Dammit, they're making me love them again.
Anders Lindback allowed 2 goals on 30 shots for the victory.
06:38 TB Palat (2), (Tyrell, Salo)
13:55 PHI Talbot (4), (Meszaros)
17:03 TB Pyatt (6), (Johnson, Hedman)
15:21 PHI Giroux (9), (unassisted)
09:25 TB Purcell (6), (Aulie, Stamkos)
19:57 TB Stamkos (21), (Killorn, St. Louis)(EN)
Ryan Malone and Anders Lindback were the game's first and second stars.
I know they're probably going to just break my heart, but this team is suddenly fun to watch again. The speed and enthusiasm all the young players are bringing to the table has become infectious. And, more to the point, the way the team played in the second half of this game sure did give the impression this team may have finally figured out how to win a close game. There was one forechecking shift by the Thompson/Crombeen line in the Third Period that was as fine a shift as any by the Dingman/Cibak/Afanasenkov line circa 2004.
Alex Killorn had a helper and a shot in 16:16.
Tyler Johnson had a helper and was +2 with 2 hits in 12:12. He was also 100% on draws again.
Ondrej Palat had the game opening goal and was +1 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 10:24.
Radko Gudas was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and a big 7 hits in 14:51.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 11:09. He almost had a very cool assist late in the game that was called back for playing a puck above his shoulders. Really close play.
And the kids shall lead them...
Mathieu Garon allowed 1 goal on 22 shots for the win in his return from injury.
10:54 TB Johnson (1), (Killorn, Conacher)
06:35 TB Palat (1), (Salo, Johnson)
12:55 TB Thompson (6), (Crombeen, Carle)
03:54 TB Purcell (5), (St. Louis, Hedman)
06:21 CAR E. Staal (13), (Semin)
Lightning fans got a nice little taste of the future tonight. These are quality players the Lightning have brought up from Syracuse, and they have the ability to join with some of the young talent the team already had to be a very competitive and exciting team moving forward. The rest of this year is an opportunity for those players to learn on the job together and lay a foundation for success next season.
Alex Killorn had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 16:33.
Johnson had 1 goal and 1 asisst and was +2 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 8:56. He was also 100% on draws. It was a magical night for the young man, getting his first NHL goal.
Ondrej Palat also got his 1st NHL goal and was +1 with 3 shots in 9:16.
Radko Gudas had 2 shots, 6 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 20:03. He's exploded on the scene like a supernova.
Cory Conacher had a helper and was +1 with 2 hits in 12:30.
Lindback deserved a better fate.
Anders Lindback allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the loss. He's starting to play his best hockey of the season now. If the Lightning salvage anything from this awful campaign, it might be Lindback surfacing as a more legitimate number one with work in the second half of the shortened season.
10:22 NYI Tavares (17), (Moulsen, Boyes)(PP)
19:20 NYI Boyes (7), (Macdonald)(EN)
Lindback was the game's third star.
The Lightning slowly started to get their feet under them as the game progressed and didn't play all that poorly, but couldn't get pucks through a collapsing Islanders d, and when they did Nabokov was there. The only point of emphasis for improvement needs to be actually hitting the net when the Lightning shoot, particularly the big guy wearing #77.
Alex Killorn was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:10.
Tyler Johnson was 33% on draws in 11:39. He was a bit of a non-factor.
Ondrej Palat had 2 hits in 9:05. Also a bit of a non-factor.
Radko Gudas had 2 shots, 6 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:56. Stud. He played like a flat out bona fide stud. He was sawing people in half and showing off some of those offensive abilities that he occasionally brings to bear, like his puck lugging skills, for instance. He looked darn good, which is reflected in the fact he got 50% more ice time than Keith Aulie. Two games and he already zipped by him on the depth chart. Not the first time Aulie has been pylonized, I reckon.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 1 shot and 3 hits in 8:37.
Cory Conacher had 1 hit in 14:45. He's become a chronic non-factor at this point in the season. Sad but true.
Times like these, when we're down on our luck, it's important to remember there are still those who are even less fortunate... Panthers fans.
Anders Lindback allowed 2 goals on 39 shots for the win. Stat line looks good. Second goal allowed was kind of ugly. But, he made the key stop on a late Third Period breakaway to preserve the win. For as much hand wringing as there is about Anders, he's got a winning record.
01:36 TB Lecavalier (7), (St. Louis, Killorn)
17:48 TB St. Louis (7), (Killorn, Lecavaler)
00:13 FLA Versteeg (2), (Goc)
11:24 FLA Kopecky (11), (Skille)
05:30 TB Stamkos (20), (Purcell, St. Louis)(PP)
The Lightning were outshot 39-13 (not a typo) in the contest, but still walked away with the win. Normally, I'd be outraged by that, but then imagine how Panthers Fan must feel like God truly hates him and his team. Then I laugh and feel a little better.
Alex Killorn had 2 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 6 hits in 16:08.
Ondrej Palat was -1 with 4 hits in 13:04.
Radko Gudas had 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in 15:20 in his NHL debut. Moved well and didn't look out of place.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 14:18.
Let the Nichushkin watch begin!
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the victory. You hate to judge a guy on one start, but there's a reason the guy has bounced around the AHL, mostly.
05:30 TB Stamkos (19), (St. Louis, Hedman)
07:38 MTL Plekanec (11), (Markov)
08:15 TB Salo (2), (Crombeen, Thompson)
12:20 TB Malone (5), (Stamkos, St. Louis)(PP)
03:48 MTL Gionta (8), (Ryder, Boullion)(PP)
07:33 MTL Emelin (2), (Gionta, Ryder)
12:03 MTL Gallagher (7), (Pacioretty)
Sami Salo was the game's third star.
No way the team should have lost that game heading into the Third with a 2 goal lead, and Montreal's comeback looked really easy. Way too easy. This is a really, really bad Lightning team right now and you can't help but wonder what fundamental changes are on the horizon. Specifically, I wonder how much longer Martin St. Louis is willing to devote to a team that will likely miss the playoffs two straight years in the twilight of his career. He's only got a few more productive years, and I don't know that he'll want to wet nurse another top-10 pick next year (possibly top-5 the way this is going) along with the likes of Connolly and all the kids from Syracuse. There's some sad days potentially coming, I'm afraid to say.
Alex Killorn was -1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 19:26. One of his three hits helped create a goal. He's a very good all-around player.
Ondrej Palat was -1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 9:24.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 3 hits in 6:26.
Cory Conacher had 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:34. Less ice time than Palat? My eyebrow is raised.