NHL Preseason Game Night 9/22: Penguins at Lightning

It's nice to see the Lightning generating a lot of offensive pressure without their top guns in the lineup, despite the loss.


Olaf Kolzig allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
Tampa Bay 0:46, Jussi Jokinen 1 (Evgeny Artyukhin)
Pittsburgh 14:36, Kris Letang 1 (power play) (Alex Goligoski)
Pittsburgh 18:19, Max Talbot 1 (Ruslan Fedotenko, William Thomas)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 2:56, Michel Ouellet 1 (Dana Tyrell, Ty Wishart)

Third Period
Pittsburgh 4:54, Tyler Kennedy 1 (power play) (Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski)

To my untrained eye, it sure does look like Janne Niskala is going to make the team, and that Jussi Jokinen will probably find his way off the trade block and Michel Ouellet will be the odd man out.

Lots of prospects in this game, again:

Ty Wishart had an assist and was +1 with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 16:27. My gut feeling is that the Lightning really want Ty to make this club. The question is, are they willing to give him on the job training rather than choosing a steadier, more NHL-ready prospect like Matt Smaby?

Zenon Konopka had 1 shot, 1 hit, was 63% on draws, and got kicked out of the game for fighting in 6:54 of ice time. I wish this guy had a tad more discipline, because if he did he'd be a legit NHLer.

Janne Niskala logged 22:00 even, third most on the team behind Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle, and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot. Look folks, the stats don't lie. You're seeing in these exhibition games who the coaching staff is comfortable with, and they're comfortable with Niskala right now.

Paul Szczechura had 2 shots, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot, and was 55% on draws in 13:59. That's not a bad line, but he needed to do more to play himself into the conversation as far as making the team goes, in my opinion. When you consider this guy was nowhere, career-wise, just a year ago, you have to like his development curve though.

Dana Tyrell had 1 assist, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 7:56. That point is a nice parting gift before heading back to Prince George.

Steven Stamkos had 4 shots and was 54% on draws in 19:15. He also had 7 missed shots including ringing a crossbar.

Box score and extended stats from NHL.com.