Holmqvist, Johan

NHL Game Night 1/30: Lightning at Flyers

All hail King Holmer.

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Johan Holmqvist stopped 29 of 32 shots faced in overtime and regulation before stopping 2 of 2 in the shootout to remain a perfect 15 for 15 in the shootout this season. A bit of a softie on the Richardson goal tonight, but Holmqvist made up for it on several stops tonight. This was not necessarily a game the Lightning deserved to win, but as road warriors they've been finding ways to grind out two points out of these games lately. The win is the Lightning's sixth straight road win which is a new team record.

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each had a goal and an assist to lead the Lightning offensively. Ruslan Fedotenko had the other Lightning goal (and played great tonight) and Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle, Andreas Karlsson, Paul Ranger and Filip Kuba added individual helpers. Lecavalier and Brad Richards (who also played great tonight) had the Lightning's shootout talleys.

For anyone wondering, Blair Jones played just 4 shifts tonight for 2:36 of ice time. He had 1 blocked shot and was 2-for-2 on faceoffs. His last three shifts he must've been in stealth mode, because his first period shift was the only time I saw him all night.

The win, coupled with a Carolina loss against Toronto tonight, moves the Lightning within 2 points of second place in the Southeast Division with a game in hand and the Hurricanes on the slate for Thursday night. The team also maintains pace with Atlanta 10 points back of the division lead with 1 game in hand on the Thrashers and 2 head-to-head matchups remaining on the schedule. The Lightning can almost certainly make a run at this, especially with the bottomfeeding Panthers on the schedule 5 more times.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
Tampa Bay 6:32, Martin St. Louis 31 (power play) (Ryan Craig, Dan Boyle)
Philadelphia 7:23, Mike Richards 2 (shorthanded) (Alexei Zhitnik, Joni Pitkanen)
Philadelphia 18:49, Jeff Carter 7 (shorthanded) (Simon Gagne, Denis Gauthier)
Tampa Bay 19:24, Ruslan Fedotenko 11 (power play) (Andreas Karlsson, Paul Ranger)

Third Period
Philadelphia 3:13, Peter Forsberg 9 (Joni Pitkanen)
Tampa Bay 12:06, Vincent Lecavalier 31 (Filip Kuba, Martin St. Louis)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
Tampa Bay: Lecavalier, Richards
Philadelphia: NONE

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/26: Devils at Lightning

Well, the Lightning organization was 0-2 against the Devils organization tonight.

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Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 of 24 shots faced in the loss. Martin Brodeur stood on his head at times during a brilliant 28 save shutout performance to get the win.

First Period
New Jersey 19:09, Brian Gionta 22 (Scott Gomez, Patrik Elias)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
New Jersey 19:17, Jay Pandolfo 7 (empty net) (Sergei Brylin, John Madden)

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 1/9: Penguins at Lightning

Did I just hear that right? 11 straight wins against the Penguins?

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Johan Holmqvist stopped 29 of 31 shots faced for the win. Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each had 1 goal and 1 assist by the game winning goal was potted by The Secret Weapon 2, Andreas Karlsson. Vaclav Prospal and Dan Boyle registered individual assists.

The win moves the Lightning back to .500 at 21-21-2, good for 44 points and putting the Lightning now just 1 point behind Washington for 8th in the Eastern Conference. Next up: a "ginormous" tilt with the Capitals at home.

What a difference a little goaltending and an occassional goal from a checking liner makes.

First Period
Pittsburgh 0:24, Sidney Crosby 21 (unassisted)
Tampa Bay 6:11, Vincent Lecavalier 24 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 6:46, Martin St. Louis 27 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 3:15, Andreas Karlsson 3 (Martin St. Louis)
Pittsburgh 17:19, Colby Armstrong 5 (Brooks Orpik)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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.

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