Brett Connolly shines, Tampa Bay Lightning falls to Blues at prospects tournament
The Tampa Bay Lightning fell 4-2 to the Blues Saturday in its opening game of a prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich. The good news was wing Brett Connolly, the No. 6 overall pick of the June draft had two goals.
It was good news because Connolly, who plays for Prince George of the junior Western league, missed almost all of last season with hip injuries. And his selection, being as high as it was, was deemed risky.
Connolly has claimed all along his hips will not be a problem going forward and that he has learned valuable lessons about maintaining flexibility. He also got a jump start on conditioning this summer by working in Minnesota with Lightning strength coach Chuck Lobe. So, suffice it to say Connolly's performance was going to be watched.
Connolly scored 4:13 into the first period off an assist from Carter Ashton. He made the score 3-2 2:41 into the third period with assists from James Wright and Mark Barberio. Connolly and Ashton had five shots each. Still, the Blues had a 35-26 advantage in shots.
Goalie Dustin Tokarski made 31 saves for the Lightning, and Wright was plus-2.
The Lightning faces the Red Wings at 6 p.m. Sunday.