Tampa Bay Lightning
That one hurts.
Marc Denis stopped 24 of 27 shots faced in the loss. Lightning goals came from Vincent Lecavalier and Dan Boyle with individual assists belonging to Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards.
The team deserved better. They absolutely dominated the first 40 minutes of the game but Andrew Raycroft stood on his head and although they were running out of steam on the tail end of the back to back in the third period, they looked to have at least a point in hand before the lucky play that saw a scuffed shot by Stajan become an easy game winning goal.
Tampa Bay 14:52, Vincent Lecavalier 29 (shorthanded) (Martin St. Louis, Cory Sarich)
Toronto 2:18, Nik Antropov 6 (Alexei Ponikarovsky, Chad Kilger)
Tampa Bay 17:33, Dan Boyle 11 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Toronto 19:53, Johnny Pohl 7 (Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 15:39, Alexander Steen 10 (power play) (Matthew Stajan, Tomas Kaberle)
Toronto 19:05, Alexei Ponikarovsky 12 (empty net) (Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Happy Birthday Junior.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 33 of 36 shots faced for the win. Vaclav Prospal led the way for the Lightning with 1 goal and 2 assists while Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each had 1 goal and 1 assist. Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Perrin and Nolan Pratt each added individual helpers.
With the win the Lightning pull to 3 games over .500 and extend their winning streak to 5 games. They have temporarily solidified their hold on a playoff spot and, moreover, have moved within single digits at 8 points behind Atlanta for the division lead. Two words: road warriors.
NY Islanders 3:38, Alexei Yashin 13 (power play) (Chris Simon, Chris Campoli)
Tampa Bay 6:55, Vaclav Prospal 7 (power play) (Ruslan Fedotenko, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 9:21, Brad Richards 16 (power play) (Eric Perrin, Vaclav Prospal)
Tampa Bay 15:37, Martin St. Louis 29 (Vincent Lecavalier, Nolan Pratt)
NY Islanders 1:10, Viktor Kozlov 16 (power play) (Mike Sillinger, Jason Blake)
Tampa Bay 7:13, Vincent Lecavalier 28 (Vaclav Prospal, Martin St. Louis)
NY Islanders 10:40, Trent Hunter 9 (Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The ship appears to be righted and the boys now appear to be on a mission. I'd like to look ahead a year to bring us back to what Jay may be looking at and would like to get some thoughts from the rest of you.
Next season, we gain 2+ million in cap space when Andy and Burke drop off the payroll (I won't count DiMaio since we're basically working around his cap number presently.) We potentially lose Sarich and Fedotenko which closes us in on another $4 mil. and the cap is expected to rise $2.5 mil. Taylor with his hip is another contract to possibly fall, although I doubt it. Richardson and Karllson are $1 mil. that gets replace with other filler. That gives Jay $8 - 8.5 million to play with next season with truly only Sarich's and Fed's spots to fill. However, and I mean however, if we don't make it to at least the conference finals this season, I suspect the PS&E honchos only allow Jay $4 mil to replace Sarich & Feds and other $4 - 4.5 would be untouchable unless we were leading the division at next season's trade deadline.
What a big win to keep the fledgling streak alive.
Marc Denis stopped 32 of 34 shots faced for the win. The second goal he allowed to Kotalik was obviously inexcusable, but other than that I thought he played an outstanding game particularly in that third period where the Lightning were under siege getting outshot 13-5. Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle and Brad Richards had the Lightning goals. Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger and Ruslan Fedotenko had individual helpers. Ranger, in particular, made a great play to set up Richards' third period game winner.
With his 41st game of the season tonight, Nick Tarnasky has graduated from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria. Tarnasky will be moved to the Bolt Prospects Alumni section on the prospects page once we release our Midterm Rankings for the organization within the next week. Congratulations to Tarnasky who played an even 10 minutes tonight. In the last couple of weeks he's finally started to become more than a spot shifter and started to really contribute to the team's success on a nightly basis. That's a 9th round pick folks. The Lightning have given Nick the opportunity and his hard work has carried him the rest of the way.
The Lightning move to 2 games over .500 and will establish a small measure of breathing room between them and Toronto which is getting pasted tonight by Vancouver.
Monday, noon. 5 in a row?
Tampa Bay 10:05, Vincent Lecavalier 27 (power play) (Martin St. Louis)
Buffalo 4:06, Jason Pominville 20 (Jaroslav Spacek, Daniel Briere)
Buffalo 4:50, Ales Kotalik 13 (Brian Campbell)
Tampa Bay 15:38, Dan Boyle 10 (unassisted)
Tampa Bay 6:56, Brad Richards 15 (Paul Ranger, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Marty ST. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier have been added to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. I thought Boyle should've gotten a chance to go as well but at least Tampa will be well represented.