Times have been tough on the Lightning of late and there’s no time like tonight against the Devils (7 p.m. on Versus) to get things turned around. Tampa Bay has lost six of their last seven games and they’re not looking all that pretty in losing.
The Lightning have given up 27 goals over that seven game stretch and their one victory came in a shootout over the Rangers. Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson haven’t been getting the job done.
Making matters worse for Tampa Bay, their offense hasn’t been able make up for the mistakes their defense and goaltending have made. There’s only so much Steve Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier can do. Going up against the Devils isn’t going to help them get their offense figured out.
Things for New Jersey haven’t been any better of late. The Devils have lost five of their last seven and we’ve seen Martin Brodeur look every bit of 39 years-old in the process. While Ilya Kovalchuk has picked up his scoring of late (points in six of his last seven), the Devils would like to see Zach Parise pick things up. The Lightning defense should be the medicine to cure his ills.
Rookies to watch: While Brett Connolly won’t be there for Tampa Bay as he joins Team Canada’s World Junior camp, the Devils have a pair of young guys to look out for in Adam Larsson and Adam Henrique. While Larsson has the notability from being a top five pick in last year’s draft, Henrique is proving to be a possible Calder Trophy candidate scoring six goals and 14 assists.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger