Tampa Bay Lightning
Winning these 4 point games inside the division early in the season is always a beautiful thing.
Paul Ranger got 17:17 of ice time, which I believe is the most he's gotten as a member of the Lightning. His only minus was on a 3-on-2 where he couldn't quite block the shot for Grahame. Atlanta was taking runs at the rookie all game long and at some point he's going to have to stick up for himself physically. He had some scary moments defensively in the third but the good thing about Ranger so far is that even when he has made mistakes he has found a way to hustle and recover. Tonight it was a desperate sweeping stick check after his indecisiveness in the neutral zone nearly gave Marc Savard a breakaway.
Evgeny Artyukhin's 8:28 of ice time tonight included a shift on Lecavalier's line. R2 looked like a deer in headlights playing with that much star power. Still, he had 2 shots on goal and threw some hits. Tarnasky had just 4:57 of ice time.
Game sheet as always from NHL.com.
Goaltender Brian Eklund has been recalled by the Lightning from Springfield of the AHL. The move was apparently prompted by Sean Burke straining his groin muscle in today's morning skate.
If you don't give up breakaways on the old man, Burke will make saves for you.
11:30 of ice time and a +2 for Paul Ranger with 2 blocked shots. Artyukhin and Tarnasky were effective with some ice time early in the first, but rode the pine most of the game. 3:28 with 1 hit for Artyukhin. 3:08 and a -1 for Tarnasky. Considering how badly the Falcons got pasted tonight and the salary cap space that is evaporating day by day, I hope Feaster makes a decision soon on Artyukhin, Tarnasky, Dingman and Cibak.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Hard to believe the Lightning actually trailed in this game early in the third.
Tarnasky and Artyukhin were effective in limited ice time. Artyukhin with his first NHL point assisting on Andreychuk's game winning goal. Paul Ranger returned with 13:57 of ice time, 1 takeaway, 3 giveaways, 2 blocked shots and a -1 rating. I thought he struggled a bit at times. It might be considered natural that he wasn't as aggressive as usual given what he's been through. Artyukhin and Tarnasky each got a shade under 5 and a half minutes of ice time, both +1, and Evgeny landed 2 hits on the game.
Game sheet at NHL.com.
Erik Erlendsson reports in the Trib that Evgeny Artyukhin and Nick Tarnasky have been sent down to Springfield of the AHL. The move is expected to be only a temporary measure to save cap room with the Lightning having a 4 days off until they play New Jersey Wednesday night. It is expected Tarnasky and Artyukhin will be recalled from Springfield at that time.