Matt Smaby just gave John Tortorella something to think about.
Johan Holmqvist allowed 2 goals on 18 shots before giving way to Marc Denis who was a perfect 11 of 11 in regulation and overtime before taking the shootout loss.
Matt Smaby led the way offensively for the Lightning with 1 goal and 1 assist. Vaclav Prospal had a pair of helpers while Michel Ouellet had the other Lightning goal. Bryce Lampman added an individual helper.
The big winner of the night? Matt Smaby, hands down. This was the game he needed to play himself back into the conversation to make the team. Just a good all around game. His 15:47 of ice time was second among the four headed gaggle of potential defensemen and he was +2 with 3 shots on goal and 2 bone crushing hits. To me, that last area is Smaby's trump card. If the Lightning are serious about getting more physical on their blueline post-Craig Ramsey then Smaby should make the team. He brings a dimension with his open ice hits and his willingness to stand up opponents at the blueline that none of the other defensemen on this team do.
The big loser? The Lightning PK was only 50%, meaning the PK was PU. This was a sore spot the first half of last season and hopefully it won't be a sore spot again this season.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play in Spartak's 5-2 loss to Magnitogorsk.
Evgeny Artyukhin had 2 penalty minutes in Omsk's 4-1 pounding of Chelyabinsk.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Novokuznetsk's 3-2 loss to Podolsk.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in Cherepovets' 3-2 overtime loss to Khimik.
Anton But had an assist in St. Petersburg's 5-2 spanking of Yaroslavl.
The club reports a lingering eye injury to Chris Gratton, as well as injuries to Ryan Craig (back) and Jason Ward (ankle), and the desire to sit Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Brad Richards opened up three forward spots, but the club will dress just 10 forwards. Keller, who had 13 goals in an injury-plagued season for Springfield last year and 51 the year before in Kelowna to lead the WHL, flew to Detroit from Norfolk this morning to join the team for the morning skate.
Tonight's lineup, per TBL.com:
Evgeny Artyukhin was scoreless in Omsk's 1-0 shutout loss to Magnitogorsk.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play in Spartak's 1-0 win over Chelyabinsk.