Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay’s penalty kill is on a roll

The Bolts play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight!

The Bolts

The biggest issue for the Tampa Bay Lightning last year was the penalty kill. This year they have gone 8/8 on the kill. I think that’s an improvement. [NHL dot com]

So the Lightning went back to basics Friday in practice, drilling the power play exhaustively through much of the training session. They also went back to a personnel alignment they’d had success with the previous season, moving Alex Killorn between the circles on the first unit and sending Brayden Point to the second unit where he could be more of a creator.

It’s Watch Party time again! Who’s going on Saturday night?

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the hotter teams in the NHL right now. Sebastian Aho is leading the scoring, the defense is impeccable, and we think the goaltending is back together? Here’s a preview for their game against the Bolts tonight. [NHL dot com]

Tampa Bay has won seven in a row at home over Carolina, the last loss coming on April 21, 2013 (a 3-2 defeat)...Victor Hedman (3-5--8) and Ondrej Palat (1-5--6) each have points in five-straight games vs. CAR...Tyler Johnson is on a four-game scoring streak vs. CAR (5-4--9)...Braydon Coburn has scored more career goals vs. CAR (5) than against any other NHL team.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch couldn’t live up to their 25th Home Opener over the weekend. But at least their jerseys looked good. [Raw Charge]

It was a good week off the ice for the Syracuse Crunch even if the on the ice results left a lot to be desired. Sandwiched between the two games, both losses, the Crunch managed to name a new captain, extend their lease with their current arena, and celebrate their 25th season on the ice. Not too bad.

We’re back with the Bolt Prospects daily updates. First up, the NCAA kids. [Bolt Prospects]

I grew up watching Chargers hockey, but UAH was outmanned and outgunned against the #10 Pioneers, as Denver blanked Alabama-Huntsville 6-0. Lightning prospect Cole Guttman was 90% on draws and threw a game-high seven shots at Charger netminder Jake Theut (undrafted), but was held off the scoresheet. Liam Finlay (undrafted), however, was not held pointless, notching a hat trick and four points to lead the Pioneers offensively.

And now the two Canadian major junior hockey kids who played over the weekend. [Bolt Prospects]

Lipanov is still looking for his first point as a member of the Rangers. Kitchener dropped a close 2-1 decision in Saginaw Sunday. Minnesota fifth rounder (2018) Damien Giroux had the game-winner for the Spirit.

The Game

This is one of the more beautiful moments I’ve seen in a while. My family has roots in Kenya, so seeing this was really really awesome. One thing the video forgot to mention was that there’s only one women’s team in Kenya, too. Maybe they can play each other! [ESPN]

The walls are painted lime green, the room smells of tea and ugali -- a cornmeal porridge that is a staple in East Africa -- and the only light comes from a TV in the living room. The game is on -- again. It’s the 2010 Olympic women’s hockey gold-medal match, streaming on YouTube. Canada versus the United States.

Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson has been suspended two games for his body slam on Vancouver Canucks rookie phenom Elias Pettersson. Boy, are the Canucks team, media, and fans fired up. When the Canucks are slighted, they never let it go. [The Province]

The NHL has suspended Florida Panthers defenceman Mike Matheson for two games without pay for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct for his hit on Elias Pettersson that left the Vancouver Canucks rookie forward with a concussion.

C Is For Consistency: Chapter 4

The New York Rangers’ team puppy is cute as heck.

Did someone order a goalie?

Justin Schultz is out four months after breaking his leg in a game. [Pensburgh]

While a significant injury was feared, it was all but confirmed when the venerable Bob McKenzie tweeted yesterday, “No official word yet from PIT on specifics of left leg/ankle injury suffered by Justin Schultz last night but speculation is it’s a fracture. Timeline TBD but it’s obviously going to be significant.”

Highlight of the Night: I thought he was stone hands Zach Hyman?