Tarnasky, Nick

NHL Game Day 3/18: Lightning at Capitals

And, just like that, the Lightning no longer control their division title destiny.

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Johan Holmqvist allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss while Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 5 shots in relief. Filip Kuba had the only Lightning goal off assists from Doug Janik and Nick Tarnasky. The Lightning now trail Atlanta by six points in the division with a game in hand after the Thrashers' overtime win against Buffalo today. Just 4 points separate 6th place Tampa Bay and the 9th place New York Islanders now, putting the Lightning in the uncomfortable position of not only seeing their division title hopes slip away, but also seeing that making the playoffs may become a difficult task as well.

Bad, bad, bad time of year for a three game losing streak.

First Period
Washington 5:31, Tomas Fleischmann 3 (Boyd Gordon)
Washington 13:38, Tomas Fleischmann 4 (Kris Beech, Milan Jurcina)

Second Period
Washington 1:14, Alexander Semin 35 (power play) (Chris Clark, Brian Pothier)
Washington 6:45, Alexander Semin 36 (Tomas Fleischmann)
Washington 8:18, Alexander Semin 37 (Kris Beech, Matt Bradley)
Tampa Bay 17:44, Filip Kuba 11 (Doug Janik, Nick Tarnasky)

Third Period
Washington 10:34, Alexandre Giroux 2 (unassisted)
Washington 17:55, Boyd Gordon 5 (Tomas Fleischmann, Shaone Morrisonn)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/10: Lightning at Flames

Lightning win Game Eight of the '04 Finals.

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Marc Denis stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the win. The Secret Weapon, Nick Tarnasky, and Maurice, er, Vincent Lecavalier led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist each in the game. Dan Boyle added the game winning overtime goal and Tim Taylor, Jason Ward, Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin St. Louis each had individual helpers.

And tonight, I think this Lightning team took their game to another level. It might have been premature to label this team a Stanley Cup contender even up until the past few games. But, to go into a hostile building (the hardest building to get a road win in the NHL) where the entire city of Calgary of geared up for payback for the '03-'04 Finals and where there's so much emotion on the ice and come out with two points, that's the stuff of champions. And, to me, it's the way they did it. True, he only got 6:32 of ice time, but little by little Nick Tarnasky's role on the team is expanding. And, also, Jason Ward playing 13:07 and getting his first point in a Lightning jersey is also seeing his role expand. This team needs to get quality minutes out of guys like Ward and Tarnasky on their lower lines if they're going to be successful in the playoffs and as time goes by these players are starting to show they may very well be up to the challenge.

The Lightning's win, coupled with Atlanta's earlier loss to Florida, puts the Lightning back into a tie with Atlanta in points atop the Southeast Division and they've managed to eat up that game in hand the Thrashers were holding for much of the week. Good good deal. And, don't look now, Marc Denis is starting to play winning hockey again. If the Lightning can get Holmqvist and Denis playing well going into the playoffs then the team is going to have the kind of tandem that last year's Cup winner in Carolina proved can be successful.

First Period
Tampa Bay 18:25, Nick Tarnasky 4 (Tim Taylor, Jason Ward)

Second Period
Calgary 13:56, Jeff Friesen 5 (Rhett Warrener, Andrei Zyuzin)

Third Period
Calgary 4:28, Craig Conroy 11 (Andrei Zyuzin, Alex Tanguay)
Tampa Bay 6:35, Vincent Lecavalier 46 (Nick Tarnasky, Ruslan Fedotenko)

Overtime
Tampa Bay 2:59, Dan Boyle 15 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/1: Lightning at Capitals

As furious as I am that the referees made this game last far longer than it should have, how can you not love Secret Weapon 74 for the winner?

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For a guy who statistically allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, Johan Holmqvist played a pretty amazing game. True, his friend the crossbar played a part throughout the game, but to make critical stop after critical stop in the 3rd period and overtime and then put down a 10 for 10 perfect stand in the shootout is amazing. Holmqvist's record remains perfect in shootouts and only 1 shooter, just 1, has found the back of the net against Holmer all season.

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each scored 1 goal and 2 assists in the game as the Lightning stormed back out of a 2 goal hole late in the second period to once again claim a key win in a close game. Ruslan Fedotenko got the comeback ball rolling with a critical individual effort for a goal with under a minute remaining in the second period and Vaclav Prospal added the other Lightning talley. Nick Tarnasky, the night's hero, added an individual helper as did Cory Sarich and Shane O'Brien. The assist was O'Brien's first point as a member of the Lightning (the first of many, knock on wood).

