It was never really as close as the score indicates. Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 17 shots in the loss before giving way to Johan Holmqvist who allowed 2 goals on 12 shots. Vincent Lecavalier and Vaclav Prospal each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Defensemen Filip Kuba and Dan Boyle each had a pair of helpers. The other Lightning goals were scored by Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin St. Louis with am individual assist going to Paul Ranger.
Tonight's game was another example of a problem the Lightning have had the past two seasons, which is allowing one bad goal or bad play to snowball into multiple goals and a huge momentum swing they cannot recover from. Tonight it was a soft goal allowed by Denis followed by a pittiful unforced turnover by Dan Boyle in the Lightning zone resulting in a goal. The Lightning miss having veteran leadership like Jassen Cullimore to put out on the ice in those situations and it shows.
Tampa Bay 5:48, Vaclav Prospal 2 (Paul Ranger)
Carolina 8:23, Eric Staal 7 (power play) (Justin Williams)
Carolina 8:32, Kevyn Adams 1 (Craig Adams)
Carolina 9:06, Erik Cole 2 (Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour)
Carolina 5:14, Eric Staal 8 (power play) (Rod Brind'Amour, Anton Babchuk)
Tampa Bay 12:23, Ruslan Fedotenko 5 (Filip Kuba, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 16:41, Vincent Lecavalier 5 (power play) (Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle)
Carolina 17:34, Scott Walker 6 (Eric Staal)
Carolina 0:55, Scott Walker 7 (Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour)
Tampa Bay 11:32, Martin St. Louis 6 (Filip Kuba, Dan Boyle)
Doug Janik played 15:02 with 1 shot and 2 blocks. Eric Perrin got 15:03 with 1 hit and was 75% on draws. Nick Tarnasky (not Nick Tinarski as the poorly prepared an laughably bad Carolina play-by-play folks would have you believe) played 6:05.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 9-1 spanking of Amur. Kazionov remains the Lightning's leading scorer among prospects playing in the Russian Superleague. His brother Denis, who plays for Tver, is scoreless thus far this season. The Lightning are expected to attempt to bring both Kazionovs to North America this summer.
Sean Burke stopped 34 of 38 shots faced in the game for the loss. Blair Jones scored the Falcons' only goal on assists from Norm Milley and Eric Healey. In a worrying development, prospect Andy Rogers and veteran Zdenek Blatny were scratches for the Falcons.
The Falcons miss an opportunity to improve to .500.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Dusty Collins had an assist in Northern Michigan's 2-0 win over Ohio State. He finished with 2 PIM and a +1 rating to go along with the assist. Northern Michigan is 5-2-1 for the season and moved to 2-0-0 in the conference.
John Wessbecker did not play in Massachusetts' 3-2 win over #8 New Hampshire on Thursday night.
Northern Michigan hosts Ohio State
UMASS is at #1 Maine
#5 Boston College is at #2 Wisconsin
Lightning College Hockey Classic update for Friday:
Air Force beat Alabama-Huntsville 7-5.
Notre Dame beat Army 3-0.
*Report by Nigel Schnarr