Cirelli, Anthony

NHL Game Night: 11-8-18 Islanders at Lightning

Played half a game. Doubled up a division leader.

NYI-2
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 37 shots for the victory. Best player on the rink for either team, in my view.

First Period
3:40 NYI Bailey (4), (Nelson)

Second Period
5:58 TB Joseph (2), (Killorn, Stralman)
11:12 TB Miller (5), (Sergachev, Stamkos)

Third Period
8:43 NYI Bailey (5), (Pelech, Barzal)
18:34 TB Johnson (6), (Kucherov, Gourde)
19:50 TB Stamkos (6), (Miller, McDonagh)(EN)

Vasilevsky and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars.

That wasn't a great effort overall. Like the games against Montreal and Ottawa, you had the Lightning coming out very flat and almost disinterested in the First Period. Turned on the jets in the Second Period to take the 2-1 lead before coasting a bit too much toward the intermission. Then, in the Third Period, they just had a quick, three-way play highlighted by a very skilled setup by Kucherov and they win. They're just toying with teams at this point. It's not sustainable over the long run, but there's something amusing watching it happen night in and night out right now... especially knowing Victor Hedman's return to the lineup is imminent.

Mathieu Joseph had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 11:38. Excellent placement on the shot off the rush and used the defender as a screen.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 13:54.

Anthony Cirelli was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit and was 60% on 10 draws in 14:10. Worked himself into a breakaway opportunity that I wish he'd done more with to reward himself.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 5 hits in 14:10. Played chippy tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-6-18 Oilers at Lightning

Lightning crush upstart Oilers on national TV.

EDM-2
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 35 shots for the victory. Strong game to help provide the backbone for a strong night by the team, overall.

First Period
4:40 TB Stamkos (5), (Kucherov)
19:34 TB Point (9), (Gourde, Johnson)

Second Period
12:32 EDM Strome (1), (Klefbom)
13:19 TB Gourde (7), (McDonagh, Point)
18:59 TB Kucherov (6), (Stamkos, Coburn)

Third Period
0:40 EDM Draisaitl (9), (Rattie, Nugent-Hopkins)(PP)
8:23 TB Kucherov (7), (Miller, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, and Steven Stamkos were the game's three stars.

Friendly reminder: the Lightning are doing all this without the services of the reigning Norris Trophy winner. There's another gear or two above this.

I doubt the NHL will do anything about it, but the cowardly attack by Milan Lucic on a rookie half his size has no place in the game. Pure scumbag sore loser garbage.

The Lightning sit at 23 points through 15 games. By my count they need just 1 point in the next 5 games to seal playoff pace through two 10-game segments of the season, and just 4 points in those 5 games to seal a successful segment #2 of the campaign (12 in 10). So, there's opportunity to run up some insurance points again, for sure.

Mathieu Joseph was -1 with 2 hits in 8:22. He was the recipient of the aforementioned Milan Lucic assault. Brave man to pick on a skinny rookie that's only 2/3 his size.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 12:53.

Anthony Cirelli had 1 shot and was 38% on 8 draws in 12:37.

Adam Erne had 2 shots and 3 hits in 14:38.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-4-18 Lightning at Senators

No one makes Brayden Point bleed his own blood.

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OTT-3 (OT)

Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the win. After getting shelled in Arizona and then quickly falling behind a couple of goals in this one, Domingue had to show some mental toughness under adversity. He, for the most part, sucked it up and pulled through.

First Period
4:55 OTT Ryan (4), (Stone, Chabot)(PP)
14:49 OTT Lajoie (5), (Dzingel, Boedker)(PP)

Second Period
0:38 TB Paquette (2), (McDonagh, Erne)

Third Period
3:04 TB Joseph (1), (Cirelli, Stralman)
15:16 OTT Ceci (2), (Tierney, Stone)
19:33 TB Point (8), (Johnson, McDonagh)(PP)

Overtime
0:14 TB Gourde (6), (Point, McDonagh)

Brayden Point was the game's first star after being bloodied taking one to the face, scoring the tying goal, and then less than a minute of running time later setting up the OT winner with some bravery taking it to the net. He and McDonagh both played really good games, and McDonagh is pulling off the near impossible task of filling Victor Hedman's shoes and doing it in style while the big man is out.

This game, in some ways, a bit like the contest last night in Montreal. The team came out and didn't have their A game and fell behind the eight ball as the penalty kill has started to see a bit of a market correction in recent play. They then asserted their dominance and slowly set about the task of trying to get some goals past Craig Anderson. Unfortunately, after tying the game and as the game got chippy, a moment of indiscipline led to a quick Ottawa goal and it looked like the Lightning's comeback bid would fall short. That's where McDonagh and Point's heroics kicked in. All in all, the Lightning outshot Ottawa 45-25, and those possession numbers are the ones that really get me most excited about the way the team's been playing lately.

Mathieu Joseph had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 12:20. Now that he's got one, we'll see if it's floodgates for the young speedster.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:54.

Anthony Cirelli was +1 with a helper, 4 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:23. He was also 73% on 11 draws.

Adam Erne had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 13:16. In general, you saw young guys stepping up at the tail end of a road back-to-back and providing some spark and secondary scoring when the team really needed it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-3-18 Lightning at Canadiens

Lightning toy with Montreal like a cat toys with a mouse.

TB-4
MTL-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 35 shots for the victory. Really played solid at several moments of the game, most notably the first half of the First Period and the Second Period, when the team in front of him looked a little disinterested.

First Period
0:58 MTL Domi (7), (unassisted)
13:42 TB Stamkos (3), (Kucherov)
16:24 TB Miller (4), (Stralman)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
0:52 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Stralman)
15:57 TB Gourde (5), (Point, Stralman)

Vasilevskiy, Steven Stamkos, and Anton Stralman were the game's three stars.

Tonight was a pretty stark illustration of the talent gap between these two teams. Montreal played really hard tonight for sixty minutes and still got smoked by a Lightning club that, frankly, took half the game off. The First Period was a case study in what good teams can do to frustrate the efforts of upstart underdogs. The Lightning came out really flat and quickly were down 1-0 and getting dominated until Nicolas Deslauriers took an ill-advised boarding call. Stamkos scored just after the end of the expiration of that PP, as good teams do when you give them opportunities, and all of Montreal's hard work went squandered. Vasilevskiy played well in a lax Second Period to preserve the 2-1 lead the Lightning carried out of the opening frame, and then the Lightning decided to finish off the Habs and did so pretty clinically in the Third Period. #Habsband play Taps.

Mathieu Joseph had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 hits in 12:42.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 5 blocked shots in 14:34. Had another pretty good game tonight.

Anthony Cirelli had 3 hits and 2 blocked shots in 14:22. He was also 60% on 15 draws.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:23.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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