Lightning starting to dial in the defense...
Anders Lindback allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory. His one goal allowed was of the stinky doo doo variety with a puck sneaking by his skate on the post. Had it not been for that, he'd have had the shutout.
00:59 PHI Courturier (2), (Talbot)
14:34 TB Purcell (1), (Stamkos, St. Louis)(PP)
16:10 TB Brewer (3), (Purcell, St. Louis)
18:55 TB Lecavalier (2), (St. Louis, Salo)(PP)
00:58 TB Hedman (2), (Hall, Salo)
12:29 TB Stamkos (3), (Purcell, St. Louis)
Vincent Lecavalier, Sami Salo, and Martin St. Louis were the game's three stars. I don't know when it happened, but evidently Lecavalier became Mark Messier over the offseason. His bout with Luke Schenn in the first period changed the momentum after Lindback's softie, and that and the penalty kill essentially won the game.
Keith Aulie was -1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 13:25. Aulie will graduate from prospect status on Bolt Prospects in his next NHL game.
Cory Conacher had 1 shot in 12:57. They can't all be multi-point nights.
On the night honoring #4's 1,000th game...
Anders Lindback stopped 32 of 36 for the victory. One the one hand, the defense gave up way too many breaks, partial breaks, and odd man rushes for the first two periods of the game. On the other hand, he looked like stinky doo doo allowing some pucks through him and not being tight to the post on another near goal. I would say this was clearly his first subpar game in a Lightning uniform.
TB 01:09 Carle (1), (Conacher, Bergeron)(PP)
04:11 OTT Condra (1), (Neil, Gonchar)
14:30 OTT Spezza (2), (Alfredsson, Gonchar)(PP)
14:45 OTT Karlsson (3), (Michalek, Turris)
15:00 TB Stamkos (2), (Salo, St. Louis)
17:30 OTT Turris (4), (Alfredsson, Daugavins)
18:10 TB Hedman (1), (Stamkos, St. Louis)
03:39 TB Malone (2), (Salo, Conacher)
12:58 TB Malone (3), (Lecavalier, Hedman)
19:18 TB Pyatt (2), (Stamkos)(EN)
Ryan Malone and Sami Salo were the game's first and second stars. Your biggest goal of the night on Vincent Lecavalier's night was Hedman's late Second Period goal set up by a big faceoff win and a solid screen in front of the net. This might well have been an Ottawa bloodbath without that goal, because the rest of the Second Period is pretty much footage the Lightning would like to see burned.
Obviously, it's not sustainable to keep trying to win these games with these 80's style high scores. The pieces are there for the Lightning to get better defensively, but it needs to take a couple of weeks, not a couple of months.
Keith Aulie was -2 with 16 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 13:14, and he looked like he was going to kill every single man, woman, and child associated with the Ottawa organization following a goalmouth scrum late in the game.
Cory Conacher had 2 assists and was +1 with 1 shot in 16:13. The second assist, which came on Malone's first goal, was all Conacher jumping on a defenseman and stripping the puck for a sharp, decisive pass out to Salo for the big bomb from the point. One very good trait Conacher has: he moves the puck quickly, decisively, and hard.
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 January 23 is … Cory Conacher, W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)
Last week the North American sports world’s biggest headlines were about a story that was fake. During the college football season, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o was the subject of multiple stories documenting his inspirational play in memory of his deceased girlfriend. It was a heart-wrenching story… until it was proven to be false. Te’o was allegedly the victim of a hoax and his girlfriend never existed beyond someone’s imagination.
The American sports fan was already cynical, and now their ability to engage in an emotional story will take a greater hit.
Don’t let it.
Good (true) stories still exist. Take Cory Conacher as an example.
The Lightning deploy the secret weapon.
Mathieu Garon allowed 1 goal on 36 shots for the win in his first start of the season. He gave the Canes nothing cheap and held his ground when the Lightning were under seige in the Second Period.
05:18 TB Pyatt (1), (Lecavalier, Carle)
11:36 TB Conacher (2), (Lecavalier, Purcell)
03:35 CAR Skinner (1), (J. Staal, Semin)(PP)
01:37 TB Aulie (1), (Mikkelson)
09:57 TB Malone (1), (St. Louis, Salo)(PP)
The Lightning deployed their secret weapon, Keith Aulie who reduced a former Cup winning goaltender to ash with a short side bullet for his first goal of the season. Keith Aulie has 2 points in 3 games now. I would've bet on just about every other player on the Lightning having 2 points or more right now before #3 would. Good for the big guy.
Aulie had 1 goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 12:20.
Conacher also had 1 goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 14:12. That's looking like the standard Conacher stat line early this year.
The Day-After Digest is a new series that will appear regularly after every Lightning game as part game recap, analysis and scouting report.
The Lightning mounted a furious comeback attempt, scoring three goals in less than six minutes, but ultimately found, not surprisingly, that their four-goal hole early in the third period proved insurmountable. Tampa Bay was outshot 44-26 for the game by New York, which frustrated the Lightning attack throughout much of the first two periods. As Tampa Bay began to press and the team's structure unraveled, the Islanders were able to generate multiple breakaways and odd-man rushes, of which all of New York's goals were the result of.
"We were opening up the game," coach Guy Boucher explained afterward. "We were trying to get the goal, getting impatient."
Martin St. Louis, Benoit Pouliot and Steven Stamkos, scored for the Lightning. It was St. Louis' third goal of the season while Pouliot and Stamkos, the reigning Rocket Richard trophy winner, both notched their first.
Anders Lindback, who made 40 saves in his second start with the team, might want the last two goals he gave up back but it's hard to find fault with his performance on a night where many of the shots he faced were quality scoring chances.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who was scratched along with Brendan Mikkelson and Dana Tyrell in Saturday night's season opener in Tampa, made his season debut in place of Marc-Andre Bergeron as Boucher opted for a full complement of forwards instead of dressing seven defensemen. Labrie and B.J. Crombeen both started the game alongside Vincent Lecavalier, who played his 1,000th game. After the initial puck drop, both Labrie and Crombeen dropped their gloves and engaged fellow toughs Joe Finley and Matt Martin, respectively, in simultaneous fights.
"We wanted to bring some emotion to start," Boucher said. "We didn't want to look horrible like we did last year."
Whatever energy the team received from the tactic, it didn't seem to matter much as the Lightning suffered from a familiar case of inconsistency as the game wore on.