The PHT Nightcap: Wednesday, September 15th

Even in the depressingly hockey-free summer, we expect to be a productive bunch here at Pro Hockey Talk. Sometimes it might be difficult to follow our pace. We understand that. For that reason, whenever we can, we’ll put all of the day’s stories in one convenient post called the PHT Nightcap. Enjoy, hockey fans.

Eric Belanger upset that the Caps broke their verbal agreement – Apparently someone missed the lesson of “Cushlash” in Jeremy Maguire …

Tuesday’s rookie tournament recap

2012 NHL All-Star Game awarded to Ottawa – Hey, can we move on my idea to run the All-Star games in the preseason? I bet the weather in Ottawa around January/early February must be ridiculously cold …

Devils plan on playing Patrik Elias at LW, even though Kovalchuk and Parise play there already – Perhaps they want to spread the offensive wealth? Hmmmm …

Rangers re-sign Marc Staal – See you later, Wade Redden.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis lashes out over Cody Hodgson injury coverage

Tim Gleason gives figure skating a try – Something tells me that this will be on Sean Avery’s insult scouting report.

Patrice Cormier tries to put his ugly past behind him – He might have more skeletons in his closet before his career his over, though, considering his sometimes-rugged style.

Oilers “big three” debuts tonight – More on their performances tomorrow morning (or … this morning, I guess?).

Oddsmakers weigh in on Montreal, Vancouver captain situations – [Insert lazy poker reference]

Does Eric Belanger have a legal leg to stand on against the Capitals – Probably not, but I think we can all deduct a few cool points from Washington.

More criticism of the way the Oilers are handling Sheldon Souray – Seriously, it seems like a faulty plan.

Minnesota wins Traverse City Tournament 3-1 over Detroit, other results – This victory will be forgotten soon, but hey, hockey is hockey.

Seguin, Niederreiter make their presences felt in rookie game – Seguin provided the assists while Niederreiter produced points and a flurry of fists.

Gary Bettman says the NHL will stay out of Quebec City arena politics – That’s probably for the best.

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    Lightning storm back against Blackhawks, finish one point out of playoffs

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    Who would have thought that the Tampa Bay Lightning would rally back from a 4-1 deficit tonight? Then again, who expected them to be so close to a playoff spot mere weeks ago, when they were sellers at the trade deadline?

    The Lightning continue to show that they won’t just roll over and die, scoring four unanswered goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime on Monday.

    While Jonathan Drouin was a catalyst for the second-period rally, it was an unlikely scorer who clinched the victory, as Yanni Gourde ended a thrilling run of 3-on-3 chances with the overtime-winner.

    Really, it might have been fitting. Things looked glum when Tomas Jurco scored his first goal of the season against the Lightning, then the mood was totally flipped when Gourde’s second tally of 2016-17 grabbed a huge win.

    With the Islanders losing to the Predators, the Hurricanes only managing a “loser point” against the Red Wings and the Bruins idle, Tampa Bay is a breath away from a playoff berth:

    Final wild card: Bruins – 84 points in 75 games played

    Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
    Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
    Hurricanes – 80 points in 74 GP

    Yes, all of a sudden, a long-shot postseason run seems quite attainable.

    Maybe the Lightning would prefer it if we kept counting them out, though?

    Hurricanes’ Lack taken off on stretcher after collision on Red Wings’ OT goal

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    The Carolina Hurricanes fell short of a win on Monday, but their thoughts likely revolve around the health of goalie Eddie Lack instead.

    Lack was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision during Andreas Athanasiou‘s game-winning goal in overtime. Officials reviewed that the goal counted, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory against Carolina.

    While it’s been a tough overall season for Hurricanes goalie, Lack has been an integral part of Carolina’s push for a postseason spot. PHT will keep an eye out for updates regarding his condition after this scary collision.

    The Red Wings stayed on the ice as Lack was taken off, a nice gesture after an unfortunate accident.

    Drouin triggers second-period rally for Lightning vs. Blackhawks

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    Just when you think it’s time to count the Tampa Bay Lightning out, they rally back.

    It’s been happening overall in 2016-17, and that pattern carried over into Monday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The Lightning decided to put Andrei Vasilevskiy back in the net in the second period after he gave up three goals on eight shots in the opening frame … and at first, that looked like a mistake that would do them in. Chicago went up 4-1 and things looked dire.

    But, again, the Bolts followed the script when it comes to flipping the script, with Jonathan Drouin triggering a resounding rally in the second.

    Droun’s first goal came 11:45 into the second period, followed about a minute later by an Anton Stralman tally. Less than four minutes later, Drouin hit the 20-goal mark with the 4-4 marker on the power play.

    First, check out Drouin’s first goal, which began the rally:

    Next, witness the 4-4 goal, also by Drouin:

    And … just like that, the Lightning tied things up. Wow.

    Apparently Drouin created more offense than just his two goals, too:

    Impressive. Remember when he seemed like he was out the door last season? Now that feels like another reminder not to give up on this group, no matter how ugly things look at times.

    Video will be added when available.

    Lightning give Vasilevskiy the (brief) hook after very rare Jurco goal

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    By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

    He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.

    You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.

    Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.

    Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.

    Here’s the Jurco goal:

    Patrick Kane‘s 2-1 goal might have hurt the most, actually, as it quickly dissolved a tying tally by Ondrej Palat:

    Update: The Lightning decided to put Vasilevskiy back in net to begin the second period. Interesting.