Gourde, Yanni

NHL Game Night: 3-22-17 Coyotes at Lightning

The lights (probably) go out on the Lightning's season.

ARI-5
TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
4:56 ARI Fischer (3), (Crouse, Jooris)
9:45 TB Hedman (15), (Kucherov)

Second Period
10:06 ARI Dvorak (12), (Domi, Murphy)
11:50 TB Kucherov (34), (Palat)
18:08 TB Namestnikov (10), (Drouin)

Third Period
4:45 ARI Ekman-Larsson (12), (Domi, Duclair)
6:39 ARI Vrbata (18), (Goligoski, Ekman-Larsson)
18:24 ARI Murphy (2), (unassisted)(SH)(EN)

Nikita Kucherov was the game's third star.

Full disclosure: the power went off at my house about 15 minutes through the Second Period and didn't come back until late last night. So, the lights went out at my house shortly before they probably went out on the Lightning. Maybe I should be thankful I didn't have to witness that Third Period slide into the abyss. In a way, it's fitting. I declared the Lightning season more or less dead when the team got blown out in Arizona with one of the more feckless efforts of the season. At that point, the math simply didn't work out for a happy ending for the Lightning, and while they did an amazing job to play themselves back into the conversation for a playoff spot the fact is there's been far too many nights like this one where the team didn't mind its details against opponents of all stripes and got lit up on the scoreboard. And, it's because of that the team is (probably) heading for early tee times this offseason and a lot of reflection on what might have been.

Luke Witkowski had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 8:53.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, 4 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 20:17.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:32. He was also 80% on 10 draws.

Yanni Gourde had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 16:12. He too was 80% on 10 draws.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 3 hits in 13:50.

Joel Vermin had 2 shots in 11:57.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-18-17 Capitals at Lightning

Lightning run into a juggernaut, see playoff hopes harmed.

WSH-5
TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
3:44 WSH Oshie (27), (Johansson, Backstrom)(PP)
11:52 WSH Oshie (28), (Ovechkin, Backstrom)
15:52 TB Kucherov (32), (Palat, Point)(PP)
16:08 TB Killorn (17), (Drouin)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
3:14 WSH Williams (20), (Niskanen, Burakovsky)
5:30 WSH Carlson (8), (Oshie, Backstrom)
18:30 TB Kucherov (33), (Point)
19:16 WSH Oshie (29), (Backstrom)(EN)

Nikita Kucherov was the game's third star.

Valiant effort by the Lightning still playing with darn near all their centers out of the lineup and really testing the East's best team. Were it not for a bit of embellishment that led to the call in the Third Period that led to Williams' goal shortly after its conclusion, Tampa Bay might've well gotten points out of the evening.

Unfortunately, with the standings predicament the Lightning are in, there are no moral victories. They're running out of road quickly.

Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 7:19

Gregg McKegg had 2 penalty minutes and was 60% on 10 draws in 8:44. McKegg is now a couple of games shy of graduation from prospect status on the website.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 3 hits in 19:40.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:58.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 33% on 15 draws in 15:17.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 4 hits in 11:19.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-14-17 Lightning at Senators

The stuff that dreams are made of.

TB-2
OTT-1 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 32 shots for the victory. It's overshadowed by the heroics at the other end by Condon, but what Vasilevskiy did again tonight was make every situational save asked of him to get the Lightning their chance at the winner's circle.

First Period
3:05 TB Point (12), (Dotchin, Coburn)

Second Period
2:35 OTT Wingels (7), (unassisted)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
4:05 TB Hedman (14), (Palat)

Victor Hedman was the game's second star.

Facing near impossible odds in their quest for a playoff spot, the Lightning look like a locked in team that is already playing postseason hockey. Tonight's challenges: 1.) Get road points in a back to back after a tough game against the Rangers last night, 2.) Again play short of centermen with Vlad Namestnikov back on the shelf, 3.) Solve a netminder in Mike Condon who decided to lose his mind tonight with ten bell save after ten bell save. Amazingly, the team never showed the effects of #1 or #2 and eventually they got the one they needed to solve #3. Now, after all the heavy lifting is done, they find themselves tied for the 8th spot in the East after being left for dead a month ago. The dream lives for the Lightning, with a lot of heavy lifting still left to do.

Luke Witkowski was -1 with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 7:51.

Greg McKegg had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 11:04. He was also 45% on 11 draws.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 19:13.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 11:22.

Yanni Gourde had 4 shots in 20:20. He's playing so well on this recall and he hasn't shown signs of hitting a wall yet.

Adam Erne had 3 shots and 7 hits in 8:30.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-13-17 Lightning at Rangers

Lightning scratch out 2 key road points.

TB-3
NYR-2

Petr Budaj allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory. He's been rock solid all year for LA and he's been just as good since the trade over to Tampa Bay.

First Period
5:53 NYR Kampfer (1), (Zuccarello, Kreider)
7:43 TB Point (10), (Kucherov, Drouin)(PP)

Second Period
5:04 TB Dumont (2), (Garrison)
10:22 NYR Grabner (22), (unassisted)

Third Period
13:21 TB Point (11), (Palat, Kucherov)

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

Gregg McKegg was +1 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 9:49. He was also 17% on 6 draws.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 20:12.

Gabriel Dumont had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:07.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 17:10.

Adam Erne was -1 with 1 hit in 12:22.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-9-17 Wild at Lightning

Lightning dominance overshadowed by centerman attrition.

MIN-1
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for a dominating victory. He gave Minnesota nothing. He was in absolute command and it took a goofy bounce for Minnesota to stave off his shutout bid. That's two straight games where Vasiy has only allowed a single goal. Hard to lose when you do that.

First Period
6:53 TB Kucherov (29), (Hedman, Palat)(PP)
11:01 TB Hedman (13), (Drouin, Dotchin)

Second Period
4:37 TB Sustr (2), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Third Period
16:02 MIN Scandella (4), (Brodin, Koivu)
18:51 TB Kucherov (30), (Gourde)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

That was probably the most dominant game the Lightning have played against a quality opponent all season. The end result was never really in doubt and even as the Lightning were seeing their players drop like flies, their lower liners stepped up and continued to keep the game under total control. Unfortunately, it's dubious whether that kind of "next man up" success is replicable over the rest of the course of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov was the first to go down after going skates first into the board on a play that could be anything from a broken ankle to a knee. To my eyes, that looked like a season ender. Tyler Johnson was the next to go on a knee to knee hit from Nino Niederreiter. Johnson when down like a dropped sack of potatoes, and I'm hopeful he's the one of the three that can get back faster, but it didn't look great. Third to go was Cedric Paquette, who appeared to give himself a high ankle sprain tackling a Wild forward in the slot on a defensive zone play. That may come pretty close to ending his season given the slim number of games the team has left on the schedule. So, the Lightning are going to have to scramble just to find bodies at that position. McKegg can go back into the lineup and they'll probably immediately recall Matthew Peca. Ultimately, though, it may take Steven Stamkos donning the Superman cape and coming back from IR in the next 2 weeks and playing well just to keep the team's slim playoff hopes alive. It's either that or get Brian Bradley off the buffet line.

Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 9:11.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 16:33.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:21. He was also 63% on 8 draws.

Yanni Gourde had a helper in 16:35 and was on the ice defending the 6 on 5 at the end of the contest.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:20. He had a really strong First Period, drawing the penalty that led to Kucherov's opening goal, but once the carnage started in the Second Period, it seemed like the line shuffling hurt the continuity Erne was forming with his linemates.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-6-17 Rangers at Lightning

Lightning Raanta'ed again.

NYR-1
TB-0 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the painfully hard luck OT loss. He was overshadowed by Raanta at the other end, but Vasiy was equally brilliant in a high pressure goaltending duel.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
3:56 NYR Zibanejad (9), (McDonagh)

Vasilevskiy was the game's first star.

The Lightning played very hard wire to wire and just lost to a hot goaltender. You can complain about decision-making with the puck late in the Third Period and into Overtime, but many nights you blow doors off with a 3:2 shot attempt/possession advantage and Vasilevskiy playing that well. The shame is the Lightning are in a spot where they just can't surrender the odd point on a night like this and realistically stay alive for the playoffs.

Luke Witkowski had 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:54. That fight was an epic. We're talking about one that rightfully should go alongside some of those old Rudy Poeschek v. Paul Laus brawls.

Jake Dotchin had 3 shots and 2 hits in 20:25.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes for a nasty boarding call, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:15. He was also 43% on 7 draws.

Yanni Gourde played 10:09. Blank stat line doesn't tell the tale, because he was active at both ends of the rink. This was probably his best NHL game in his time in the Lightning organization.

Adam Erne had 2 penalty minutes, 6 shots, and 2 hits in 11:32. 6 shots in under 12 minutes tells you what you need to know. He was very active tonight. Looked really good.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-4-17 Senators at Crunch

Crunch redeem themselves with late whipping of Bingo.

BNG-1
SYR-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. Strong performance for Kristers on a night the Crunch needed it after getting collectively shelled the previous game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
6:24 SYR Gourde (21), (McGinn, Conacher)

Third Period
1:52 BNG Bailey (16), (Sieloff, Rumble)
2:27 SYR Walcott (3), (Condra, Koekkoek)
2:53 SYR Gourde (22), (Conacher)
4:33 SYR Brodeur (3), (Condra, Walcott)

Yanni Gourde, Gudlevskis, and Daniel Walcott were the game's three stars.

Syracuse bested Binghamton 40-29 on the shot clock and by an even worse proportion on the scoreboard.

The Crunch pull 2 points ahead of Albany in the North Division with 2 games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-25-17 Americans at Crunch

Usher Condra lets it burn in Crunch victory.

RCH-3
SYR-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the victory. After going into the Third Period with the all important 3 goal lead, Wilcox did eventually surrender a couple of goals including the false hope goal early in the final frame. But, he was able to hold the fort the rest of the way to get the W.

First Period
0:46 SYR Condra (8), (Peca, Brodeur)
7:23 SYR Gourde (20), (Halmo, Vermin)(PP)
12:00 SYR Condra (9), (Walcott, Taormina)

Second Period
11:03 RCH Nylander (7), (Grant, Kennedy)(PP)
15:59 SYR Condra (10), (Gourde, Thomas)

Third Period
2:25 RCH Bonis (6), (Cornel, Catenacci)
4:17 RCH Baptiste (20), (Kennedy, Catenacci)

Erik Condra and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars. Condra had the home crowd screaming "yeah!" with his first pro hat trick while Gourde hit 20 goals for the second time as an AHL'er. Matthew Peca, somewhat quietly, has 1 goal and 7 points in his last 8 contests.

Syracuse pulls 2 points clear of Albany and 4 points clear of Toronto with the victory, and with both of those teams dropping their games in regulation tonight, the Crunch retained all their games in hand. Beautiful.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-24-17 Crunch at Americans

Crunch score a pair of goals in the final 1:11 to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

SYR-5
RCH-4

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 23 shots. Blew a Third Period lead giving up 2 goals. Got the goal support with 2 goals thereafter to get it back. Clean living.

First Period
11:05 RCH Austin (2), (Nelson, Kennedy)
19:11 SYR Peca (7), (Comrie, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
6:44 RCH Schneider (19), (O'Reilly, Fedun)(PP)
7:11 SYR Vermin (12), (Ward)
17:16 SYR Lynch (2), (Halmo, Vermin)

Third Period
1:27 RCH Fasching (5), (Burgdoerfer, Grant)
12:49 RCH Fasching (6), (Mullen, Grant)
18:49 SYR Erne (14), (Peca, Comrie)(PP)
19:54 SYR Gourde (19), (Condra, Peca)

Yanni Gourde and Joel Vermin were the game's first and third stars.

Adam Erne got the late equalizer on the power play. Since returning from injury he has a stylish 6 goals and 9 points in 7 games.

Syracuse is tied atop the North Division with Albany at 64 points with 2 games in hand on the Devils. Toronto lurks 2 points back with the Crunch holding a single game in hand on the Marlies.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 2-19-17 Crunch at IceCaps

Crunch avenge last night's embarrassment.

SYR-5
STJ-3

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:33 SYR Thomas (2), (Vermin, Koekkoek)
8:51 SYR Erne (12), (Comrie, Taormina)(PP)
11:42 SYR Darcy (3), (Brodeur)

Second Period
9:54 STJ Terry (19), (Friberg, Johnston)(PP)

Third Period
0:54 SYR Erne (13), (Condra, Taormina)(PP)
5:27 STJ Hudon (18), (Terry, Johnston)(PP)
5:47 STJ Terry (20), (Scherbak, Redmond)(PP)
11:28 SYR Halmo (14), (Gourde, Vermin)

Adam Erne and Yanni Gourde were the game's second and third stars. In 5 games since returning from injury, Erne has 5 goals and 7 points. He's making a play to get another callup to Tampa Bay before the end of the year.

A wise old hockey man once told me how incredibly difficult it is to beat a team on back-to-back days if you humiliate them in the first game. Pride kicks in. That's about what happened today.

Syracuse moved 1 point back of Albany for the top spot in the North Division with 2 games in hand on the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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