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Purcell Quietly Collecting Points, Confidence

by Missy Zielinski / Tampa Bay Lightning

Though they may have not registered any points Thursday night versus the Washington Capitals, the line of Alex Killorn-Valtteri Filppula-Teddy Purcell remained a presence for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The trio combined for 13 shots on net as well as an extended amount of time in the offensive zone through excellent puck possession that now carries along a tag of consistency.

"There's a lot of chemistry on the line," Filppula said. "We've been getting better as we get more games under our belt and I think that combined with some luck getting pucks in has helped too."

While Filppula has amassed 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) over his past 12 games, linemate Purcell has quietly recorded seven assists over his past six.

"In the last month or so you can sit here and say Filppula and Killorn have played well, but there's been some nights where Teddy's really driven that line," head coach Jon Cooper said.

"He has a lot of skill and can shoot the puck too," Filppula said. "It's always fun to play with a player like that."

It was no secret that Purcell had been slumping. Prior to his recent hot streak, Purcell had just six points through 18 games (11/19-12/28), admitting that he had to change his game a bit to get back on track.

"You always say you try and do the same things, but when you're on a skid like that you tend to lose your confidence and that's the main thing," Purcell said. "When you start to do well and see results the play slows down for you, you get back to yourself, you're not rushing and you just have more poise."

Though to the outside it may have looked as if Purcell was distracted or removed from the game, the right-winger was simply trying to find himself - he needed a confidence boost.

Now that he has, Cooper along with the rest of the team can see a complete turnaround on the ice.

"What I see from him now is that he's engaged in the game," Cooper said. "He wants the puck and when he has the puck good things happen."


Filppula and Purcell's playmaking ability has also rubbed off positively on Killorn.

"I like to try and get to the net and create some havoc," Killorn said. "With them they create a ton of space, so I just go to the net and grab rebounds in front of the net."

In 16:56 of total ice time on Thursday night against Washington, Killorn took four of the line's 13 shots (with two that missed and/or were blocked), to go along with blocking two shots.

  • Ondrej Palat's two points (one goal, one assist) Thursday extended his point streak to eight consecutive games, which is the longest streak by a rookie this season.
  • Notching an assist on Palat's game-tying goal in the third period, defenseman Matt Carle now has assists in his past five games (six assists). Carle's five-game assist streak is a career-best.
  • J.T. Brown (day-to-day, upper body) continued to skate with the Bolts Friday. Cooper said he would play on their upcoming road trip.
  • Syracuse Crunch forward Brett Connolly and head coach Rob Zettler were named to the 2014 AHL All-Star game Thursday. It is the second year in a row in which a Crunch head coach has been named to the team with Jon Cooper coaching last season.
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