If they had played 60 minutes of hockey instead of 30, they'd have won this game.
It was surprising to see this Lightning team come out so flat in the first period considering what transpired in the game against Carolina. The good news is that, despite the loss, I think John Grahame played very well stopping 32 of 35. He made a handful of very good saves late in the 2nd period that gave the Lightning an opportunity to steal a point or two. But, alas, their penalty kill was running around a bit when Tom Poti blasted a slapshot from the high slot right up Broadway to win the game.
has already settled into John Tortorella's regular rotation with 14:42 of ice time tonight and 1 shot on goal. He's exceptional at mucking on the forecheck below the goal line as he demonstrated again tonight, however his skating is a liability on the rush as evidenced by a turnover he made in the second period when a Ranger defenseman simply stepped up, not respecting his skating, took the puck and sent his team away on an odd man rush that nearly resulted in a goal and did result in Paul Ranger
taking a penalty.
Ranger played a stronger, more physical game tonight and was reqarded with more ice time. He was a -1 in 19:27 tonight blocking three shots. Evgeny Artyukhin
played a more modest 8:49 with one shot on goal and sat for much of the second half of the game after taking a goaltender interference penalty while driving to the net on a one-on-one play. Darren Reid
had one shot on goal in 3:38 of ice time. As with Tarnasky earlier this season, I don't believe it is positive to play a prospect so little over a long period of time. I'm sure Reid isn't complaining about the extra zeros on his paycheck, but it's not the best for his development if Torts doesn't have enough faith in Reid to play him more than the six shifts he got tonight.
For the Lightning as a whole, it doesn't get any easier with Buffalo next on tap. Hard to believe, but the Lightning have now allowed more goals this season than they've scored with an overall differential of -1 on the season.
Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/standings/index.html]NHL.com.[/url]