Wow. Atta boy, Riku!
Riku Helenius pitches a 41 save shutout in his first career AHL start. A star is born?
NOR Bochenski, (17) (Konopka, Keller), 11:31
NOR Bochenski, (18) (Smolenak, Lundin), 4:43
NOR Segal, (13) (Smolenak, Gratton), 15:38
Wow. This is where Karri Ramo needs to start feeling the heat coming up his back. Everyone's known for the past 2-1/2 years that Helenius is athletically capable, and the bizarre reshuffling and suspension situation has given Helenius an opportunity to finally get in between the pipes. And, damn-it-all if he hasn't seized the opportunity by the throat in his first start. Wow.
Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik just got back to even for the season with a +3 night tonight. His play has picked up since the embarassment of the San Jose Sharks game.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Amazing. Truly a game that Pittsburgh had no business winning.
Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the overtime loss in his first NHL start. He can thank a lazy referee for one of those goals.
15:25 TB Malone (16), (Recchi, Ranger)
05:00 TB St. Louis (19), (Lecavalier, Eminger)
16:52 TB Lecavalier (24), (Prospal, St. Louis)
02:25 PIT Malkin (23), (Dupuis)
14:06 PIT Eaton (2), (Sykora)
16:31 PIT Sykora (20), (Malkin, Crosby)(PP)
04:44 PIT Malkin (24), (Staal, Orpik)
It's the kind of stuff that makes you want to vomit. The Lightning completely controlled this game, and the drip, drip, drip. Paul Ranger with a turnover led to Pittsburgh's first goal. Then Gord Dwyer refuses to try to move on a harmless play around the boards that ends up eventually in the back of the net on a shot by Mark Eaton that bounces off Eminger's shin pad and in. Then Gary Roberts takes an absolutely idiotic penalty flexing his pimp hand on Matt Cooke. Tying goal goes in. Pittsburgh wins it late on a goalmouth scramble. Vomit. So much good effort in this game wasted by bad luck and stupidity by veteran players. Seriously, Gary Roberts got played by Cooke like a violin. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
Steve Downie was -1 in 9:15 with 1 shot and 4 hits.
Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot.
06:27 NYI Hunter (13), (Nielsen, Okposo)(PP)
08:29 NYI Streit (9), (Weight, Comrie)
09:52 NYI Martinek (1), (Park, Witt)
03:05 TB Lecavalier (23), (Recchi, Murphy)(PP)
I think you now readjust your goals for the season to trying to finish with a winning record, but playoffs is likely out of the question. There will be a lot of folks trying to lay tonight's loss at the feet of Karri Ramo, and he did allow two soft goals, but the Lightning only scored 1 goal on an AHL caliber club with Yann Danis in net. That's absolutely unacceptable.
Steve Downie had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 7:44. He doesn't play enough, in my opinion.
Matt Smaby had 4 shots and 2 blocked shots in 10:38. He, also, probably doesn't play enough minutes. He absolutely destroyed Blake Comeau and drew a penalty in the process behind the net in the first period tonight.