The Lightning enter the Olympic Break with a thud.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 22 shots for the loss.
TB 15:33, Stamkos 35 (Malone, Downie)(PP)
TB 17:03, Downie 15 (Stamkos, Tanguay)
NYR 1:40, Avery 7 (PS)
NYR 6:07, Prospal 14 (Staal, Christensen)
NYR 12:06, Christensen 4 (Prospal, Rozsival)
NYR 13:52, Christensen 5 (unassisted)
NYR 19:45, Drury 10 (unassisted)(EN)
I don't know how to explain these last three games other than immaturity. It's a young team, and they see vacation time coming up, and the intensity and attention to detail just wasn't there for 60 minutes in each game. I hope these three losses don't end up being the difference in making the playoffs. They could have won all three games. They had a bad first period against Boston, and bad second periods against the Islanders and Rangers. So, instead of getting some points in these games, the Lightning went 0-for-12, and rather than fighting for 6th in the conference they're down tied for 9th.
It's a good time for a mini training camp.
Moncton Wildcats 4 @ Gatineau Olympiques 2
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 52 GP, 12-36-48, +34, 52 PIM
Barberio set a new career high for assists in a season Saturday. Heâ€™s already set a high for points and is three off his previous best for goals. He's light years ahead of his previous plus/minus best (plus-9).
Niagara IceDogs 4 @ Belleville Bulls 3
C Richard Panik, BEL: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 48 GP, 15-13-28, +4, 31 PIM
With Bulls: 15 GP, 6-4-10, -11, 12 PIM
With Windsor: 33 GP, 9-9-18, +15, 19 PIM
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 50 GP, 17-12-29, -15, 41 PIM
With Bulls: 37 GP, 15-11-26, -13, 23 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM
DeCoste extended his point streak to five games. Heâ€™s registered a point in seven of his last nine games. Panik scored early in the third to pull the Bulls within one at 4-3, but they couldnâ€™t complete the comeback.
Mississauga St. Michaelâ€™s Majors 5 @ Barrie Colts 4
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 0-1-1, E, 5 PIM (fighting vs. Blake Parlett)
Season Totals: 55 GP, 37-24-61, +36, 52 PIM
Unexpected stat of the night: This was Hutchingsâ€™ first assist since January 2nd and second since December 18. He had 34 assists last season. Hutchings is a frequent visitor to the scoresheet, so the low assist (lately) total is a bit of a surprise. This was a big road win for the Majors, who sit in second, (well) behind Barrie in the Eastern Conference. Those two are in a class by themselves in the conference.
Regina Pats 6 @ Red Deer Rebels 1
RW Carter Ashton, REG: 0-2-2, +2, 2 PIM (tripping)
Season Totals: 54 GP, 23-23-46, -2, 92 PIM
With Regina: 26 GP, 10-10-20, +6, 40 PIM
With Lethbridge: 28 GP, 13-13-26, -8, 52 PIM
Former Lightning prospect and WHL overager Torrie Jung (8-25-2-5, 3.46, .894, 1 SO) started the game for Edmonton, but only lasted two periods. Ashton has seven points in his last seven games.
Vancouver Giants 4 @ Chilliwack Bruins 2
C/WJames Wright, VAN: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 7 GP, 2-6-8, +4, 4 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM
Wright (pictured) is back over a point-per-game pace for the Giants, who play at home Sunday (2/14) before going on a 10-game road trip.
Union Dutchmen 3 @ Harvard Crimson 4
C/W Alexander Killorn, HAR: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *First Star*
Season Totals: 25 GP, 9-10-19, +2, 26 PIM
Killornâ€™s goals gave Harvard leads of 3-0 and 4-0, then the Crimson hung on as the Dutchmen scored three late goals, including two in the final 31 seconds.
Merrimack Warriors 3 @ No.17 Vermont Catamounts 2
C/W Matt Marshall , UVM: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 27 GP, 1-4-5, -4, 14 PIM
A tough loss for Vermont to a team that came into the game five games under .500. Only getting one point from the weekend series â€“ a 2-2 tie Friday â€“ will hurt. Marshall started the game centering the fourth line. Heâ€™s been playing a lot of wing this year.
