OK, we can probably officially call this a lousy weekend for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sure, they salvaged a win from Friday’s game against the Islanders, but it cost them injuries to Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman, with Stralman’s fracture looking especially ominous.
Tonight was a bigger deal, and give them all the credit you want for fighting with less than a full deck, but the Florida Panthers earned a significant victory by a 5-2 margin.
The Panthers and Lightning were playing hot potato with the division lead, but at least for one night, it’s all Panthers. They now have 93 points while the Lightning have 91, and each club has seven games left in 2015-16.
To add a little extra sting, this is the last time these two teams meet in the regular season, so the Lightning might need a little help from other squads if they hope to win the Atlantic Division in the end.
One common Hockey Twitter meme is to write “Our goalie now” and then insert a photo of a brick wall.
In the case of the St. Louis Blues, fans might need to concoct a rotation of such photos, as that joke is increasingly relevant these days.
After Brian Elliott reeled off his third consecutive shutout, he got a breather until Tuesday, but the Blues didn’t miss a beat with Jake Allen in net. He blanked the Washington Capitals to a tune of a 4-0 win, and the two quality goaltenders set a team record tonight.
Blues win 4-0, franchise record fourth consecutive shutout
The biggest concerns are with Kucherov and Anton Stralman, whose return is limited to “maybe if the Lightning make a deep playoff run.”
Tampa Bay is rolling with 11 forwards and seven defensemen in this key game against the Florida Panthers. If they manage a win (they’re currently down 2-1), it would be quite the remarkable feat for a team that’s starting to show some of the promise they often exhibited last season.
Perhaps we’ll get a more exact idea regarding Kucherov’s condition later tonight?
Reunion postponed: Flu keeps Oshie from facing Blues
Oshie played the first seven seasons of his career with the Blues, appearing in 443 regular season and 30 playoff games. He joined the Capitals in a trade that sent Troy Brouwer and other assets to St. Louis.