Tampa Bay Lightning
First one to six wins...
John Grahame stopped 21 out of 26 in his last start before joining Team USA at the Olympics. The Lightning have now cut Carolina's division lead to 12 points with the Hurricanes playing one more game tomorrow before the Olympic break. Vaclav Prospal had 2 goals including the game winner while Dimitry Afanasenkov had a flashback to his days in the QMJHL and had a pair of markers of his own. Among Lightning rookies, Ryan Craig had a goal and an assist while Paul Ranger chipped in a helper of his own.
Craig played 19:47 and was +2 with 4 shots on goal. Paul Ranger was +3 in 13:35 with 1 shot on goal. Evgeny Artyukhin played 12:03 with 3 shots on goal.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Tonight, we're still the class of the Southeast Division.
John Grahame stopped 28 of 28 faced in relief for the win. Fredrik Modin led the Lightning attack with 2 goals. Rookie Evgeny Artyukhin opened the scoring for the Lightning on a long slapshot on the rush that found Martin Gerber's five hole. Paul Ranger had 2 assists. The Lightning pull to within 14 points of the Hurricanes in the division.
Ryan Craig played 16:55 and was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits. Ranger was +3 in 14:33 with no shots. Artyukhin was +1 in 13:09 with 2 shots on goal and 3 hits. Norm Milley forms the rear with 2 minutes even and no shots.
Game sheet at NHL.com.
According to a Springfield Falcons press release, the Tampa Bay Lightning, after deciding that both Jonathan Boutin and Gerald Coleman have passed Brian Eklund on the goaltender depth chart, have traded Eklund to the Boston Bruins in his home state of Massachusetts. In return, the Lightning pick up former Atlanta third-rounder, winger Zdenek Blatny.
Blatny is in his fifth season of professional hockey and has spent time with both the Providence and Boston Bruins this season. In 35 games with Providence this season, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of Brno, Czech Republic, has recorded eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points. Blatny is currently ranked fifth on Providence in scoring this season and also ranked fifth on the team in plus/minus with a +6 rating.
55 minutes of painfully boring hockey capped by 9 minutes of pure drama.
Sean Burke stopped 28 of 30 shots faced for the win. Vincent Lecavalier with the overtime winner on a pretty deke on a breakaway set up by a long Martin St. Louis stretch pass. Young Paul Ranger had his 10th assist of the season on Fredrik Modin's game opening goal.
Ryan Craig led all Lightning rookies with 17:07 of even ice time with 1 shot and one hit. Ranger had 14:24 of playing time and was +1 with 1 shot on goal and a slew of shots that were blocked by the Islanders defenders. Evgeny Artyukhin played 12:20 and was -1 with just 1 hit. Norm Milley played a sparing 4:12 and was -1.
Game sheet from NHL.com.