St. Louis' goal with 3:18 left in regulation looked like the winner before the referees began a bizarre string of borderline calls that put the Lightning down at a 6-on-3 disadvantage in the waning moments. As if that wasn't enough, one of the referees also blocked a Brad Richards attempt on the empty net just moments before Washington sent the game to overtime with under 11 seconds on the clock on a centering attempt that deflected in off of Nolan Pratt. The ridiculousness continued in overtime as the referees overlooked a hold by a Caps defender on Martin St. Louis in overtime only moments later to call a hook on Vincent Lecavalier. Undeterred, the Lightning stonewalled a full 2 minute 4-on-3 penalty in overtime to eventually deliver the game to the shootout. Someone needs to be reprimanded for what occured in that game.

Fortunately, after 10 rounds of shootout madness that included the unbridled excitment that is a Donald Brashear penalty shot, Tarnasky decided to pull the plug on the Caps with a wrister that beat Brent Johnson and lifted the Lightning to the 5-4 win. With the victory, the Lightning move 4 points ahead of Atlanta in the division with the Thrashers now holding a game in hand. The gap on Carolina also extends to 7 with both teams having played 66 games. Thank you Nick Tarnasky.

First Period
Washington 11:35, Shaone Morrisonn 3 (Milan Jurcina, Tomas Fleischmann)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 2:17, Vaclav Prospal 10 (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Washington 10:11, Alexander Ovechkin 38 (Jiri Novotny, Steve Eminger)
Washington 14:04, Matt Pettinger 15 (Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley)
Tampa Bay 19:32, Ruslan Fedotenko 12 (Nick Tarnasky, Cory Sarich)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 12:44, Vincent Lecavalier 42 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 16:42, Martin St. Louis 39 (Vincent Lecavalier, Shane O'Brien)
Washington 19:49, Alexander Semin 33 (power play) (Alexander Ovechkin, Kris Beech)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
Tampa Bay- Nick Tarnasky
Washington- NONE

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day 2/11: Lightning at Devils

For anyone who felt the urge to hurl themselves head first off the bandwagon after one bad game in New York, no worries. Your seat was saved.

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Johan Holmqvist stopped 21 of 22 shots faced for the win. Vincent Lecavalier, who any other year would be a runaway favorite for MVP except for the rise of Pittsburgh phenom Sidney Crosby, paced the Lightning with 1 goal and 2 assists. Vaclav Prospal added 1 goal and 1 assist and Brad Richards had a pair of helpers. The other Lightning goals came from The Secret Weapon, Nick Tarnasky and The Most Underrated Star in the NHL, Dan Boyle. Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich and Doug Janik added individual assists.

The win temporarily closed the Lightning within 5 points of Atlanta for the division lead with Atlanta slated to play Edmonton late out west. If there's one benefit to posting a game recap late, it's that I get to include that Atlanta is losing to the Oilers 4-1 after two periods. So, barring an incredible comeback by the Thrashers, the Lightning will not only have closed the gap to 5 points but they will hold 2 games in hand and they still have two head to head matchups with Atlanta still on the schedule. The division is within the Lightning's reach, so long as they continue to play well and keep one eye on Atlanta and one eye on Carolina which is also running the Thrashers down.

First Period
New Jersey 2:12, Scott Gomez 10 (power play) (Patrik Elias, Jamie Langenbrunner)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 0:44, Vaclav Prospal 9 (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 17:24, Nick Tarnasky 3 (Brad Richards, Cory Sarich)
Tampa Bay 18:12, Vincent Lecavalier 35 (Vaclav Prospal, Doug Janik)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 0:56, Dan Boyle 12 (power play) (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/13: Lightning at Sabres

What a big win to keep the fledgling streak alive.

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Marc Denis stopped 32 of 34 shots faced for the win. The second goal he allowed to Kotalik was obviously inexcusable, but other than that I thought he played an outstanding game particularly in that third period where the Lightning were under siege getting outshot 13-5. Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle and Brad Richards had the Lightning goals. Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger and Ruslan Fedotenko had individual helpers. Ranger, in particular, made a great play to set up Richards' third period game winner.

