Game 28: Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames

The Lightning started their Western Canadian roadtrip with a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

You could describe the first period as a rough period for Dan Ellis in net. It wasn't all Ellis' fault in the first as the Lightning offense had trouble getting offensive zone possession and did little offensively. They also had some pretty weak line changes that ended up costing them a goal. So how did we end up losing to the last place team in the Western Conference?

Recap after the jump...

First Period

For the first goal scored on Ellis, the Flames gained possession in the offensive zone by some good forechecking along the boards by Morrison. The puck then gets up the boards to Adam Pardy who passes it to Cory Sarich, who then fires a slap shot through a screen at 7:21 to open up the scoring.

Later in the period after the Lightning get caught in a line change, the Rene Bourque out muscles Randy Jones for the puck, Mark Giordano shoots the puck from the point which ends up bounces off of the boards behind Ellis. Bourque quickly tips it to Tom Kostopoulos who swats in the loose puck to make it 2-0.

Second Period

The second period sees some line juggling with Sean Bergenheim moving up with St. Louis and Stamkos with Simon Gagne being moved to play with Dominic Moore and Ryan Malone. The Lightning begin playing this period far better than they played in the first. But Dominic Moore overturns the puck to Backlund who brings the puck up ice with Glencross. Rene Borque is left open as the trailer and as he's passed the puck, he quickly let's a snap shot in to put the Flames up 3-0.

But all is not lost in the second period, as the Lightning finally start to get bounces going their way. Johan Harju gets his first NHL goal ever with an innocent looking wrist shot that slides under Kiprusoff to make it 3-1. Ryan Malone is a beast out there all period and finally get rewarded by wristing the puck top shelf bringing the Lightning to within one late in the period.

Third Period

The third period starts off with a quick pace from both teams. Robyn Regehr takes an interference penalty early only 49 seconds into the game. The Lightning get shots on net but aren't able to capitalize. The Lightning have a great chance on a wraparound attempt by Nate Thompson and then on the rebound Martin St. Louis but Kipper is solid in net.

The Lightning almost get through killing off a Nate Thompson penalty until Adam Hall takes a high sticking penalty against Ollie Jokinen and puts the Calgary Flames on a 5 on 3 powerplay. Iginla scores on the 5 on 3 making his best Stamkos impression with a quick shot past Ellis. It's 4-2.

Later in the period Hedman skates with St. Louis on a two man rush and gets great chance at a getting the game back to within one until Kipper completely robs him. The Lightning continues to put pressure but aren't able to make the goals happen even with the goalie pulled and six forwards out on the ice. The Lightning end up losing 4-2.

-Dan Ellis made 15 saves on 19 shots and had a save % of .789

-Miika Kiprusoff made 22 saves on 24 shots and had a save % of .917

Tonight's three stars: Rene Borque, Cory Sarich, Ryan Malone

My alternative star: Martin St. Louis for protecting the puck late in the third period even though he knew he was going to be hammered by Robyn Regehr into the boards.

Lightning vs Flames recap

Lightning vs Flames boxscore