And the road warriors keep rolling...
Marc Denis stopped 30 of 35 before stopping 4 of 4 shooters for the extra extra session win. It wasn't pretty, but with the chips down Denis got it done. Vaclav Prospal and Martin St. Louis each had 1 goal and 2 assists in the win. YoungStar Paul Ranger added 1 goal and 1 assist and Doug Janik (AKA Secret Weapon 3) had 2 assists. Vincent Lecavalier and Filip Kuba had the Lightning's other goals with Kuba's being a smoking slap shot on the rush to tie the game with 2:54 left in regulation. Nikita Alexeev and Eric Perrin had individual helpers.
If you look up "sore losers" in the dictionary, you might spot the Carolina press corps. Denying Prospal a three stars selection on a night when he had 3 points? Ridiculous. Giving first star to a guy who had a couple of goals bounce in off of him? More so.
I wish there wasn't an All-Star Break at all, because this Lightning team is rolling like a battle hardened war machine right now. To go into Buffalo, New Jersey and now defending champion Carolina and grind out 2 points in hostile road environments should make the league take notice. The Lightning appear done messing around this season. The character of a real contender is starting to show. Now they just need Feaster to pull the trigger on one or two more trades to get them the reinforcements to put this team over the top. The Lightning now move 2 points behind Carolina for 2nd place in the division and remain 8 points back of Atlanta. Lurking. Waiting for the Smirkin' Chikins to slip. The Lightning have also opened a 4 point gap on a gaggle of teams in 8th place and are within 5 points of 4th place Montreal for a little first round home ice.
Carolina 5:32, Eric Staal 21 (power play) (Scott Walker, Andrew Hutchinson)
Tampa Bay 6:51, Vaclav Prospal 8 (Martin St. Louis, Dan Boyle)
Carolina 18:23, Eric Staal 22 (Scott Walker, Anton Babchuk)
Carolina 0:34, Ray Whitney 19 (Dennis Seidenberg, Justin Williams)
Tampa Bay 3:22, Vincent Lecavalier 30 (Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger)
Carolina 7:35, Andrew Ladd 4 (Anton Babchuk, Justin Williams)
Tampa Bay 8:06, Paul Ranger 2 (Nikita Alexeev, Eric Perrin)
Tampa Bay 12:02, Martin St. Louis 30 (Vaclav Prospal, Doug Janik)
Carolina 9:31, Scott Walker 16 (Andrew Hutchinson, Andrew Ladd)
Tampa Bay 17:06, Filip Kuba 8 (Vaclav Prospal, Doug Janik)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Somebody forgot to tell the Falcons to play dead.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 23 of 24 shots faced for the win and actually held a shutout up until just 3:11 left in the game's final frame. The Falcons' goals came from Blair Jones and Eric Healey with assists to Norm Milley and Matt Smaby. Boutin and Healey were named first and third stars of the game, respectively. Springfield outshot Worcester 30-24 in the game.
The win moves the Falcons 1 point behind Portland and Providence which are currently tied with 46 points in the standings and occupying the 3rd and 4th spots (the final two playoff spots) in the Atlantic Division.
SPR Jones, (5) , 7:07
SPR Healey, (19) (Milley, Smaby), 14:54
WOR Prudden, (1) (Mink, Kaspar), 16:49
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Tver's 4-1 loss to Ufa.
Alexei Glukhov had an assist in Cherepovets' 3-0 shutout of Novosibirsk.
Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Yaroslavl's 4-2 win over Khimik.
Vasily Koshechkin and Togliatti tied Magnitogorsk and Travis Scott 1-1 today in a matchup of last year's two best Superleague netminders. Koshechkin is now 14-10-4 this season.
Anton But was scoreless in SKA's 2-1 win against Omsk.
Defenseman Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes as Linkopings was stomped by Vastra Frolunda 7-2. Former Lightning center Martin Cibak had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game for Frolunda. For those wondering, "Cibby" has 8 goals and 15 points in 41 games this season.
Chris Lawrence continued his hot streak with a natural hattrick in Mississauga's 7-2 win over the Barrie Colts. Lawrence scored three straight goals in just over 7 minutes of the third period to break the game open, including his first two just 8 seconds apart. He was also plus-2 with 4 PIM. Lawrence now has 30 goals on the year. For the second consecutive game he was named the game's first star.
Kevin Beech won his first game with Erie, stopping 29 of 32 shots to help the Otters defeat Toronto St. Mike's 4-3. This was just the 10th win of the year for Erie.
Marek Bartanus and the Owen Sound Attack were shutout by Guelph 5-0. Bartanus was minus-1.
Vladimir Mihalik scored his fourth of the year to help Prince George to a 4-0 shutout win over Chilliwack. Mihalik was even in the game.
Dane Crowley and Everett shut down Vancouver 4-2 in Everett. Crowley scored his sixth goal of the year and now has a 2-game goal streak. He was also plus-1. Crowley was named the game's third star.