With his 41st game of the season tonight, Nick Tarnasky has graduated from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria. Tarnasky will be moved to the Bolt Prospects Alumni section on the prospects page once we release our Midterm Rankings for the organization within the next week. Congratulations to Tarnasky who played an even 10 minutes tonight. In the last couple of weeks he's finally started to become more than a spot shifter and started to really contribute to the team's success on a nightly basis. That's a 9th round pick folks. The Lightning have given Nick the opportunity and his hard work has carried him the rest of the way.

The Lightning move to 2 games over .500 and will establish a small measure of breathing room between them and Toronto which is getting pasted tonight by Vancouver.

Monday, noon. 5 in a row?

First Period
Tampa Bay 10:05, Vincent Lecavalier 27 (power play) (Martin St. Louis)

Second Period
Buffalo 4:06, Jason Pominville 20 (Jaroslav Spacek, Daniel Briere)
Buffalo 4:50, Ales Kotalik 13 (Brian Campbell)
Tampa Bay 15:38, Dan Boyle 10 (unassisted)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 6:56, Brad Richards 15 (Paul Ranger, Ruslan Fedotenko)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/11: Capitals at Lightning

8th place and 1 game over .500. If they can stay in 8th place or better (preferably better) up to the All-Star break, the Lightning will be set up well for the stretch run.

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Johan Holmqvist stopped just 18 of 22 shots faced for the win. I thought Johan was subpar tonight and wonder if Denis will get back in Saturday in Buffalo. Vincent Lecavalier was MVP caliber tonight scoring 2 goals and 1 assist while his linemates Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal had 1 goal and 1 assist and 1 goal and 2 assists respectively. The names on the Caps may change, but those three when together always seem to dominate Washington, and Lecavalier should've had the hat trick on an empty net bid set up by St. Louis to put the cherry on top. Dan Boyle had 2 assists while Ryan Craig had the game's opening goal on a crafty wraparound. Eric Perrin and Cory Sarich each had individual assists.

Nick Tarnasky played his 40th game of the season tonight and will graduate from prospect status by site criteria Saturday against Buffalo. On a side note, I though Nick played one of his better games in his brief NHL career tonight. Torts must've agreed, because Nick got over eleven and a half minutes of ice time tonight in what was a 1 goal game or tied the entire night.

The win moves the Lightning into 8th in Eastern Conference by virtue of their tiebreaker advantage over Toronto in wins. They also move to within 10 points of Atlanta in the Southeast Division. They would've moved to within 4 points on second place Carolina, except the Panthers (who can do absolutely nothing right and need to be contracted by the league) blew a 3 goal third period lead to lose 6-4. Great move running off Luongo, South Florida.

The Buffalo game on Saturday shapes up as another big one for two reasons: 1.) To continue the momentum from the past three games, and by momentum I mean winning streak, 2.) To gain the confidence only beating the best team in the East and one which has spanked the Lightning regularly over the past two seasons. A win in Buffalo's barn might very well get the Lightning's swagger back.

First Period
Tampa Bay 4:54, Ryan Craig 11 (Eric Perrin)
Washington 7:01, Alexander Semin 23 (power play) (Brian Pothier, Alexander Ovechkin)
Tampa Bay 8:46, Vincent Lecavalier 25 (Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle)

Second Period
Washington 5:40, Alexander Semin 24 (Lawrence Nycholat, Matt Pettinger)
Washington 10:02, Ben Clymer 6 (Donald Brashear)
Tampa Bay 11:15, Vaclav Prospal 6 (Cory Sarich, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 12:24, Vincent Lecavalier 26 (Martin St. Louis, Dan Boyle)
Washington 19:50, Chris Clark 15 (Alexander Ovechkin, Brian Pothier)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 3:22, Martin St. Louis 28 (Vaclav Prospal)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

Update:
One other thing I forgot to add: Andre Roy did a fantastic job holding his own in a fight against Donald Brashear in the second period. The Lightning haven't had anybody do that against a top heavyweight in forever, and that also helps you get your swagger back in a way.

NHL Game Night 1/7: Lightning at Penguins

Would have really been nice to hold onto this one in regulation and deny Pittsburgh the point.

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Johan Holmqvist was outstanding in stopping 20 of 22 shots faced in regulation and overtime before stopping 3 of 3 penalty shots in the shootout. Ryan Craig led the way offensively with 1 goal and 1 assist and the Lightning got their other goal from The Real Secret Weapon, Nick Tarnasky. Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards all had assists. St. Louis also scored the game winning shootout goal on an unorthodox move going sideways in the slot and potting a backhand 5-hole on M.A. Fleury.

