Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

NHL Game Night: 2-12-12 Lightning at Penguins

Squandering their last chances.

TB-2
PIT-4

Mathieu Garon allowed 4 goals on 41 shots for the loss.

First Period
TB Downie (10), (Purcell, Hedman), 9:58
TB Downie (11), (Purcell, Clark), 10:09
PIT Malkin (31), (Letang, Neal)(PP), 16:15

Second Period
PIT Kunitz (16), (Letang, Johnson), 0:56
PIT Letang (8), (Kunitz, Neal), 4:28
PIT Malkin (32), (Kunitz, Neal), 10:54

Third Period
NO SCORING

I don't know what else you could ask for. The Lightning were spotted a 2 goal lead and let it slip away in in less than 11 minutes en route to getting doubled up. It's sad.

J.T. Wyman was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 6:17.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-11-12 Lightning at Sabres

Closing in on being able to declare a successful road trip.

TB-2
BUF-1

Mathieu Garon was dazzling, stopping 26 of 27 for the victory, including several key stops in the final 10 minutes of the contest to preserve the victory and the 2 points.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
TB Downie (9), (Hedman, Stamkos), 7:31
TB Stamkos (37), (Purcell), 13:16

Third Period
BUF Pominville (20), (Vanek, Weber), 7:07

Steven Stamkos and Garon were the game's first and second stars. Through two periods, I thought Stamkos was worthy of sweeping all three stars the way he played. His line's been the best the past two games, after Marty and Vinny upped the ante in the couple of games before that.

They certainly did it the hard way by holding on by a fingernail at the end, but the Lightning are about 1 point away from having a successful road trip with 1 game left to go, and at least giving themselves a chance heading into the second half of February. They're 8 points back of Toronto, who got pounded tonight by Montreal, for 8th in the conference and 9 points back of the Panthers in the division. The Lightning have 4 games in hand on Ottawa, 2 on Toronto, and 3 on Winnipeg, and they've got a lot of head-to-head games against those 3 left on the schedule. The Lightning don't have any games in hand on Washington, but they do have enough head-to-head matchups left to make it interesting on the Caps. Florida has to help out the Lightning by imploding to give Tampa Bay hope of catching them. The Panthers did a lot to stabilize themselves by beating the Caps and then by beating New Jersey today, so that situation looks less rosy than it did a week ago.

Brett Connolly played 7:26 in the game. Congratulations to Brett for graduating from prospect status on Bolt Prospects, as tonight was his 41st NHL game of the season.

J.T. Wyman had 2 penalty minutes in 8:47.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-9-12 Lightning at Rangers

Deserved better.

TB-3
NYR-4 (OT)

Mathieu Garon allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the overtime loss.

First Period
TB Stamkos (36), (Connolly, Wyman), 18:56

Second Period
NYR Callahan (18), (Del Zotto, Stepan)(PP), 4:33
NYR Stepan (11), (Girardi, Gaborik), 5:27
TB Lecavalier (21), (Purcell, Gilroy), 5:48
TB Gervais (4), (Stamkos, St. Louis)(PP), 12:26

Third Period
NYR Boyle (5), (Hagelin, Stralman), 10:13

Overtime
NYR Richards (17), (Anisimov, Del Zotto), 2:37

The shot totals don't reflect it, but I thought that, on the balance, the Lightning outplayed the Rangers. They had excellent puck movement and puck possession, even on the much maligned power play, and they had a lot of good chances. Unfortunately, the Rangers got kind of a lucky goal to tie the game at 3, and once you get to the 4-on-4 in OT, the smallest mistakes can end up in the back of your net with that much open ice. It speaks well that the Lightning could have such a competitive showing against one of the best teams in the East, but moral victories count for nothing at this time of year.

Brett Connolly had an assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 3:52. His next game will mark his graduation from prospect status on Bolt Prospects, at which point we'll finally be able to move on our Midterm Rankings update.

J.T. Wyman had an assist and was +1 in 6:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-7-12 Kings at Lightning

Helluva time to face a hot goalie.

LA-3
TB-1

Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the loss. He didn't play badly, but it was one of those annoying games where it's tough when you have to work three times harder than your opponent for goals.

First Period
LA Kopitar (17), (Greene, Williams), 2:47

Second Period
TB Stamkos (35), (Purcell, Brewer), 7:49
LA Clifford (4), (Scuderi), 10:16
LA Penner (5), (Richards, Stoll), 17:46

Third Period
NO SCORING

Steven Stamkos was the game's third star.

They didn't find the scoresheet tonight, but Lecavalier and St. Louis again looked magical tonight. I like their chances against a more mortal goaltender when they're playing that well.

It was another game where I would argue the game was lost on the power play. Right after Stamkos scores the tying goal at 1-1 the Lightning get a PP and promptly look ineffective en route to surrendering the breakaway goal at the expiration of the penalty. The Lightning are starting to do everything right but they're still losing points because of how terrible this power play is. The goaltending and defense have been personnel issues. The power play is a coaching issue, and Guy Boucher needs to figure out how to coach it up better than his staff has to this point.

Now the Lightning move onto a road trip that will likely decide to what degree they're sellers at the trade deadline, which will likely dictate how the rest of this season goes. I'm not optimistic after tonight, given how bad this team has been on the road this season.

J.T. Wyman was -1 with 1 shot in 2:35.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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