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Quick Strikes: Steven Stamkos’ five-point night for Tampa Bay Lightning a career best

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers took the ice on Saturday afternoon and literally burned the barn down. Comebacks, power plays, overtime, this game had it all. [Raw Charge]

The Lightning penalty kill has been a mess since December, and it hasn’t found any level of consistency since. They will put together a strong game, but then promptly regress into a scrambling mess. The biggest problem the penalty kill—and the defense as a whole—has had is clearing the zone.

No one tell Coop.

For games where both goalies let in 6+ goals, most of the eules go out the window. Quotes and notes on the game against Philly. [Tampa Bay Times]

“We don’t win the game without him,” D Victor Hedman said. “He made some unbelievable saves.” Vasilevskiy, who leads the NHL with 38 wins (two shy of Ben Bishop’s franchise record set in 2014-2015), stopped 37 shots despite allowing a season-high six goals.

Elliotte Friedman provided some insight into what happened during the Trade Deadline meaning JustinG. was able to answer the only question that mattered: How does it affect the Lightning? [Raw Charge]

Speaking of Karlsson, Friedman does mention that the Lightning made a pitch, but if it was similar to what the dealt to the Rangers, it didn’t “appeal” to them. Which, honestly, is crazy. Ottawa would have picked up at least one first-round pick, a young roster player with term, two decent prospects and a potential second first round pick. That’s a pretty good return.

Trade Tree! Who knew Karl Dykhuis and Mikael Renberg would cause major ripples across the league for so long. [Raw Charge]

Phil Esposito is one of the greatest NHL players of all time, and his founding of the Tampa Bay Lightning is one of the best things to happen to the Tampa Bay area. He’s a hilarious individual, and his stories all tell a unique perspective of his life. However, his time as general manager brought more questions than answers.

“Why, on August 20th of 1997, did Phil Esposito trade away 4 first round picks?”

A mid-season update by Ryan Schreurs dives into the necessary changes made by the Lightning and how the team has been performing both individually and as a team. [iSportsWeb]

Days leading up to the February 26 trade deadline, the front office in Tampa was fairly quiet. A lot of rumors were floating around that Senators captain and defenseman Erik Karlsson was heading to Tampa, but those rumors deflated after the Lightning made a different move with less than an hour remaining before the deadline hit…

What did you think, coach?

The Prospects

In the second game in as many nights, the Syracuse Crunch failed to get going against the lowly Laval Rocket, ultimately falling 5-4 in overtime. [Auburn Pub]

Dennis Yan and Mat Bodie each recorded a goal and an assist for Syracuse, while Carter Verhaeghe had a pair of helpers. Erik Condra and Gabriel Dumont each scored once, while Jonne Tammela, Mitchell Stephens and Michael Bournival each had an assist. Eddie Pasquale made 17 saves in the loss.

In related North Division news, the Rochester Americans beat the strumbling Toronto Marlies! [Buffalo News]

Newcomer Daniel O’Regan scored twice, one an empty-net tally, in the Rochester Americans’ 4-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies Saturday at Ricoh Center in Toronto. It was the final regular season game between the first-place Marlies and their American Hockey League North Division rival Amerks. Toronto won the season series, 4-3, but Rochester won three of the four games played in Toronto.

Former Lightning prospect on defense Libor Hajek is excited to be a New York Rangers player someday. [Newsday]

Hajek, 20, had been previously traded within the WHL, going from the last-place Saskatoon Blades to the Pats. That trade presented him with an opportunity to make the WHL playoffs for the first time. The second trade presented him with another opportunity: The chance to realistically compete for an NHL roster spot next season.

The Game

The lights went out, not just in Toronto’s brains as they lost 5-2 to the Washington Capitals, but literally during the outdoor game at the Naval Academy! [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

As the Caps and Leafs switched sides with ten minutes remaining in the third period, power went out in Annapolis. I have to assume it’s some hangover from the wind storm that was so scary on Friday. The game was paused for 15 minutes while a few tens of thousands of folks waited for the lights to come back on.

Oh and some random guy scored his 40th goal of the season, maybe you know Alex Ovechkin? [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

The Caps made a strong rush into the offensive zone but got caught behind Freddy Andersen’s net. No worries: from there Tom Wilson made a pass north of the goal line to find Ovechkin, uncovered by the Leafs, can you believe that. Ovi did not waste the chance.

“Always room for improvement” when it comes to concussion prevention and treatement, says Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews [Chicago Tribune]

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Saturday he hadn’t seen former teammate Daniel Carcillo’s Twitter feed, which called out the NHL for refusing to “adequately care for humans” when it comes to concussions.

[Editors note: Carcillo’s twitter is full of that video shared repeatedly]

Highlight of the Night: A gold-medalled curling ceremonial puck drop. Yep.

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