Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning loses third game of the season on Andreychuk night

Let’s get our “reality check” games out of the way early.

The Bolts

After every Tampa Bay Lightning game, the team's writer, Bryan Burns, puts out an email compiling interesting items for writers to add to their stories. A few things stood out to me in his mail yesterday, things that helped contextualize the game:

The Lightning had won seven in a row over the Islanders (including playoffs) coming into Saturday’s game.

The Bolts suffered their first regulation loss in November and first regulation loss since a 4-1 home defeat to Anaheim on October 28.

New York’s power-play goal ended the Bolts’ stretch of seven-consecutive games without allowing an opponent power-play goal. The Lightning had killed off 19-straight opponent power plays until Lee’s marker.

Tampa Bay out shot New York 39-32. Nikita Kucherov led the Lightning with five shots.

This highlights for me that this team has been scary good, and remains so, despite an off night. But you know who has been present at every home Lightning victory? Our in-arena writer, Mr. Matt Esteves. You know who missed the game last night, necessitating Loserpoints to write the home recap? Mr. Matt Esteves. We could pin this on a flat first period, a bit of bad puck luck, and Andrei Vasilevskiy having an off night -- but nah, let's just insist that Matt recap every home game from now on. ( :D )

But seriously. Lightning suffer third regulation loss of the season, 5-3 to the Islanders: "The Bolts have often benefited from favorable shooting luck so far this year, and tonight, they felt what it’s like to get the opposite. They didn’t play particularly poorly and created plenty of chances relative to the Islanders, but the finish that they’ve been able to find all season escaped them tonight." [Raw Charge]

This seems a little out of date after the Islanders ended the line’s production, but here's Dom Luszczyszyn's piece about Namestnikucheramkos's line from The Athletic. "Just when I thought the Tampa Bay Lightning trio of Vladislav Namestnikov-Nikita Kucherov-Steven Stamkos might be due for an off game, they hit me over my dumb head with yet another offensive onslaught. Stamkos: two goals, two assists; Kucherov: one goal, two assists; Namestnikov: one assist." [The Athletic - subscription content]

Offensive defensemen adding to already potent Lightning lineup. "Tampa Bay defensemen have accounted for 51 of the team's 215 total points, the 51 points tied for first in the NHL along with Toronto for blueline scoring. Lightning defensemen have chipped in 14 goals so far this season, good for third in the League among League defensemen groups." [Lightning]

Brayden Point becomes ‘the heartbeat’ of the Lightning: "He’s got an important job," said Fox Sports Sun analyst Brian Engblom, a three-time Stanley Cup winning defenseman. "If (Point) went all offense, he could score a lot of goals. He’s willing to sacrifice to be in the right spot. He’s got the hands and smarts to be a 25-30 goal scorer." [Tampa Bay Times]

Video: Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk on what HOF means to him. [Fox]

Video: Go behind the scenes at the Hall of Fame with Dave Andreychuk. [Fox]

The Prospects

Noooo: Syracuse Crunch captain Erik Condra sidelined by injury again. "Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Condra was injured in Wednesday's loss to Hershey." [Syracuse.com]

Toronto Marlies edge Syracuse Crunch in first game of weekend series. "The loss drops the Crunch to 4-8-1-2 on the season and 0-2 in the eight game season series against the Marlies." [Syracuse.com]

Hardev is doing double duty for Raw Charge and Pension Plan Puppets as the Crunch face the Marlies all weekend. Yesterday PPP did a weekend preview. "The real weakness for the Crunch has been in net. The goaltending has been so bad it has left them in last place in the AHL North Division, with only four wins in fourteen games. Contrast that with the Marlies, who sit at the top with eleven wins in fifteen games, thanks in large part to Garret Sparks who leads all AHL goalies with a 0.944 SV%, and his backup, Calvin Pickard, with a respectable 0.918 SV%." [PPP]

Syracuse Crunch forward Cory Conacher talks to Raw Charge about rookies and playing near his home town. "You can tell that as the year has gone on that they’ve (the rookies) learned a lot about professional hockey and what you have to do on and off the ice. Man, they’re good players. They’re going to be big for us down the stretch, and they’re going to help us push to be a better team and get some wins." [Raw Charge]

The Game

Maple Leafs shut out Montréal Canadiens in a 6-0 stomping. “This is what you call losing the Corsi battle in the best possible way. The Canadiens out shot the Leafs 23-14 in that period, but the Leafs concentrated their shots excellently, while Montréal really did not. That’s the bulk of their shooting from just inside the blueline in three orange blobs, and that right there is why the Habs have one of the highest CF% in the league and struggle to score.” [PPP]


And this was amazing: