It's a loss, but it feels like a win.
Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before allowing 1 of 2 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the shootout loss. He was magnificent in overtime, helping the team kill off a 4-on-3 PP. Absolutely magnificent. Here's the upshot with Anders: he still doesn't graduate from prospect status on this site until his next NHL decision. Tonight was just the second shootout in his NHL career. He's got a lot of time to gain experience and get better.
19:17 MTL Gionta (3), (Plekanec, Subban)(PP)
8:21 MTL Subban (3), (Eller)
18:54 MTL Moen (1), (Eller, Armstrong)
14:04 TB Hedman (3), (Pyatt, Pouliot)
18:17 TB Hedman (4), (Purcell, Salo)
19:16 TB Salo (1), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP)
Victor Hedman and Anders Lindback were the game's first and second stars.
As any reader of this blog should know by now, being down by 3 goals in the third period is supposed to be a death sentence in professional hockey. Unofficially, I'll bet 98% of the time you don't come back from it. That's why cutting leads to 2 goals to give yourself a chance heading into the third period is so important. So, when a team beats the long odds to overcome a 3 goal deficit to steal a point like the Lightning did tonight, it's a big deal for that team's confidence and swagger. And the way the Lightning got the game tied tonight is they made their own luck and got a couple of bounces on their last 2 goals. I expect the team to really break out of their slump in the next game feeding off their performance in the third period tonight. This was a shootout loss that feels like a win, for sure.
Alex Killorn was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot on goal in 10:53.
Richard Panik was -1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 9:58 in his NHL debut. As with Killorn's debut in the last game, we're proud papas on the site to see Panik make it to the show.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 2 hits in 14:15.
Suddenly, the entire organization is circling the drain.
Mathiru Garon allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the loss before being pulled for Anders Lindback who allowed 2 on 13 the rest of the way. Garon's played like hot garbage the past few starts he's had, and the third goal he allowed was horribly soft.
00:31 NYR Hagelin (2), (Nash, Girardi)
15:13 NYR Callahan (3), (unassisted)
09:58 NYR Hagelin (3), (Staal)
14:42 TB Lecavalier (5), (Hedman, Killorn)
12:22 NYR Asham (1), (McDonagh)
19:51 NYR Nash (3), (Hagelin, Girardi)
It's an embarassing, frustrating time to be a fan of the Lightning organization, as both Tampa Bay and Syracuse got shelled tonight and had to pull their goaltenders mid stream en route to being thumped. The symptoms are similar. Stupid turnovers. Uneven effort. Goaltending that can't seem to make big stops when they're needed to erase mistakes. It's hard not to feel disgusted right now.
Alex Killorn had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in his NHL debut. He also had 2 shots on goal in 13:17 of ice time, earning a promotion to the Lecavalier line. It was a pretty good debut after some early shifts where he looked a little wide eyed about the pace of the game. I just wish the result for the team had been better for his first game.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 1 hit in 6:45. I'm not seeing a lot of positives in his shifts. He's second to a lot of pucks, and not really landing any hits in the process.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 20:03. The fact the Lightning have to play a rookie, even one as good as Conacher, 20+ minutes to try to spark offense is an awfully bad omen.
It was a bad call.
Anders Lindback allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss. He was victimized statistically by the two 5-on-3's at the end of the game. Lindback is now two decisions away from graduating from prospect status on the site.
03:28 NJD Henrique (3), (Volchenkov, Elias)
13:19 TB Thompson (2), (St. Louis)
15:02 NJD Greene (2), (Clarkson, Elias)(PP)
15:16 NJD Elias (3), (Kovalchuk, Greene)(PP)
17:45 TB Carle (2), (St. Louis, Stamkos)
It's very frustrating to have a very tight game essentially yanked out from under you the way the game tonight was by the referees. The high sticking call late in the game on Adam Hall was flat out wrong on two levels. First, Hall was in the process of trying to shoot the puck away on the PK, and last I checked the follow through when shooting a puck is specifically legislated not to be a high-sticking infraction. Second, and just as importantly, Zajac tripped Hall on the play, causing Hall to spin and fall to the ice as he was making the clearing attempt, with the stick primarily hitting Zajac's visor. Guy Boucher was absolutely right. It was a bad call. Unfortunately expressing that nugget of truth to the refs came with the price tag of the unsportsmanlike minor that made things go from bad to worse.
So the Lightning now meet adversity in the form of a 3-game losing streak smack in the middle of a tough road trip. This is where you'd hope Lindback or Garon could step up and be a streak stopper.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 1 shot in 15:10.
Still trying to figure out how to win a close, tight checking game.
Anders Lindback allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the loss.
04:25 PHI Sestito (1), (Voracek, Schenn)
09:30 TB Pouliot (3), (Purcell, Pyatt)
11:11 PHI Sestito (2), (Talbot, Fedotenko)
The Lightning have their first losing streak of the season now as they attempt to break the code on how to win a close, tight checking game. My 2 cents: the power play has to be better in games like this.
Cory Conacher had 4 shots and 1 hit in 16:35.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 5 is … Cory Conacher, W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)
The Cory Conacher Show made its debut on opening night for the Lightning this season as the rookie posted a goal and an assist in his debut. He was named our Prospect of the Week for that performance.
Now, after eight games, the show is still a hit and he’s our Prospect of the Week again.