That one hurts.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 27 shots faced in the loss. Lightning goals came from Vincent Lecavalier and Dan Boyle with individual assists belonging to Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards.
The team deserved better. They absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of the game but Andrew Raycroft stood on his head and although they were running out of steam on the tail end of the back to back in the third period, they looked to have at least a point in hand before the lucky play that saw a scuffed shot by Stajan become an easy game winning goal.
Tampa Bay 14:52, Vincent Lecavalier 29 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich)
Toronto 2:18, Nik Antropov 6 (Alexei Ponikarovsky, Chad Kilger)
Tampa Bay 17:33, Dan Boyle 11 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Toronto 19:53, Johnny Pohl 7 (Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 15:39, Alexander Steen 10 (power play) (Matthew Stajan, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 19:05, Alexei Ponikarovsky 12 (empty net) (Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Tver's 3-2 win over Nizhnekamsk.
Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Yaroslavl's 4-2 loss to Ufa.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in Cherepovets' 1-1 tie with CSKA.
Vasily Koshechkin threw his 2nd consecutive shutout, and 4th of the season, in helping Togliatti defeat 4th place Novosibirsk 2-0. Koshechkin is now 14-10-3 on the season.
Anton But had a goal in SKA's 5-3 loss to Khimik.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play as Dynamo was shutout by Magnitogorsk 1-0.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 1-1 tie with Chelyabinsk.
Andreas Holmqvist assisted on his club's only goal as Linkopings fell to Skelleftea 3-1. Holmqvist's pairing was moved up to top pairing minutes in the game, the first time that has occured in over a month, and Holmqvist now has 5 goals and 18 points in 37 games.
Karri Ramo started the game and was in net until the 9:50 mark of the second period when he gave way to Jonathan Boutin for the final 10:10 of the period before returning for the third period. Boutin ended up taking the loss allowing a pair of power play goals on 3 shots. Ramo stopped 16 of 18 shots faced in his portion of the game. No word on if Ramo suffered any minor injury as of yet. Randy Rowe and David Spina had the Falcons' goals with assists going to Dan Cavanaugh, Mitch Fritz, Eric Healey and Daniel Corso. The Falcons did manage to outshoot Manchester 33-25 in the game buy allowed the Monarchs to go 3-for-5 on the power play giving up 3 PP goals in the span of 5 minutes in the second period to lose the game.
The Falcons drop to 1 game under .500 and are now in last place in the Atlantic Division. That's the bad news. The good news is they're only 2 points out of 4th place which represents the final playoff spot, so if Norm Milley and/or Justin Keller can get back in the lineup posthaste and the Falcons can find a way out of this tailspin, they're not sunk yet.
MCH Zeiler, (11) (Moulson), 15:25
SPR Rowe, (2) (Cavanaugh, Fritz), 17:36
SPR Spina, (5) (Healey, Corso), 7:37 (PP)
MCH Stephenson, (3) (Ryan, Hoffman), 9:50 (PP)
MCH O'Sullivan, (15) (Schmidt, Kemp), 11:28 (PP)
MCH Moulson, (9) (Werner, Clarke), 15:11 (PP)
MCH Gauthier, (8) , 18:48 (EN)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
It was a difficult week in the Lightning prospect system, but at least one player managed to shine through...