Tampa Bay Lightning
Absent from the lineup for Springfield tonight against the Providence Bruins were center Jason Jaspers and defenseman Doug O'Brien. Both were recalled by the Lightning after Darryl Sydor and Rob DiMaio both left the game against the Flyers today after Sydor took a puck to the mouth and DiMaio's took a high stick. Both Jaspers and O'Brien have been playing well of late to earn the callup. Jaspers scored 2 goals in Springfield's come from behind triumph over Portland Friday night and had 5 goals and 9 points in his last 9 games. O'Brien has been solid defensively of late and has 8 assists in his last 10 games.
How satifying was that to watch?
Sean Burke made a 38 save shutout look all to easy. The Lightning were paced by a Fredrik Modin hat trick that included 2 deflection goals on the power play. Lightning youngsters Craig, Artyukhin and Ranger all pointed. Artyukhin drove to the net off a Ryan Craig breakout pass using his speed around the corner to generate an easy rebound chance for a Dan Boyle goal. Craig later added a quick snap shot goal off the wing from the left circle in the third period with the secondary assist going to Paul Ranger.
With Darryl Sydor leaving the game in the second period after taking a puck to the chin, Ranger was forced to play 21:38 in the game. He played well defensively turning in a +2 performance with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots. Ryan Craig was also +2 in 11:11 of ice time with 3 shots on goal in third period garbage time. Evgeny Artyukhin again played a sparing 4:19 with just 7 shifts on the game and 2 shots on goal. His role in setting up Dan Boyle's opening goal, however, was indispensible.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Both this game and the Atlanta game were probably the team's two best of the season. The common denominator was John Grahame who just posted his second straight shutout.
Ruslan Fedotenko with the quick wrister from the right circle beat Martin Brodeur for the game winning goal. 20 saves on 20 shots faced for Grahame.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Center Jason Jaspers has been reassigned to Springfield of the AHL. The transaction actually took place Sunday once it became clear Tim Taylor's injuries were too minor to hold him out of the lineup. Springfield plays the Hartford Wolfpack Wednesday night.
Think how pathetic the Florida Panthers will be once Roberto Luongo leaves Miami to play for a contender.
The big story from this game is obviously Roberto Luongo's 48 saves as the Lightning thoroughly outplayed Florida throughout the contest outshooting them 50-26. Sean Burke took the loss for the Lightning.
From a prospect standpoint, Ryan Craig scored the critical tying goal with 49 seconds left to play just to salvage a point for Tampa. In close on the doorstep Craig showed incredible finishing ability beating Luongo high over the shoulder to light the lamp for the 5th goal of his young career. Craig played 13:13 with 2 shots on goal and an even rating. Evgeny Artyukhin, who played his 41st game of the season tonight graduating him from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria, played a very sparing 4:46 in a game with a very tight score. Paul Ranger led all Lightning prospects in ice time with 19:11 of even hockey. Norm Milley and Jason Jaspers was a healthy scratch.
Congratulations to Evgeny Artyukhin for graduating from prospect status. Game sheet from NHL.com.