The final score wasn't indicative of how the Lightning played.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 35 shots in the loss. I wasn't a big fan of the rebounds he was leaving in the first period, nor the Flyers' second goal which went through Smitty. He got stronger as the game went on, though. His stats look a lot worse than he played.
PHI 3:59, Betts 2 (Carcillo, Laperriere)
PHI 9:34, Richards 14 (Gagne, Pronger)(PP)
TB 5:58, Konopka 1 (Downie)
TB 12:02, Hedman 3 (Foster, St. Louis)
PHI 10:01, Betts 3 (Bartulis, Laperriere)
PHI 17:22, Richards 15 (Giroux, Bartulis)
PHI 19:26, Gagne 2 (Giroux, Richards)(EN)
The Lightning woke up after sleep walking through the first period and really, truly, started dominating the Flyers to get back to 2-2 after the second period. The problem is that in pressing for the go-ahead goal the Lightning got too loose in the neutral zone and started giving up odd man rushes. That eventually led to the go ahead goal at 3-2. They pressed for the equalizer and gave up a 2-on-1 and then it was 4-2. Philly tacked on an empty net goal and it was 5-2. What's the moral of the story? Attention to detail in terms of defense and smart decision making is always necessary, even when the ice starts to tilt in your favor and you're going in for the kill. It only takes one mistake to set off a chain reaction, and suddenly a game you could've won 4-2 turns into a 5-2 loss.
All that aside, I see hopeful signs for the future. You can see the potential some of these young guys have: Downie, Smaby, Szczechura, and Jones. If they keep working hard and the Lightning stick with them, they have a good chance to become really solid NHLers over the next couple of seasons. It's an exciting group to watch.
Steven Stamkos had 1 shot on goal, and 5 that missed the net. Keep shooting it brother. Vincent Lecavalier was shut out despite peppering the Flyers net with 7 shots. Keep shooting it. Martin St. Louis had 4 shots on goal and 2 that drew iron that didn't count. Keep shooting it. Alex Tanguay and Steve Downie each had a shot a piece and each passed up scoring chances. Start shooting it, knuckleheads. If I see one more 2-on-1 that turns into a 4-on-4 because those two decide to stop and circle back or telegraph a forced pass rather than at least force the goalie to make a save and open up the possibility to generate a rebound, I may have to break an expensive TV. Downie, in particular, has a really good shot. He just needs to use it more.
Zenon Konopka had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 8:25. He was also 67% on draws. Question for the readers: is it just me or does the swelling on the bridge of Konopka's nose make it look like he's wearing a Breath Right?
Paul Szczechura was -2 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 14:18.
Blair Jones was -1 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 13:11. He's very rough around the edges, and doesn't always mind the details defensively, but he's been an absolute horse along the wall in the forecheck. If he keeps working hard and listens to a guy like Rick Tocchet, who knows a little something about being a power forward, he really has a shot to be a good player.
Victor Hedman had a goal on a blistering shot to the top shelf and was +1 with 3 shots and 3 blocked shots in 22:22. It was an uneven performance defensively for Hedman, but that goal is Echibit A for why Victor should shoot the puck more. He's got the second best shot of any d-man on the team behind Foster.
Back from the Channel One Cup break...
Omsk 2 @ Mytischi 4
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Loss, 15/18, 3.04 GAA, .833 sv%
Season totals: 28 GP, 15-12, 3 SO, 2.03 GAA, .913 sv%
Former NHLer Oleg Petrov had a pair of goals, including the game winner, to help propel Mytischi over Omsk 4-2. Former Lightning draft pick Alexei Glukhov had a helper in the match for Mytischi.
Togliatti 3 @ Magnitogorsk 5
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, DNP
Season totals: 34 GP, 17-14, 5 SO, 2.04 GAA, .924 sv%
Koshechkin has had three opportunities to play against his old club, and he has not played in each of the three games. Magnitogorsk got 1 goal and 1 assist from Sergei Fedorov in the game.
Kazan 2 @ Chelyabinsk 1 (SO)
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 11-2-13, E, 12 PIM
Kazan got a third period goal from former NHLer Niko Kapanen and then shootout goals from Danis Zaripov and KHL superstar Alexei Morozov to pull out a 2-1 win over Chelyabinsk. The elder Kazionov played 13:05 in the match.
Nizhnekamsk 5 @ Ekaterinburg 2
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 32 GP, 4-3-7, -12, 10 PIM
The younger Kazionov brother played 12:00 in the match.
Dynamo Minsk 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 3
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 3-8-11, -4, 26 PIM
Harju played 16:06 in the match and was 42% on draws. His helper came on Linus Omark's 16th goal of the season. It's been an interesting role reversal from Harju and Omark's Elitserien days in Sweden where Harju was the goal scorer and Omark was the setup man.
Lightning draftee Kirill Gotovets recently competed in Poland with his native Belarus in the IIHF World U20 Championships, DIV I Group B tournament. Gotovets, a defenseman, and his Belarus teammates were attempting to qualify for the 2011 World Junior Championships (WJC) in the U.S. by advancing out of the division.
Belarus (3-0-2) finished with the silver, however, and won't join Canada, Russia, Sweden, and the like next year. Gotovets went scoreless in two games played, while accumulating four penalty minutes and seven shots on goal. The Cornell University commit will now return to Shattuck St-Mary's school in Minnesota, where he has three goals and nine points to go with 49 penalty minutes in 19 games.
Norway advanced out of Group B and will join Germany (Group A) as entries in next Christmas' WJC tournament.
Canada 3 vs. Finland 0 (Exhibition)
LW Matais Sointu, FIN: 0-0-0
Finland made their exhibition debut in preparation for the 2010 World Junior Championships, but went scoreless against a strong Canada squad led by Richard Panik's teammate, Taylor Hall (1 goal), and Carter Ashton's teammate, Jordan Eberle (2 assists). Sointu played for Finland in the 2008 U-18 World Junior Championships, where he scored three goals in six games.
The Lightning's road trip is over. But, after two wins, the season isn't, thankfully.
Mike Smith allowed just 2 goals on 38 shots for the win.
NYI 16:47, Hunter 6 (Bailey, Hillen)(PP)
TB 6:20, Stamkos 21 (St. Louis, Malone)
NYI 16:25, Thompson 1 (Okposo, Nielsen)
TB 19:41, Lecavalier 9 (Tanguay, Malone)
TB 2:48, Malone 17 (Stamkos, Foster)(PP)
TB 11:39, Malone 18 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
The Lightning have climbed back to within 1 game of the .500 mark and 2 points of 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
Paul Szczechura had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 4 hits, and was 75% on draws in 14:05.
James Wright had 1 shot and 2 hits in 7:17.
Blair Jones had 2 shots and 2 hits in 12:34.
Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 19:47.