Cernak, Erik

NHL Game Night: 11-19-18 Lightning at Predators

Ferocious comeback bid falls just short.

TB-2
NSH-3

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the loss. I thought he was a little deep in his net on the second Nashville goal off the rush, and when two really good teams meet, the margin can be that razor thin sometimes.

First Period
5:10 TB Hedman (4), (Point, Cernak)
15:19 NSH Turris (5), (Jarnkrok, Ekholm)(PP)

Second Period
6:43 NSH Forsberg (13), (Ekholm, Johansen)
10:16 NSH Johansen (4), (Smith, Josi)

Third Period
3:25 TB Kucherov (8), (Point, McDonagh)

At the end of the night, the Lightning just didn't have enough possession for the first 40 minutes of this game to break down Rinne. Against a very good goaltender, you need a volume of shots and chances and the Lightning did not have that in the first two frames. It's even more important when you're having to ride your backup with Vasilevskiy out: a good offense really will be the best defense for the Lightning right now.

Mathieu Joseph had 1 shot and 1 hit in 12:53.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 9:37. Blink and you'd miss him.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:45. But, he was also 22% on 9 draws tonight.

Adam Erne had 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 9:28. I get that he's not completely flawless with his decision making in the Lightning's half of the net, but his offensive game looks like it's really coming to a boil now. He gets second unit power play time, and that's nice, but I think he's even more effective at even strength and I wonder when he'll get a spot opportunity on a higher line. I think he's ready for it.

Erik Cernak had his first NHL point on a helper, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 10:22.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day: 11-17-18 Lightning at Flyers

Lightning test the limits of the three goal/Third Period rule and still prevail.

TB-6
PHI-5 (OT)

Louis Domingue allowed 5 goals on 45 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
6:02 TB Erne (2), (Gourde, Domingue)(PP)
12:10 TB Paquette (3), (Erne, Coburn)
14:33 PHI VanRiemsdyk (1), (Gostisbehere, Giroux)(PP)
17:05 TB Point (13), (Callahan, Erne)

Third Period
8:57 TB Johnson (7), (Kucherov)(PP)
9:08 TB Point (14), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
10:24 PHI Konecny (4), (Gostisbehere, VanRiemsdyk)(PP)
11:29 PHI Couturier (8), (unassisted)(PP)
15:58 PHO Konecny(5), (Giroux, Couturier)
16:28 PHI Simmonds (8), (Hagg, VanRiemsdyk)

Overtime
1:47 TB Cirelli (4), (Killorn, Hedman)

Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point were the game's first and third stars.

When a team builds a three goal lead in the Third Period, that should put the nail of the coffins of their opponents 99% of the time. For the Lightning to hold a four goal lead halfway through the Third Period seems like it should have been an iron-clad lock for two points. But, a ridiculous four goal flurry by the Flyers (it looked like 80's hockey suddenly threw up on this game in the Third Period) really tested that theory. Fortunately, even though Philly ridiculously got the false hope and real hope goals, Anthony Cirelli still crushed their hopes and dreams in OT to restore balance to the universe.

Ignoring the clownish way the Lightning let the Flyers back into the game, the team's power play at least continues to march Death Star like through this road trip.

Tampa Bay completes its second 10 game segment of the season with 29 points, meaning they have five insurance points banked heading into segment three. Twelve in ten, now do it again.

Mathieu Joseph had 1 shot and 1 hit in 11:04.

Cirelli had the GWG and was +1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 15:27. He was also 46% on 13 draws. His individual effort coming out of the corner on the winner was pure Cirelli.

Adam Erne exploded for a goal and two assists, a +2 rating, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 11:03. Erne finally gets some payoff for some excellent play of late. Quick release finish on his goal and then a fantastic setup to Paquette on his first helper.

Erik Cernak was -1 with 6 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 17:16.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-15-18 Lightning at Penguins

Lightning power play annihilates Penguins.

TB-4
PIT-3

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Never looked entirely comfortable in his first start as the #1 with Vasiy out with the fractured foot, but he battled and got the W. Hopefully he settles down for this next stretch.

First Period
10:33 PIT Hornqvist (6), (Kessel, Letang)(PP)
13:49 PIT Kessel (9), (Malkin, Hornqvist)(PP)
19:57 TB Point (10), (Johnson, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
0:41 TB Point (11), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
1:28 TB Point (12), (Miller, Kucherov)(PP)
4:29 PIT Hornqvist (7), (Malkin)
7:56 TB Gourde (8), (Sergachev, Killorn)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.

This game had the makings of a blood bath until the Penguins surrendered a 5-on-3 late in the First Period that Brayden Point cashed to instigate the start of four straight successful power play efforts for the team and a hat trick for Brayden. And once the Lightning got a little momentum, they played with a lot of confidence against a very talented Penguins team.

With the win, the Lightning have grabbed 12 points in this second 10-game segment of the season, so it's another successful stretch with one game remaining in the segment to try to add some more insurance points to the ledger.

Mathieu Joseph had 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 12:38. He got boarded pretty hard in the game and looked a little shaky thereafter.

Anthony Cirelli had 2 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:21. He was also 73% on 11 draws.

Adam Erne had 2 shots and 4 hits in 11:07. This was one of Erne's better games in the NHL, in my opinion. Played hard with a lot of swagger and creativity.

Erik Cernak was -1 with 6 hits and 3 blocked shots in 15:38. Got hung out to dry by Domingue moving the puck behind the net on the minus. Otherwise, a very robust game positionally and physically for Cernak.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-13-18 Lightning at Sabres

Zzzzzzz. Ping.

TB-1
BUF-2

Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 19 shots for the loss. The second goal was on the soft side, and soft goals often end up being the margin like it was tonight.

First Period
17:45 BUF Skinner (13), (Reinhart, Beaulieu)

Second Period
5:43 BUF BUG Okposo (5), (Sheary, Beaulieu)
5:58 TB Cirelli (3), (Killorn, Gourde)

Third Period
NO SCORING

It was another sleepy start for the Lightning, but once they broke the seal roughly six minutes into the Second Period they pretty much dominated the rest of the game. Unfortunately, Buffalo's goaltender played well and they hit a slew of posts, including Nikita Kucherov drawing iron in the waning moments of the contest. That was a better effort, actually, that the last few games, but the slow starts are still a major problem to overcome.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 11:19.

Anthony Cirelli had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:04. He was also 47% on 19 draws.

Adam Erne had 2 shots and 2 hits in 10:06. Took a Callahan shot off the cheek, but played well after returning from the locker room.

Erik Cernak was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 5 hits in 17:06. Played well in his NHL debut providing relief to the Lightning with fellow righty Stralman out of the lineup. Doesn't have speed that jumps off the page, but positionally pretty good and rugged.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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