Really a strange game that the Lightning could've buried the Pens in regulation in were it not for M.A. Fleury. You know it's a strange night when Lecavalier gets stoned on two breakaways and a shootout attempt but Tarnasky can pot a nice goal on a good high shot from the middle of the slot. The Lightning move to 1 game under .500 and to within 2 points of 8th in the conference.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
Tampa Bay 7:09, Ryan Craig 10 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier)
Pittsburgh 19:55, Sidney Crosby 20 (Mark Recchi)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 14:04, Nick Tarnasky 2 (Ryan Craig, Brad Richards)
Pittsburgh 17:27, Mark Recchi 10 (power play) (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
Tampa Bay- Martin St. Louis
Pittsburgh- NONE

Game sheet from NHL.com.

Tarnasky nearing graduation...

With the NYR game, I believe Tarnasky now has 30 or 31 NHL games in a single season. Only needs about 10 more to qualify as a prospect graduate.

Nick Tarnasky

[b]Name: Nick Tarnasky Position: Center Shoots: Left Height: 6.02 Weight: 233 lbs Born: 11/25/84 Acquired: 2003 Entry Draft, 9th Round, 287 Overall[/b] [b]Junior Career[/b] The career of Nick Tarnasky has been a study in exceeding expectations. Despite not being drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft the Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native broke into major junior with the Vancouver Giants at age 17 in 2001-2002. Coming out of the Drayton Valley AJHL program where he had 7 goals and 11 points in 20 games before playing a 10 game stint with the Giants. That January, however, Tarnasky's junior rights were traded to Kelowna of the WHL where he spent half of the 2002-2003 season before being traded to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. Tarnasky combined for 9 goals and 29 points in 69 games that year and was ranked #166 amongst all North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Service before the Lightning selected him late in the 9th round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. With the Hurricanes Tarnasky finally found a home leading the last place club in scoring with 26 goals and 49 points in 71 games. For his efforts Tarnasky was selected the Hurricanes' player of the year. [b]Professional Career[/b] Tarnasky was signed in the summer of 2004 at just age 19 and was the youngest member of the Springfield Falcons during the 2004-2005 lockout season. Prior to the season Tarnasky earned rave reviews scoring 1 goal and 3 points in 3 games for the Lightning in the annual Traverse City prospect tournament. In the AHL, Tarnasky joined fellow prospect Ryan Craig as the only two Falcons to suit up and play in all 80 games scoring 7 goals and 17 points with 176 penalty minutes and winning Springfield's True Grit Award when season honors were handed out. When the lockout concluded in the summer of 2005 Tarnasky showed up to Lightning camp in the best shape of any player and was the second to last forward cut from the team. Tarnasky was sent back to Springfield of the AHL where he remained until being recalled along with Evgeny Artyukhin for the Lightning October 20, 2005 game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Tarnasky scored his first NHL point with an assist on November 5th, 2005 against the Toronto Maple Leafs but was sent back to Springfield on November 9th. [b]Talent Analysis[/b] [i]Pros: Tarnasky has good size and strength and a high fitness level. His skating is somewhat average but he compensates with hustle. Tarnasky loves to hit and work along the wall and do many of the dirty jobs that are necessary on a successful hockey club. His work ethic may be the strongest of any prospect in the Lightning organization and he is an emerging leader amongst the team's youth. He has no problem dropping the gloves to defend his teammates. Has formed a dynamic penalty killing duo this year with fellow prospect Darren Reid. Cons: His understanding of both the offensive and defensive side of the game are still rudimentary. He doesn't have terrible hands as evidenced by his last season of junior, but he hasn't been much of an offensive threat as a pro and likely never will be. His skating still needs some work, particularly his initial burst, if he's going to compete at the NHL level.[/i] [b]Future[/b] The Lightning organization loves Tarnasky and sees him as a regular on their checking lines in the future. His offensive upside is probably very limited, but he could have a long career as a physical energy type player who plays responsible defense and can be used regularly on the penalty kill. [url=http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=62619]Statistics Courtesy hockeydb.com[/url] [i]Profile Created 2/14/06 by Pete Choquette Nick Tarnasky graduated from prospect status on 1/13/07[/i]
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