Gourde, Yanni

NHL Game Night: 11-9-17 Lightning at Kings

Lightning opens gates of hell in the First Period in Los Angeles. No Kings spared.

TB-5
LA-2

Much maligned Petr Budaj allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the win. He made a critical save on Koptar early on in the game on a bang bang play that led to Kucherov's breakaway goal. That's making the situational save you need for the W.

First Period
9:27 TB Kucherov (16), (Stamkos, Koekkoek)
10:01 TB Killorn (2), (Girardi, Johnson)
10:35 TB Hedman (2), (Gourde, Palat)
11:29 TB Stamkos (8), (Killorn, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
17:31 LA Toffoli (8), (Kopitar, Muzzin)

Third Period
8:39 LA Fantenberg (1), (Brown, Laich)
12:59 TB Namestnikov (8), (Hedman, Kucherov)

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars.

Petr Budaj makes a big situational save, Kucherov scores on a breakaway at the other end, and the Lightning just erupt all over the Kings in a game that was over after less than a dozen minutes. The first 37 or so minutes tonight were just one long replay of the Second Period dominance the Lightning displayed against San Jose last night. Honestly, were it not for Quick, the Kings would've easily let up 8 or 9 goals tonight as the Lightning had something like 23 scoring chances through the first two periods. Quick almost gave the Kings a chance, but a well played replay challenge by Cooper and the Gang at the end of the Second Period helped the team maintain a 3 goal advantage through 40 minutes and it was off to garbage time for the second night in a row. And, to all a good night.

Things that'll make your mind explode: Namestnikov's on a pace for about 39 goals. Not a typo.

Tonight's victory means the Lightning are within an eyelash of clinching their second successful 10-game segment of the year. After collecting a stylish 17 points in 10 games to start the year, they have 11 points in this second segment with 3 more games to play. So, with 1 more point they'll have nabbed the 12 in 10, and anything after that is just more insurance points in the bank. It's a beautiful thing.

Slater Koekkoek had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 6:22.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and he was 60% on 5 draws. As always, the Stamkos line provides the bulk of the firepower, but the Palat/Point/Gourde line sets the pace for the Lightning.

Gabriel Dumont had 3 shots and 2 hits and was 63% on 8 draws in 9:56 as he jumped in to replace an injured Ryan Callahan in the lineup.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 16:45.

Mikhail Sergachev had 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-8-17 Lightning at Sharks

Lightning speed slays Sharks.

TB-5
SJ-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for the victory. He conceded an unlucky goal on the first shift of the game on a puck that deflected off Callahan's stick. After that, he made two or three ridiculous saves in the First Period to allow the team to find their equilibrium, after which the rest of his night was thankfully light work.

First Period
0:25 SJ Donskoi (5), (Thornton, Pavelski)
7:17 TB Dotchin (1), (Point, Gourde)

Second Period
0:44 TB Kucherov (15), (Namestnikov, Stamkos)
9:21 TB Koekkoek (3), (Gourde, Stralman)
12:00 TB Namestnikov (6), (Stamkos, Kucherov)

Third Period
6:14 TB Namestnikov (7), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

San Jose had no answer for the quickness of the Tampa Bay Lightning. None. The Lightning not only can outskate San Jose man for man, but they moved the puck so quickly and crisply, especially in the Second Period, the Sharks had no prayer. No prayer. The Lightning won pretty much every 50/50 puck and then just carved up the slower Sharks defense. Cooper will have some coachable things if he wants them because the Lightning had some bad habits creep in during garbage time in the Third Period, but other than that this was a clinic, on balance.

Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 9:14. His goal was a short side softie allowed by Martin Jones, who looked awful tonight en route to being lifted after two periods.

Yanni Gourde had 2 helpers and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 17:46. He was also 17% on 6 draws. The Stamkos and Kucherov line get all the plaudits, but I thought the line with Gourde and Point along with Palat were almost as good tonight and were crucial to helping the Lightning get their footing back after falling behind after the first shift tonight.

Jake Dotchin had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:01. He got it the way you'd want it: blew a slapshot through the goaltender for his first in the bigs.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 15:26.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-4-17 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Vasilevskiy redeemed after regulation time.

