Flip. The. Script.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 3 goals on 34 shots and stopped both shooters he faced in the penalty shot session for the big shootout win.
MIN 16:53, Pouliot 2 (Sheppard, Schultz)
MIN 3:47, Johnsson 2 (Brunette, Koivu)(PP)
TB 8:44, Stamkos 13 (Malone)(SH)
MIN 11:35, Nolan 4 (unassisted)
TB 9:17, Downie 2 (Halpern, Ohlund)
TB 19:45, Malone 11 (Stamkos, St. Louis)(PP)
TB- Lecavalier, Stamkos
After frittering away 3-4 points already this season by allowing opponents to tie a game late and then losing in the shootout, the Lightning flipped the script to steal 2 points from Minnesota and stay unbeaten in regulation at home.
Steve Downie had a big goal to key the comeback and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 11:49. He's 5 games from graduation from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects.
Zenon Konopka had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:17. And, thankfully, he chose not to commit suicide by fighting Boogard.
Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and was 75% on draws in 11:54. He brought some jump back to the lineup.
James Wright was -1 with 1 shot in 12:41.
Victor Hedman had 1 shot in 24:02 in his first game back from the concussion. He was wildly out of position on Minnesota's first goal, but was decent otherwise.
Niitty is so gangsta.
Antero Niittymaki has been a revelation. He stopped 36 of 37 tonight to give his Lightning team a chance to get the win. Ride him 'til the wheels come off.
TB 10:09, Malone 10 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
TB 19:13, Tanguay 3 (Malone, Lecavalier)
MTL 9:44, Gionta 7 (Spacek, Gomez)(PP)
TB 18:01, Wright 2 (Tanguay, Halpern)
This fell somewhere between the Toronto and Ottawa games in terms of how the Lightning played. The offensive flow and continuity is still absent (21 shots), and they were slightly tighter defensively than in Toronto but not quite as good as in Ottawa. Nitty has collected 4 of 6 points in these past 3 games and the team hasn't played to its potential.
Steve Downie had 1 hit in 12:36. This was his quietest game in a Lightning uniform in a long while.
Drew Miller played 9:16.
Zenon Konopka had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 8:58.
James Wright scored the big insurance marker in the game and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:39.
I actually thought tonight was a huge improvement over the Toronto game.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the overtime loss. I thought it was another quality start. I feel like he should clearly be the starter at this stage.
TB 3:03, Tanguay 2 (Halpern, Downie)(PP)
OTT 5:02, Alfredsson 6 (Spezza, Michalek)
OTT 12:00, Fisher 6 (Kovalev, Spezza)(PP)
TB 13:40, Stamkos 12 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
OTT 4:17, Spezza 1 (Kuba, Fisher)(PP)
The offense is still lacking in continuity and not generating as many chances and as much forecheck as you might want, but the defensive effort was light years better than against Toronto.
Steve Downie had an assist, 17 penalty minutes, and 1 blocked shot in 8:45. Downie is now 7 games shy of graduating from prospect status here on Bolt Prospects.
Zenon Konopka had 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, and was 80% on draws in 8:51.
James Wright had 2 hits and was 50% on draws in 13:50.
Victor Hedman had 2 blocked shots in 15:17 before leaving the game after getting hit by Ottawa's Chris Neil. The way he grabbed his head, I'm a little worried it's a concussion.
Ugly, but I'll take it, I suppose.
Antero Niittymaki allowed 1 goal on 41 shots for the victory. I honestly don't know why there isn't a goaltending controversy at this point.
TB 18:34, Lecavalier 2 (Ohlund)
TOR 5:04, White 3 (Hagman, Beauchemin)(PP)
TB 2:21, Malone 9 (Tanguay)
It's lucky that A.) Nittymaki stood on his head again, and B.) Toronto is just awful enough to lose games like this even when they deserve to win. Allowing 41 shots to a team like the Leafs is a joke. Maybe the momentum and mojo the team will get from winning an overtime game will help them in the confidence department, but this is still a terrible Lightning team on the road.
Steve Downie was +1 with 2 hits in 11:44.
Drew Miller only played 4:09 in the game.
Zenon Konopka had 1 hit and was 75% on draws in 4:52.
James Wright played 13:25.
Victor Hedman was +2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 25:46. He also had 4 PIMs, though.
Niitty steals a point, and the Lightning shooters continue to make fools of themselves in the shootout.
Antero Niittymaki was lights out tonight, stopping 37 of 38 before going 3 for 4 in the shootout session for the shootout loss. He deserved a lot better from the guys in front of him.
NJ 0:50, Zajac 6 (Fraser)
TB 4:34, Stamkos 10 (St. Louis, Malone)
The Lightning absolutely sleepwalked through the first two periods of the game, with the exception perhaps of the final five minutes of the first period. It was terrible. Shots were 28-9 after 40 minutes, for New Jersey. Without Nittymaki, this game would have easily been a blowout. I don't get the inconsistency from this Lightning team from game to game, period to period, and situation to situation. And as far as the shootouts go, if I were Tocchet I'd ban dekes from the star players. Tell them to shoot. At least force the goaltenders to make a save.
Steve Downie had 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 hits in 11:08.
Drew Miller was -1 in 8:51.
Zenon Konopka had 2 penalty minutes, 3 hits, and was 50% on draws in 11:04.
James Wright had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 14:20.
Victor Hedman was -1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 26:24. I'm going to reiterate my request from the last game: I'd like to see him get more shots, particularly on the power play. They need to get him off this pass-first mentality. The scouting report from the Swedish Elitserien is that Victor possesses a world class one-timer. Nothing else is working on the PP (an ugly 0-for-3 tonight). Try a different weapon.