Tampa Bay Lightning
(Springfield Falcons release)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired center Daniel Corso from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for right wing Darren Reid, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced.
Corso, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound native of Montreal, Quebec, has appeared in six games with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League this season. He has scored two goals and recorded four assists with an even plus/minus rating in his first season with the Phantoms. He spent the 2005-06 season with the Frankfurt Lions, recording 11 goals and 17 assists in 29 games. Corso ranked fourth on the team in points and goals.
That Vinny/Marty magic.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the overtime game winning goal on a breakaway set up by an amazing no look two line pass by Martin St. Louis. St. Louis led the Lightning attack with 2 assists in the game. Dimitry Afanasenkov, Brad Richards, Eric Perrin and Lecavalier scored the goals. Alexeev, Kuba, Craig, Karlsson and Ranger supplied individual assists. Johan Holmqvist stopped 17 of 20 shots faced for the win.
Tonight's game wasn't pretty and the three goal flurry by Pittsburgh in the second period shows the Lightning still haven't figured out how to keep momentum from snowballing negatively after a goal against. Still, it seems like this road trip has cured a great deal of the Lightning's ills. When they started it with their uninspired win in Philadelphia they looked like a tired team that wasn't having fun. Combining Lecavalier and St. Louis on the same line on this trip has had electrifying results, and bit by bit Brad Richards is coming out of his early season slumber and he now has 4 goals this season. 17 points moves the Lightning into a tie for second in the division with the Canes, 10 points behind red hot Atlanta. Fortunately, with the unbalanced schedule, the Lightning will have plenty of opportunity to whittle that down if they can stay in the neighborhood in the standings, and the Lightning also have two games in hand. Critical game Saturday.
Fun with numbers: Vincent Lecavalier is on a pace for 46 goals and 108 points. Martin St. Louis is on a pace for 56 goals and 97 points. Brad Richards is on a pace for 21 goals and 67 points, but Richards is trending positively in the past couple of weeks. If he can get up to a 30 goal pace, and Vinny and Marty stay at or above a point a game with 40+ goal paces, the Lightning are going to reel off some massive winning streaks. Were it not for the shaft job they received in Boston, they would be in the midst of a 4 game streak right now.
Tampa Bay 10:12, Brad Richards 4 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba)
Pittsburgh 15:37, Nils Ekman 3 (Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar)
Pittsburgh 18:19, Nils Ekman 4 (power play) (Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar)
Pittsburgh 19:47, Nils Ekman 5 (Sidney Crosby, Colby Armstrong)
Tampa Bay 4:47, Eric Perrin 3 (Ryan Craig, Andreas Karlsson)
Tampa Bay 2:41, Vincent Lecavalier 9 (Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Islanders are wicked horrible.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 25 of 26 shots faced for the win. Filip Kuba led the way with a pair of power play goals. Andreas Karlsson, Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin each had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game. Vaclav Prospal and Nikita Alexeev each had 2 assists. Ruslan Fedotenko, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards each had individual helpers.
Tampa Bay 12:26, Andreas Karlsson 2 (Ruslan Fedotenko, Vaclav Prospal)
NY Islanders 19:04, Alexei Zhitnik 2 (Chris Simon, Mike York)
Tampa Bay 12:38, Martin St. Louis 11 (power play) (Eric Perrin, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 17:28, Filip Kuba 1 (power play) (Vaclav Prospal, Brad Richards)
Tampa Bay 12:55, Filip Kuba 2 (power play) (Martin St. Louis, Nikita Alexeev)
Tampa Bay 15:32, Eric Perrin 2 (Nikita Alexeev, Andreas Karlsson)
With the win, the Lightning get back to .500 on the season at 7-7-1.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Lightning were hosed.
Marc Denis allowed 6 goals on 33 shots for the overtime loss. Denis is now 4-0-1 when the Lightning provide him 3 or more goals of support. Vincent Lecavalier led the Lightning attack with 4 assists and Martin St. Louis had 1 goal and 1 assist. Individual goals went to Afanasenkov, Alexeev, Fedotenko and Richards and individual assists went to Kuba, Prospal and Ranger.
