Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning require extra time to tear down the Luongominiums.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 21 shots for the victory. Also, his alertness caught the Panthers on the change in the OT session to set up the GWG and earn a helper, too.
5:03 FLA Gudbranson (1), (Olsen, MacKenzie)
7:12 TB Johnson (1), (Filppula, Stralman)(PP)
7:17 TB Callahan (1), (Filppula, Hedman)(PP)
9:16 FLA Huberdeau (1), (Campbell, Ekblad)
1:11 TB Hedman (1), (Bishop)(PP)
Florida should be doing backflips to steal a point from this game. They played a pretty classic road underdog strategy relying on clogging things up in the last 2/3 of the rink and relying on their goaltender. The Lightning were clearly the superior side in shots, possession, and chances, but sometimes you get in a game like this where it's like playing through quicksand. Credit them for coming through and eventually getting the 2 points. Unlike last season, where the first 10 game segment was a murderer's row, this year the schedule is pretty soft to start so the Lightning only have themselves to blame if they don't get out of the blocks quickly in 2014-2015.
Vladislav Namestnikov was -1 in 10:10 with 3 shots and he was 57% on draws. He lost a D zone draw that led to Florida's first goal, but on the flip side he had a handful of really impactful shifts offensively in limited ice time. Not a bad start to the campaign.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4 @ Quebec Remparts 5 (OT)
W/C Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM, 2 Hits, 4 SOG, 3/10 FO
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-5-6, +4, 6 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Erne was scoreless after starting the season with two straight 3-point games. His Remparts are 3-0 with him in the lineup.
Ontario Hockey League
Sarnia Sting 2 @ Mississauga Steelheads 1
D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
Sarnia won their first game of the year despite being without star defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. The Lightning’s first round pick in the 2014 draft was suspended because he took a game misconduct at the conclusion of Sarnia’s last game for having words with a referee. Considering DeAngelo went into the draft with numerous red flags for character issues, this latest act can’t be sitting well with the Lightning.
Closing arguments for the Lightning's young forwards.
Ben Bishop looked to be in midseason form allowing 1 goal on 37 shots for the victory. Florida was clearly embarrassed in their last outing and for getting blitzed in the First Period again tonight. They were out for redemption, but Bishop was having none of it.
3:21 FLA Barkov (1), (Campbell, Kulikov)(PP)
5:46 TB Kucherov (1), (unassisted)
10:21 TB Stamkos (1), (Hedman, Callahan)(PP)
18:59 TB Brown (1), (Boyle)
4:40 TB Stralman (1), (Johnson, Killorn)(PP)
Now the Lightning's brass will convene for the difficult decision of shaping the team's 23-man roster for opening night. They likely have a little more breathing room with the option of putting Jonathan Drouin on short-term IR and giving him a brief conditioning stint in the AHL when he gets off it, but the numbers game still is a difficult one. Mind you, they may have tipped their hand by putting Vladislav Namestnikov in the lineup tonight ahead of Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Marchessault, but we shall see.
Two things I feel very confident about after this preseason, though: 1.) Andrej Sustr and I will always have difficulty finding shirts with the proper sleeve length, and 2.) Jon Cooper will be drinking a fine, very old scotch out of the Governor's Cup by season's end. Book it.
Box score from NHL.com.
Lightning embarrass Panthers one week out from season opener.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout. If work continues to be this light for Nabby, he could play another 5 years.
2:43 TB Palat 1, (Johnson, Connolly)
7:53 TB Kucherov 1, (Namestnikov, Carle)
18:50 TB Kucherov 2, (Namestnikov, Hedman)(EN)
Extra thanks to the Panthers garbage-like inability to get their stats linked up right to NHL.com. Just move your God-awful franchise to Quebec City and get it over with. I'd care more about the "rivalry" if they weren't a so bummy from top to bottom. The Lightning's status is tarnished by having that dumpster fire occupy the same state.
Box score from Yahoo.com.
Young forwards making Yzerman/Cooper's decisions hard...
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 22 shots for the victory. You have to be happy with his first two preseason starts as he comes back from the wrist injury.
0:37 TB Panik (1), (Marchessault, Paquette)
7:39 TB Brown (1), (unassisted)(SH)
14:05 TB Kucherov (1), (Namestnikov, Filppula)(PP)
14:50 DAL Benn (1), (Nichushkin, Gonchar)
2:30 TB Paquette (1), (Connolly, Gudas)
7:04 TB Connolly (1), (Namestnikov)
None of the young forwards vying for the final 1-2 spots on the roster are playing themselves out of centention. Marchessault, Paquette, Namestnikov, and Kucherov all hit the scoresheet tonight (Namesy and Dump Truck with multi-point nights) and even Witkowski on the blueline is putting a shadow of doubt into the Lightning brass' minds right now.
There's lots of good problems to have for a Lightning team that managed to put 5 on the board (albeit on Anders Lindback) with Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman donning their tights and fighting crime on the mean streets of Estero tonight rather than donning their uniforms and taking to the ice in Dallas, to say nothing of wunderkind Drouin's broken digit. The depth right now, and that depth's ability to outplay an NHL-talent studded Dallas roster pretty handily is making the Lightning look like a potential juggernaut in the making. And, whichever 3-4 players finally don't make this roster, are probably going to instantly make Syracuse an Eastern Conference contender down in the AHL. Good times.
Box score from TheAHL.com.