CBJ-4
TB-5 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots before stopping 3 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. He let Columbus back in the game with a soft wraparound goal in the Third Period, but made up for it with a huge save on the PK in OT and a couple of acrobatic stops in the Shootout.

First Period
2:30 CBJ Jones (3), (unassisted)
2:54 TB Point (7), (Brown, Girardi)
3:32 TB Kucherov (14), (Sergachev, Namestnikov)
10:55 CBJ Werenski (4), (Dubois, Hannikainen)

Second Period
6:20 TB Stamkos (7), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)
18:01 TB Gourde (4), (Killorn, Hedman)

Third Period
9:46 CBJ Hannikainen (2), (Milano, Jones)
11:45 CBJ Dubinsky (1), (Jenner, Bjorkstrand)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
CBJ- NONE
TB- Stamkos

Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars. Would love to know how Stamkos doesn't get a star in this one.

That was almost 50 minutes of tour de force Lightning hockey that almost ended in shame because of an untimely soft goal halfway through the Third Period. The Lightning did allow a couple of goals in the First Period, one on a bout of bad puck luck and one on a play where Victor Hedman failed to cover up well for a man Andrej Sustr lost in his own corner. Other than that and a couple of other breakdowns, though, the Lightning had their game going all night and seemed in complete control. If you're going to nitpick, I'd say they overpassed the first half of the Third Period while looking for the kill shot goal. Unfortunately, soft goals are poison. Vasilevskiy threw Columbus a lifeline on that one and they manufactured a greasy goal to get to Overtime. That's where the Lightning had to engineer a magnificent 4-on-3 PK after a Stamkos penalty in which they only really allowed one fantastic chance that Vasilevskiy denied off the stick of Panarin. In the Shootout, Stamkos decided not to repeat the foolish optimism of Kucherov and Point, who deked forehand on both of their attempts, and he ripped a shot high corner to send his club to the pay window. Harder than it had to be, but they eventually got the result they deserved.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots in 16:55. He was also 40% on 5 draws. His line, with Point and Palat, was humming tonight along with the top line. It's always a fun night when the Lightning get both scoring lines going.

Jake Dotchin had 1 blocked shot in 14:16.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 13:03.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-2-17 Rangers at Lightning

Flat Lightning manage a point.

NYR-2
TB-1 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy put on a command performance, especially in the First and Third Periods, allowing just 2 goals on 35 shots for the OT loss. His individual wins streak was snapped, but that's no reflection on how well he played tonight.

First Period
18:34 NYR Kreider (4), (Zibanejad, Skjei)

Second Period
11:00 TB Gourde (3), (Hedman, Point)(SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
1:19 NYR Miller (3), (Shattenkirk)

Vasilevskiy was the game's first star.

New York played tonight with a lot of focus and succeeded in making this into a grinding, tactical kind of game. The Lightning, on the other hand, looked a little flat at the start of the game and fatigued at the close of it. New York did a good job on their film study choking off the Lightning breakout in the First Period, and the Lightning didn't really make any adjustments until the middle frame. They looked, for a moment, to have broken through and taken over the game when a disallowed Alex Killorn goal went in the net, but incidental contact by Dumont waved it off and the Lightning seemed to weaken steadily after that.

Was that a goal? I don't think Dumont's minuscule contact impeded Lundqvist from making a save. But, he did make contact and it appeared Dumont drifted into the paint of his own volition, and I think that was the determining factor for the refs. Cooper used to talk about "inviting" the refs to make a call by your positioning. That's a case where, if Dumont is mindful of the blue paint, I don't think it's an issue.

Had to watch the MSG feed tonight and all Ron Duguay's outfit was missing was a tiger named Montecore. What the hell was going on there?

Six games to go in this segment of the season. At least seven more points left to collect.

Yanni Gourde had the lone goal and 3 shots and 1 hit in 20:12. Maybe the best Lightning forward tonight.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot and 1 hit and was 25% on 4 draws in 5:30.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots and 2 hits in 17:38, but made some head scratching decisions moving the puck tonight. Like, press-boxable head scratching.

Mikhail Sergachev had 1 shot in 16:32. He, himself, made a pretty press-boxable turnover in the Third Period in his own right.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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