Gourde, Yanni

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

Lightning dominance overshadowed by centerman attrition.

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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.

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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.

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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.

AHL Game Night: 2-11-17 Americans at Crunch

Erne's return spurs crushing Crunch win.

RCH-2
SYR-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
2:28 SYR Gourde (17), (Taormina, Conacher)(PP)
3:34 SYR Darcy (2), (Letourneau-Leblond, Morin)
4:38 RCH Baptiste (19), (Schneider, Burgdoerfer)

Second Period
3:43 SYR Erne (9), (Koekkoek, Gourde)
14:54 RCH Austin (1), (Schneider, O'Reilly)

Third Period
4:09 SYR Conacher (10), (Peca, Erne)(PP)
19:36 SYR Erne (10), (Taormina)(PP)(EN)

Cory Conacher, Adam Erne, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars. Erne returned to the lineup in a Syracuse jersey for the first time since New Year's Eve and had 2 goals and a helper.

Syracuse still sits 1 point back of Albany for tops in the North Division with 2 games in hand on the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-31-16 Hurricanes at Lightning

Lightning get key, clinical win.

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TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 22 shots for the win. After stealing the point against Toronto, he might be due to go on a little hot streak here.

First Period
7:35 TB Boyle (10), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)
19:50 TB Drouin (11), (Kucherov, Palat)(PP)

Second Period
13:22 TB Killorn (12), (Peca, Hedman)
15:20 CAR Aho (7), (Slavin, Teravianen)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Jonathan Drouin, Vasilevskiy, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

With points at a premium after lacking the gas to deal appropriately with Toronto, the Lightning made sure they took care of business against a beatable Carolina club. It may have cost them Brian Boyle as the injury bug continues his rampage unabated, but the Lightning got another key win tonight. With 2 games left to play in this 10 game segment of the season, Tampa Bay needs 2 points to clinch a successful segment with the possibility of trimming 1-2 points off their season playoff pace deficit hanging out there as a real possibility.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 9:47.

Matthew Peca had a helper, his first NHL point, and was +1 with 2 hits in 12:05. He was also 50% on 8 draws. His style of game is helping to alleviate some of the stress from the injury to Brayden Point

Yanni Gourde was scoreless in 8:12.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-29-16 Maple Leafs at Lightning

Vasilarceny pilfers one point.

TOR-3
TB-2 (OT)

Andre Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the OT loss. Under siege most of the night, he turned in a plus performance to deliver the Lightning at least a single point.

First Period
14:46 TOR Matthews (18), (Hyman)

Second Period
9:26 TOR Bozak (7), (van Riemsdyk, Zaitsev)
12:12 TB Boyle (9), (Drouin, Sustr)
17:38 TB Palat (6), (Kucherov)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
3:37 TOR Kadri (13), (Nylander, Matthews)(PP)

Brian Boyle was the game's second star.

It's a young man's sport, and with both teams coming in on the latter half of a back-to-back, the youthful Leafs had the legs. The Lightning's fatigue started to kick in the second half of the Second Period and the team came completely unglued in the Third Period as tired legs began to manifest themselves in copious mental mistakes. Only Vasilevskiy's goaltending and a couple of opportunistic goals allowed the Lightning to pull out a point, which is still a positive result. If the Lightning can win 2 of the next 3, they'll succeed in at least hitting 12 points for this 10-game segment of the season. Given all the injuries over the past couple of weeks, simply not digging the hole deeper is a virtual win.

An aside about the goaltending interference call in OT. No chance. Filppula got a step around the corner and had the Leafs defender with his stick and one arm wrapped around his body turning him and the free hand pushing him from behind. If the roles had been reversed, there's no way the Leafs would've been called for goaltender interference on that play. No chance. It was complete baloney and ultimately took away a chance for the Lightning to steal the second point in this game.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 11:32.

Matthew Peca had 2 shots and 1 hit and was 45% on 11 draws in 13:52. He played on a kid line with Gourde all night with some spare power play time, so it was more of a checking/energy role tonight for Peca. He did decent, after a rough first few shifts that included a turnover and a bloodied nose.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot in 9:49. He was one of the few Lightning players with energy in the Third Period and had at least one key forechecking shift that made it possible for the Lightning to release some pressure and limp out of regulation with a point.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-28-16 Bears at Crunch

Wall-cox rises up.

HER-2
SYR-3 (OT)

Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 19 shots for the win. That's still not a warm and fuzzy stat line in terms of save percentage, but Wilcox has needed a performance like this since getting the #1 job in full with Gudlevskis being recalled. He made a lot of key situational saves tonight to make a victory possible.

First Period
16:17 SYR Brodeur (1), (Condra, Conacher)(SH)
16:43 SYR Gourde (9), (unassisted)(SH)
18:47 HER Mitchell (4), (Lewington, Stephenson)

Second Period
1:20 HER Thomas (14), (Djoos, Bourque)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
3:01 SYR Gourde (10), (Witkowski, Taormina)

Yanni Gourde and Erik Condra were the game's first and second stars. Luke Witkowski was hosed given that feathery soft give-and-go he worked to make Gourde's game winner happen.

Syracuse, at least in terms of overall balance of play, seemed to be in a more dominant position tonight with the return of a lot of key regulars like Conacher, Condra, and Richard from Tampa Bay now that they've had some time to get re-acclimated. The win moves Syracuse out to a 2 point lead in the North Division, and just as importantly this was a quality victory against a good Hershey team from the other side of the conference where the teams seem a little stronger, on paper, so far this year.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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