The frustrating thing is the team did almost everything right tonight and still got nothing for it.
Another quality start by Karri Ramo wasted by lack of goal support. Ramo allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the loss, but really he did just about everything humanly possible to keep the Lightning in this game. The third Penguins goal which was a broken stick shot by Sykora of a skate to Ryan Malone at point blank range is one of the more unlucky goals I've seen in a while.
The Lightning were a Filip Kuba crossbar and/or a Vincent Lecavalier shooting the puck into Conklin's glove rather than a gaping 4x6 away from getting points out of this one. They played well with the exception of a short span in the second period when they were under siege a bit. Under ordinary circumstances over the past two seasons you could shrug this off and say "They'll get 'em next time." Problem is, there aren't many more next times if you do the math. The Lightning can't leave anymore points on the table and have hopes of making a run at the playoffs. I give it another two weeks before Jay Feaster really has to start thinking about pulling the plug on this thing and picking up assetts for a quick turnaround offseason rebuild.
Mathieu Darche had 1 assist and was +1 in 7:46 with 1 shot and 2 hits. Darche is set to graduate from overage prospect status in 4 games, putting his likely last individual stat line report at 1/19 against the Senators.
Anton But was scoreless in Spartak's 1-0 win over St. Petersburg.
Evgeny Artyukhin had a goal and an assist as CSKA blew out Novosibirsk 5-2.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Omsk's 5-3 loss to Tver.
Alexei Glukhov had an assist in Cherepovets' 5-4 loss to Khabarovsk.
Tri-City Americans 2 @ Everett Silvertips 3 (SO)
D Dane Crowley, EVT: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (holding)
Kyle Beach of the 'Tips was ranked No.4 among North American draft eligible prospects by Central Scouting in their midterm rankings. mynhldraft.com had Beach going to the Lightning in a mock draft a month or so ago, but since the Lightning's free-fall in the standings the site now has the Bolts taking Sarnia's Steven Stamkos at No.2. Stamkos was ranked as the No.1 North American skater by Central Scouting in their midterms.
Chilliwack Bruins 1 @ Kelowna Rockets 3
G Torrie Jung, KEL: Did not play
Note: The WHL trade deadline is today (1/10).
The good news is that the blowouts have stopped and the team is playing competitive hockey.
Marc Denis stopped 28 of 30 shots faced in the loss.
The AHL's website is down right now, but Norfolk's only goal was scored on a Mario Scalzo deflection of a Dan Jancevski point shot.
The game story is up on the Norfolk Admirals website.
The Mississippi Sea Wolves picked up their lunch buckets and battled out a shootout win over the South Carolina Stingrays Tuesday to extend their season best win streak to five games. Ryan Munce improved to 9-2 on the season with the Wolves stopping 25 shots in regulation and overtime, and four more in the shootout to earn Third Star honors. It is Munce's fifth straight victory. Marek Kvapil had a goal and an assist and scored one of Mississippi's two shootout markers enroute to earning Second Star honors. Kvapil was credited with the game's first goal when a faulty pass from a South Carolina player ricocheted off the skate of Stingrays goalie Josh Johnson and past him to give the Wolves an early 1-0 lead.