NHL Preseason Game Night: 9/23 Coyotes at Lightning (in Loveland)

Radim Vrbata's revenge!

PHO-4
TB-3 (SO)

Antero Nittymaki took the shootout loss while going the distance.

First Period
TB - Malone 2 (Hedman, Ohlund) 04:16

Second Period
PHO - Vrbata 1 (Aucoin)(PP) 04:10
PHO - Mueller 3 (unassisted)(PP) 04:53
TB - Stamkos 1 (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP) 10:17

Third Period
TB - Lecavalier 1 (Downie, Lundin) 03:16
PHO - Upshall 2 (Fiddler, Michalek) 03:50

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
PHO- Vrbata, Mueller
TB- Lecavalier

Seemed to be a game that confirmed what the Lightning have more so than answering questions about what they don't have. This just in: Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, and Steven Stamkos are good. In related news, water is wet.

I liked the look of the Lightning first team power play. They're showing a very meat and potatoes setup right now with four world class shooters and Malone to take out the garbage. That's the kind of power play that doesn't fall into long slumps like the finesse schemes do.

Lecavalier's goal from Downie came on an assist from the Downie's knees. That's why I think Steve Downie eventually wins this job. Stephane Veilleux doesn't have the skill level to make a play like that. At the end of the day, his upside is capped very low and he'll never be more than a Band Aid for that line. They're better off putting Downie out there and seeing what they've got. If he scores 20 goals and 45-50 points and keeps his nose clean, you re-sign him. If not, I think you've got enough defensive depth you can move a chip like Paul Ranger at the deadline to get another solution on Vinny's wing. You may have to do that anyway with Tanguay being a temporary solution on the other side.

Box score from Yahoo Sports.