Tampa Bay Lightning
Despite the loss in the shootout, there were many positive signs in the game that the Lightning could possibly be returning to form. Buffalo could've easily lost this game by a wide margin were it not for Ryan Miller, some lopsided officiating and a little luck.
TB-3 (Final SO)
Official scoring can be found at NHL.com.
In the words of the godfather of soul, "My brother get ready, that's a fact! Get ready you mother... for the big pay back."
Crazy ending whereby some questionable officiating nearly handed the Panthers a point, however John Grahame was large. PantherNation will spin this as proof of their impending playoff ascendency, but I prefer to look at it as John Grahame being able to match the best young goaltender in the game, Luongo, pretty much save for save the past two nights. The Lightning's offense is going to eventually come around. It's an inevitability. Goaltending was the question mark and so far John Grahame has the answer.
A revolting lack of effort by the top lines left John Grahame without any goal support. Through preseason and now this effort, I believe it's a fair criticism to mention a championship hangover. Timo Helbling finished with an even rating in 12:13 worth of ice time.
These two teams square off again tomorrow night. Another effort like this one and expect John Tortorella to lash out with Biblical amounts of wrath.
The Lightning raised the banner, then lowered the boom on the Carolina Hurricanes. A full stat sheet can be found courtesy NHL.com. Multi-point nights for Prospal, Fedotenko and the timeless Dave Andreychuk. Timo Helbling -1 in 11:59 of ice time in his first NHL game.
According to Erik Erlendsson of the Trib, the Lightning are currently in contract negotiations with 19 year old defenseman Andy Rogers. The deadline to sign Rogers will be at 5pm Monday otherwise Rogers will have to be returned to his junior team, Prince George of the WHL. The mere fact that the Lightning are seriously discussing a contract with Rogers is likely an indication the club is favoring the blueliner over his competitor Timo Helbling. However, nothing is set in stone, and the team could still return Rogers to junior within 10 NHL games played.