If you ever needed proof the league office in Toronto favors their big market, northeastern traditional teams over their small market, southern expansion cousins, witness Zdeno Chara clearly knocking in the game tying goal with a high stick and after a full 10 minutes of review Toronto still blew the call. And, to add insult to injury, Filip Kuba was given a cross check to give Boston a 5-on-3 which they cashed in on in overtime to take the second point. Kudos to the otherwise attrocious Lightning penalty kill for managing to get out of regulation with a point despite being down two men. I won't sit here and say the Lightning played well (they didn't) in this game, but I do know the NHL robbed the team of a point tonight.
Boston 4:08, Marc Savard 3 (P.J. Axelsson, Glen Murray)
Tampa Bay 12:13, Ruslan Fedotenko 6 (power play) (Vaclav Prospal, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 7:15, Brad Richards 3 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Filip Kuba)
Boston 9:08, Marc Savard 4 (Glen Murray, Nathan Dempsey)
Boston 11:03, Phil Kessel 3 (Shean Donovan, Wayne Primeau)
Tampa Bay 11:13, Nikita Alexeev 5 (Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 15:38, Martin St. Louis 10 (Vincent Lecavalier, Paul Ranger)
Boston 17:47, P.J. Axelsson 4 (power play) (Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron)
Tampa Bay 18:14, Dmitry Afanasenkov 2 (unassisted)
Boston 19:13, Zdeno Chara 3 (power play) (Marc Savard, Paul Mara)
Boston 0:17, Glen Murray 6 (power play) (Paul Mara, Marc Savard)
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Even the wins are ugly right now.
Congratulations to Johan Holmqvist who stopped 30 of 32 shots faced for his first NHL win and who, along with Martin St. Louis, nearly single handedly willed the Lightning to two points tonight. St. Louis had 2 goals and an assist while Vincent Lecavalier chipped in 1 empty net goal and 2 assists. Eric Perrin scored his first NHL goal into an empty net goal and Tim Taylor had his 1st goal of the season. Individual helpers also were added by Dimitry Afanasenkov, Luke Richardson, Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko.
All that said, the team did everything it could to self destruct again in the third period tonight and their efforts were only surpassed by Peter Forsberg's individual self destruction as he took a selfish elbowing major and knocking out Nolan Pratt just as the Flyers were looking like they were about to get the game's tying goal.
There is no joy on the Lightning right now. None. You can see it in the way they conduct their interviews and the way they carry themselves on the ice. At some point hockey became about business to this team and ceased being a game, with the possible exceptions of Lecavalier and Perrin, and it shows. There are very few endeavors in life where people can excel when they have no enthusiasm for what they're doing, and hockey isn't one of the exceptions to this rule. I'd like to believe at some point on this road trip the Lightning will begin to gel more as a group and start to have some, dare I say, fun, but I sincerely doubt it. I hope I'm wrong, but I would not be surprised if only a tranfusion of new blood can remedy the robotic, passionless way this team has been going about its business lately.
Tampa Bay 10:39, Martin St. Louis 8 (Vincent Lecavalier, Dmitry Afanasenkov)
Tampa Bay 7:27, Martin St. Louis 9 (Luke Richardson, Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 18:10, Tim Taylor 1 (Brad Richards, Ruslan Fedotenko)
Philadelphia 11:20, R.J. Umberger 2 (Kyle Calder)
Philadelphia 11:41, Randy Jones 1 (Simon Gagne, Geoff Sanderson)
Tampa Bay 18:26, Vincent Lecavalier 8 (empty net) (Martin St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 19:03, Eric Perrin 1 (empty net) (unassisted)
Doug Janik was -1 in 4:17 as his ice time continues to plummet and Craig Ramsey's confidence in veterans Nolan Pratt and Luke Richardson continues to grow. Eric Perrin was +1 in 15:07 with 2 shots and 1 hit and he was 40% on draws. Nick Tarnasky was even in 4:01.
Game sheet from NHL.com.