With names like Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn, you’d never expect the Tampa Bay Lightning to go into a prolonged scoring funk.
Unfortunately for the Lightning and their fans, the team has fallen on some hard times.
In four games this week, they’ve scored a whopping two goals, and have been shut out twice (by Chicago and St. Louis).
Although they weren’t blanked by Boston, they did only manage to find the back of the net once in Saturday’s 3-1 loss.
Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring with a power play goal at the 7:51 mark of the first, but that’s as good as it got for the Lighting.
Boston got three unanswered goals from Matt Belesky in the first period, former Lightning forward Brett Connolly in the third period and Brad Marchand (empty netter).
The Lightning are now on a four-game losing streak. The players and coaches are frustrated and some of the guys think it’s time to change things.
Meanwhile, the Bruins seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. After a slow start, they have now won four consecutive games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Members of the Bruins went to Boston Children’s Hospital dressed as Gru and his minions. (Bruins.nhl.com)
Alex Ovechkin is close to surpassing Sergei Fedorov as the highest scoring Russian-born player of all-time. (NHL.com)
You can watch the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over Washington below:
Jakub Voracek feels his goal scoring drought is “getting old.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Andrei Vasilevskiy began his AHL conditioning stint with a 3-1 victory versus the Toronto Marlies. (Tampa Bay Times)
Although he’s only been used in two games so far, Emerson Etem is starting to settle in with the New York Rangers. (New York Post)
Here are the highlights from Nashville’s 2-1 win over San Jose last night:
Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Jon Gillies is adjusting to the AHL and learning from the demoted Karri Ramo. (Calgary Herald)
Earlier on Tuesday evening, we wondered if the Boston Bruins might take advantage of a banged-up Arizona Coyotes team for their first home win of 2015-16.
The answer ended up being an emphatic “yes,” as the Bruins clobbered the Coyotes by a humbling score of 6-0.
Matt Beleskey played nicely in his return from a brief injury hiatus, nabbing two assists.
He wasn’t the Bruins player who stood out the most, however, as David Krejci‘s red-hot start is finally becoming so impressive that it might not slip under the radar any longer.
Things could change tonight, but right now it looks like he expanded his NHL scoring lead with two goals, giving him 14 points so far.
Update: Jamie Benn moved ahead of him with three assists (thus 15 points), but still an impressive start.
In other good news for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of 2015-16.
For the Coyotes, it was a good lesson and a serious beating.
If you want to read the latest Coyotes-on-the-move rumors, check ESPN’s article here.
On paper, this is the sort of situation that should play into the Boston Bruins’ favor.
On one hand, the B’s get a key member back in the lineup, as Matt Beleskey returns after missing two games.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes are dealing with some significant injury headaches. Connor Murphy, Antoine Vermette and Martin Hanzal are all out with lower-body issues on Tuesday.
NESN flashed an interesting graphic moments ago: the Bruins are 0-3-1 in Boston while the Coyotes are 4-1-1 on the road.
If the B’s want to change that pattern, tonight would – theoretically – be a good time to do it.
Boston made a noteworthy but hardly surprising move on Tuesday, assigning Max Talbot to its AHL affiliate in Providence.
Talbot, 31, had been subjected to waivers earlier this season, with no takers. Upon clearing, he appeared in two games for the B’s, spending most of his time in the press box as a healthy scratch.
The veteran winger’s in the last of a five-year, $9 million deal with a $1.8M cap hit (half of which was retained by Colorado in last year’s trade), so sending him to Providence will give the B’s some financial relief.