Western Michigan Broncos 1 @ Northern Michigan Wildcats 2
D Luke Witkowski , WMU: Did not play.
Season Totals: 26 GP, 2-4-6, -10, 59 PIM
Witkowski missed his second straight game for the Broncos. The Wildcats scored with 11 seconds left to steal the win.
No Lashoff? No Parrish? No problem.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the win. He's now 5-6-1 on the season with 1 shutout, a 2.01 GAA, and a rock solid .925 sv%. He's actually got better numbers than Tokarski.
LOW Palmieri, (18) (Vasyunov, Walter), 12:48
NOR Fornataro, (7) (Craig, Fadden), 17:33
NOR Simek, (15) (Szczechura), 12:16
NOR Craig, (15) (Tyrell, Szczechura), 17:25
NOR Craig, (16) (Fadden, Wishart), 18:39 (PP)
NOR Mihalik, (1) (Tyrell, Hall), 16:01
Ryan Craig, Paul Szczechura, and Vladimir Mihalik were the game's three stars. It was another banner night for the Presov Mafia between Janus' win, and both Juraj Simek, and Mihalik's goals. Mihalik's marker was his first of the season, and with a +3 night he jumped to +1 for the season.
Lowell got former Lightning d-man Cory Murphy back for this game, so they dressed 5 natural defensemen for this game rather than the 4 from last night, but it didn't matter. Even with Matt Lashoff out for a second straight game attending to family matters and Mark Parrish held out, presumably for a recall to the Lightning, the Admirals still dominated the Devils.
Norfolk remains in 3rd place in the East Division, 4 points behind 2nd place Albany, which dismantled Binghamton 7-0 tonight. Albany holds 1 game in hand. They widened their lead on 4th place Adirondack to 6 points after the Phantoms fell to Portland 5-4. Adirondack has 3 games in hand. They are now tied at 52 points with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the Penguins upset Hershey 5-0 tonight. So the Pens are 6 points back of Norfolk with 2 games in hand. In 6th place is Syracuse, which lost 2-0 tonight to Manchester. They're 8 points behind Norfolk with 2 games in hand. All the way in 7th place in Bighamton, which is now 11 points back of Norfolk with 5 games in hand.
Norfolk's win moves them 1 point ahead of the 5th place team in the Atlantic Division, so the Admirals are starting to take the crossover off the table. Even if they finish 3rd in the East Division, finishing ahead of the crossover 5th place Atlantic team is critical for the Admirals if they want to avoid a date with Hershey in the first round of the playoffs. 5th in the Atlantic is now a 3-way logjam with Providence, Hartford, and Bridgeport all at 57 points. Providence knocked off Springfield 3-1 tonight and Bridgeport beat Hartford 6-4 to create the three team pile-up. Both Providence and Hartford have 1 game in hand on Norfolk.
Norfolk's next game is on Monday, which will be an epic clash in Albany against the River Rats. An Admirals win could pull the team to within 2 points of 2nd place in the East Division.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
There needs to be some soul searching in the Lightning locker room regarding the team's commitment to competing in the defensive third of the rink.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 5 goals on 33 shots for the loss.
NYI 7:31, Comeau 7 (Schremp)
TB 11:14, Stamkos 34 (St. Louis, Foster)
TB 14:29, Lundin 2 (Stamkos)
NYI 4:26, Weight 1 (Okposo)
TB 12:27, Thompson 2 (Tanguay, Halpern)
NYI 16:12, Okposo 13 (Tavares, Sutton)
NYI 17:12, Park 5 (Comeau, Biron)
TB 2:57, Downie 14 (Ohlund, St. Louis)
NYI Islanders 17:38, Park 6 (Weight, Moulson)
You know, just a few days ago I was thinking the Olympic Break would be a bad thing for breaking up the momentum the Lightning had. Now I'm thinking the team could use the mini training camp to go back over some basics in their defensive third. Their play in the first against Boston was terrible, and their play in the second today against the Islanders was equally putrid. It's one of the rare times I've seen the team play that loose two games in a row this season. Usually Tocchet and the coaching staff have been good about fixing it quickly. Lets hope they pull it together by tomorrow against the Rangers, because they're shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly with regard to the standings by losing these 4-point conference games.