Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins

Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head


Here’s likely the extent of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s luck lately: they survived a brutal first period in which Anders Lindback largely bailed them out. That’s … more or less it.

In a stunning sequence, two bad things happened to the Lightning.

First, they saw a would-be 2-1 goal negated by a highly questionable goalie interference call. Here’s video of that disallowed goal (PHT will add the league’s explanation when available):

Mere moments later, the Lightning saw star Steven Stamkos take what may or may not have been an accidental knee to the head and look awfully wobbly leaving the ice:

This is the second highly unlikely and potentially injurious spill of the season for Stamkos, just adding to the narrative of the Lightning’s bad luck.

Update: Maybe the Bolts dodged a bullet, though? Stamkos managed to return in the third period.

Oh yeah, and Ondrej Palat lost control of his stick in a tough break on this play, helping to open the door for P.K. Subban to set up Brendan Gallagher for this fantastic assist:

So, in little time, the following happened to Tampa Bay:

  • A 2-1 lead went back to 1-1.
  • They might have lost Stamkos to a head injury.
  • Montreal made a beautiful play to leave Tampa Bay down 2-1.

Can the Lightning keep overcoming these obstacles? If they don’t clear the hurdle of being down 2-1 in the third period, they’ll fall behind 3-0 in the series.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.