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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

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18