Tampa Bay Lightning
You can almost feel the trigger being pulled on an impending trade. Until it is, this team will continue to amble on a road to nowhere. With their loss tonight, the Lightning have guaranteed they will pull into the halfway point of the season with a sub .500 record.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 22 of 26 shots faced in the loss. Doug Janik scored his first regular season NHL goal while Filip Kuba added his 7th of the season. Assists belonged to Tim Taylor, Andre Roy, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards. Barring their missing the Lightning's next game, Janik and Eric Perrin will graduate from overage prospect status according to Bolt Prospects rules.
Tampa Bay 9:18, Doug Janik 1 (Tim Taylor, Andre Roy)
Montreal 17:53, Tomas Plekanec 4 (Alexei Kovalev, Francis Bouillon)
Montreal 15:44, Alexei Kovalev 10 (power play) (Saku Koivu, Sheldon Souray)
Tampa Bay 16:15, Filip Kuba 7 (Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards)
Montreal 6:01, Tomas Plekanec 5 (Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Samsonov)
Montreal 13:52, Michael Ryder 11 (Francis Bouillon, Saku Koivu)
Montreal 19:41, Christopher Higgins 12 (empty net) (Mike Johnson, Radek Bonk)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
After splitting the past couple of seasons between teams in Switzerland and Australia, former Lightning captain Rob Zamuner has retired and accepted an assistant coaching position with the Mississauga Ice Dogs of the OHL. Mississauga is, of course, the club of Lightning 2005 3rd round pick Chris Lawrence who leads all Lightning junior prospects in scoring thus far this season.
The long climb back begins now.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 12 of 13 shots faced for the win. Holmqvist improves to 10-8-0 this season. Brad Richards had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game while Dan Boyle had 2 assists. Vaclav Prospal snapped a two month long goalless drought and Filip Kuba added an insurance goal in the game. Individual helpers went to Martin St. Louis, Ruslan Fedotenko and Cory Sarich. The Lightning move back to 1 game under .500 and out of the basement of the Southeast Division.
Tampa Bay 11:28, Brad Richards 14 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis)
Montreal 2:07, Alexander Perezhogin 5 (Mike Johnson, Francis Bouillon)
Tampa Bay 7:00, Vaclav Prospal 4 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Cory Sarich)
Tampa Bay 7:07, Filip Kuba 6 (power play) (Dan Boyle, Brad Richards)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
According to Erlendsson's blog, Dimitry Afanasenkov has been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers, removing the rest of his annual $738K salary from under the Lightning salary cap. Center Andreas Karlsson did clear waivers however, but he will not be sent down to Springfield and will be in the lineup tonight against Montreal.
Erlendsson posts more on his blog shedding light on the manuevering going on as the Lightning try to give themselves the cap flexibility to make a trade. According to Jay Feaster, if Afanasenkov and Karlsson clear waivers they will not be assigned to the minors unless a deal is done and the Lightning need the cap room to fit a new player in. The Lightning will have 30 days or 10 games played for each player in which to make a deal and send them down before they have to send each of them through waivers. Basically, Feaster is attempting to give himself a one month window in which he has the opportunity to free $1.2M under the cap to make a deal.
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