The Lightning steal the win.
Karri Ramo stopped 40 of 43 shots for the win. He's not playing perfect hockey, but he is playing relaxed and making saves and keeping the Lightning in a position to compete. Tonight he won despite his club being outshot 43-18. His night in a nutshell: he gave up an awful rebound to Phil Kessel coming in off the wing with the game tied 3-3 and then made an athletic pad save in close to bail himself out. Flawless? No. But he's battling, and getting fair results.
Bobby Taylor has talked recently on the broadcasts how defensemen who come up to the NHL sometimes find it easier because the forwards are always in the proper position on the breakout. I wonder if Ramo is looking more relaxed partially because he worries less about the team in front of him being in the proper position and not overcompensating for odd man rushes or back door plays.
01:38 BOS Kessel (25), (Savard, Lucic)
04:44 TB Halpern (4), (Pettinger, Eminger)
04:59 TB Hall (4), (Craig, Artyukhin)
16:42 BOS Ference (1), (Savard, Wideman)(PP)
10:00 TB Recchi (13), (Melichar, Koci)
15:17 BOS Chara (14), (Kobasew, Ward)
18:27 TB Prospal (15), (Halpern, St. Louis)(PP)
It's nice to be able to take Jeff Halpern's picture off the milk carton, too.
Matt Smaby had 4 hits and 5 blocked shots in 22:06. I'll bet you, dollars to donuts, 75% of the GM's who talk to Brian Lawton next week ahead of the deadline will try to scam him out of #32, and that Lawton will tell them, "No thanks."
David Koci had his first NHL assist, was +1, and had 3 hits in 7:06. David Koci: The Secret Weapon.
Courtnall finishes regular season with another multi-point night ... Ward vs. Barberio and Tokarski vs. Fadden ... Wright gets on the scoresheet.
Killorn nets PPG...Vermont PP continues to struggle...UMASS brings brooms out...Only two weekend series left in regular season.
Keller is also getting in line for a recall.
Riku Helenius stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win to even his record at 4-4-0 this season. He is now sitting on 1 shutout, a 2.18 GAA, and a .938 save percentage. What's the definition of a "good problem" to have? Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna acquitting themselves fairly well in the NHL while your young #1 starter is out injured, Helenius playing well in the AHL, and young Dustin Tokarski standing on his head in junior. That is a "good problem" to have.
BNG Mauldin, (12) (Regin, Hamel), 11:54
BNG Mauldin, (13) (Fata, Regin), 17:56
NOR Potulny, (8) (Brookbank, Jones), 1:27
NOR Jones, (11) (Lundin, Konopka), 14:44 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (21) (Keller, Konopka), 3:43
NOR Keller, (11) (Bochenski), 11:08
I find it fascinating that, despite spotting him a significant head start, Keller has caught Blair Jones in the goal department. Jones still has a mammoth lead on Keller in assists and a better points per game number, but that may be a little inflated with power play assists with Blair playing the point position so much. This may be another really good problem for the Lightning organization to have if Keller and Jones continue to hit the scoresheet and, along with Brandon Segal, continue to push for late season recalls.
For those who have been wondering, Vladimir Mihalik has been out with a nasty concussion.
Norfolk climbs back to 3 games under .500. I think the season would be considered a success, given the rocky beginnings, if the team could climb to a winning record. It could be the foundation of a return to the playoffs next season with the Admirals getting an injection of a little more speed and skill with guys like Dana Tyrell coming on board.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Courtnall back on the scoresheet ... Fadden gets another First Star ... Tokarski beaten by the other Pickard ... Jung returns in a big way.