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Stanley Cup Final

Connolly looks sharp for Lightning

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:45 PM

By Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent / Prospecting the future

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Prospecting the future
Connolly looks sharp for Lightning
Highly-touted prospect Brett Connolly -- Tampa Bay's first-round pick (No. 6) in 2010 -- continues to shine at the Florida Rookie Camp. His goal in the opening period, after he collected a rebound and lifted the puck over Pickard, was created by nothing but hard work. He is skating on a line with Cory Conacher and Tyler Johnson and they have produced consistent scoring chances for the Bolts.
 
"Connolly had a good year last year but it looks like he's improved tremendously," Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said. " He's worked hard in the off season and his physical test results are good. He's doing everything he needs to in order to be an NHL player."
 
It didn't take Predators forward Craig Smith, who played his college hockey at the University of Wisconsin and was selected by Nashville in the fourth round (No. 98) in the 2009 Entry Draft, to make a big impression. He scored from the high slot just 10 seconds into the game and added two more goals, including a precise short-side score, before 5 minutes were gone in the second period.
Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday