Opponent: New York Rangers
Did I watch Live?: Yes
Three Stars: 3. Henrik Lundqvist 2. JT Brown 1. Ben Bishop
Worst Play: Probably Bishop banging a pass off of Anton Stralman that led to the Rangers only goal.
The New York Rangers had won 9 games in a row coming into Thursday night. The Lightning had lost their last two games by giving up goals in the final minute of play. Oh and they were starting an entire line of players that had been in Syracuse a week ago. Things weren't looking to swell for the Bolts.
So, of course Tampa Bay won, 2-1, by scoring a goal in the final minute of play. Once again they played a solid defensive game, dictated possession for long periods of time, but struggled to put the puck in the net. When Brian Boyle took a penalty with a minute and a half to go in the game pretty much every fan was waiting for the Rangers to score the game winner.
Instead the Lightning flipped the script. Valteri Filppula got to a puck in the defensive zone, pushed it to an open JT Brown and kept skating to the net. Brown waited for the perfect moment to slide the puck over to Filppula who shot it past a stretched out Lundqvist. A short-handed, game-winning goal for the Finnish forward.
Brown, whose better half was in the building, had a fantastic game. He played with a ton of energy, got physical without being over the line and found himself on the ice during crunch time. Of all of the healthy forwards, he has the chance to make the best impression with all of the extra ice time he should be getting. If he can start converting some of his hard-nosed play into points he might find himself with a spot on the top three lines even after the wounded start skating again.
Once again the Lightning look to build off of a “character” win. They face Anaheim next (in a game that might never end because neither team can score). After a little bit of a break the road gets a little tougher with games against Los Angeles and Washington (a game that I will be at).
Jo or Johnny:
Due to the disastrous effect this section is having on his career, I'm going to discontinue this feature. I will come up with something else for the next game.