk night. Vincent Lecavalier's wraparound goal in the game's first minute was the only marker for Tampa - who had multiple scoring chances, but saw passes jump over sticks, shots hit skates, and/or Miller come up big. Vaclav Prospal had the only assist on the evening, and even that was speculative as it appeared Prospal gave the puck away behind the net and Jochen Hecht of Buffalo was trying to swing it around the end boards when Lecavalier blocked the attempt with his right foot, then kicked the puck to his stick with his left foot before putting it through the legs of an unsuspecting Miller for the goal.
Andre Roy saw his first action for the Lightning since the Cup year and fought Andrew Peters in his first shift. Roy's physical play also sparked Nick Tarnasky to throw more hits and that line - which was centered by captain Tim Taylor - was very effective not only on the forecheck, but creating scoring chances.
Once again, however, if the Lightning made a mistake, the puck ended up in the back of the net. This was highlighted by an odd decision by Brad Richards to stickhandle through a player while he was the last man back - resulting in a turnover that led to Buffalo's third goal. Just as odd was Martin St. Louis trying basically the same thing later in the game, and he nearly lost the puck to an opposing player in front of Mark Denis, who made 25 saves on the night, including a miraculous save on Maxim Afinogenov when Denis dove to his right and got his stick on a shot headed for an open net. Easily the save of the year so far for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay 0:53, Vincent Lecavalier 14 (Vaclav Prospal)
Buffalo 7:17, Daniel Briere 11 (Jason Pominville, Dmitri Kalinin)
Buffalo 10:34, Chris Drury 17 (Nathan Paetsch, Ales Kotalik)
Buffalo 17:15, Daniel Briere 12 (Jochen Hecht)
Buffalo 12:21, Daniel Briere 13 (Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
It should never, ever, take 20 minutes and spotting a team a 4 goal lead before this Lightning team plays like they have some pride.
Johan Holmqvist allowed an abysmal 3 goals on 7 shots before giving way to Karri Ramo who allowed 2 goals on 18 shots in his NHL debut. Lightning goals came from Perrin and Lecavalier with assists coming from Richards, St. Louis and Prospal.
The sad and aggravating thing is that the Lightning actually dominated most of the final 40 minutes of this game and finished the game outshooting the Sens 36-25. Had the Lightning showed up to the rink prepared to play from the opening drop, they might've won this game handily. Instead, they had their heads handed to them and they now trail Atlanta by 10 points in the division.
On the prospect side, Ramo looked very sound in his first NHL game. The two goals he allowed he was hung out to dry with the Lightning defense somehow stopping on retrieving in an Ottawa dump in that resulted in a pass in front on a wide open Jason Spezza and then an Antoine Vermette breakaway in the third period. Ramo showed good poise and athleticism and a quick glove, as well as his willingness to play the puck away from his crease. It's a shame Holmqvist didn't look as good as Ramo tonight.
Ottawa 2:47, Patrick Eaves 5 (shorthanded) (unassisted)
Ottawa 6:49, Joe Corvo 3 (power play) (Andrej Meszaros, Jason Spezza)
Ottawa 8:06, Antoine Vermette 10 (Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Schaefer)
Ottawa 16:21, Jason Spezza 12 (Chris Kelly, Christoph Schubert)
Ottawa 13:16, Antoine Vermette 11 (Peter Schaefer, Tom Preissing)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Lightning have claimed Andre Roy off of re-entry waivers per TSN.ca. This is bound to add fire to trade rumors even though Feaster and Torts made it clear that this move was made to increase morale in the locker room. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=186821&hubname=nhl
In the Forum it's called the "TECO Energy Power Play"
On TV it's the "Toyota Tundra Power Play"
I don't think either one of these companies are getting the marketing represntation they had bargained for and these are really misleading slogans for the fan base. I've been thinking the last few games the sponsorship ought to change to provide a better marketing impact for the sponsor's buck. The sponsorship that's been ringing in my head lately when we go on the PP?
How does the
"Dancing with the Stars" power play sound?
Maybe Emmitt could make an appearance and shout "Let'
More points left on the table at the hands of ex-Detroit Viper Tim Thomas.
Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 25 shots before going perfect deep into the shootout until rookie Phil Kessel beat him with a shot high glove side to win it for Boston. Eric Perrin, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Lightning with Ruslan Fedotenko and Vaclav Prospal adding individual helpers.
I can't be too upset, because the Lightning have outshot their opponents 84-45 in the last two games, and yet the club has only gotten one of a very winnable four points and are slowly slipping behind Carolina and Atlanta in the standings. Again, the schedule the next two months is brutal. The Lightning must bank whatever winnable games they can get, because there won't be many.
Boston 11:06, Brad Boyes 6 (Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Alberts)
Tampa Bay 17:08, Eric Perrin 6 (Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 4:44, Martin St. Louis 16 (shorthanded) (Eric Perrin)
Boston 18:26, P.J. Axelsson 7 (shorthanded) (Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara)
Tampa Bay 9:50, Vincent Lecavalier 12 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Vaclav Prospal)
Boston 10:55, Glen Murray 13 (Jason York, Marc Savard)
Game sheet from NHL.com.