Nesterov, Nikita

NHL Game Night: 12-31-14 Lightning at Sabres

Lightning open a Third Period can of beat down.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 11 shots (not a typo) for the victory. He made a handful of key saves while the game was tight and the only goal he did allow was a point shot that deflected off of Hedman's stick and took a crazy bounce in on net.

First Period
7:48 TB Carle (4), (Palat)
12:33 BUF Ennis (9), (Zadorov, Moulson)(PP)

Second Period
19:02 TB Palat (9), (Johnson, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
5:20 TB Connolly (7), (Stralman, Palat)
8:40 TB Kucherov (16), (Johnson, Stralman)
18:05 TB Kucherov (17), (Palat, Johnson)

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars.

The Lightning, for about 30 minutes, didn't look like they wanted to be in Buffalo (well, yeah). In the Third Period, they outshot Buffalo 14-1 and absolutely dismantled the young Sabres. It was a clinic put on by the triplets line to put 2014 to bed the right way.

Now, here's the interesting part: the Lightning now have 11 points in this 10-game segment of the season with 1 more game to play. Despite all their struggles this month, they may still hit 12 points over this 10-game stretch, and at a minimum, they'll have 4 insurance points heading into the second half of the campaign. Nice.

Cedric Paquette had 3 hits and 1 blocked shot and was 40% on draws in 17:00 of ice time. He had the hit of the game smoking Josh Gorges after a failed breakaway by Steven Stamkos.

Jonathan Drouin had 1 shot in 14:08.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 in 15:02 in his NHL debut. He made a key play breaking up a 2-on-1 that nearly resulted in a goal at the other end when Stamkos hit a crossbar. In all, he wasn't noticeable, but that's a positive for a rookie d-man.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 12-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

The yak is still on the loose.


Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 24 shots he faced for the victory and his first shutout of the campaign. He's won his last 4 starts allowing just 3 total goals in the last 3 of those starts, while running his season save percentage back up to .906 in the process. Now things get very interesting in Syracuse, once Vasilevskiy returns, because this is what we expected coming into the year. These are two of the best prospect netminders around, and they'll be in a knock-down, drag-out for starts all season long. The competition is going to push both guys to play better than they ever thought possible. It's going to be great to see unfold.

First Period

Second Period
SYR Richard, (5) (Koekkoek), 2:12
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Nesterov, Marchessault)

Third Period

Gudlevskis and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. As of this posting, Richard's +18 mark is second best in the AHL behind the +21 of Manchester's Nick Shore. I should also point out that, on top of the game winning helper he had tonight, Nikita Nesterov hasn't had a minus game in a full month, when he had a -1 outing on 11/19 against Hartford. He's been +9 since that game, taking him up to +9 for the year. He was -2 last year and the 13 points he has in 28 games this season is 3 off the 16 he posted as a rookie in 54 games last season. So, like Richard, here's a player who had some holes in his game who seems to be rounding the corner a bit. Nice to see. Slater Koekkoek, oh by the way, has helpers in 3 of the last 4 games.

Tomorrow, Syracuse draws Albany at home.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-10-14 Crunch at Falcons

Vasilevskiy rising.


Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 26 shots he faced for his second straight shutout. He's now 7-3-3 with 2 SO, a 2.44 GAA, and a .914 sv%. He's given up a whopping 1 goal in his last 3 starts, and with Gudlevskis struggling Andrei now appears to clearly be the #1 goaltender in Syracuse.

First Period
SYR Nesterov, (3) (Angelidis, Namestnikov), 18:01

Second Period

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (3) , 19:13 (EN)

Vasilevskiy, Nikita Nesterov, and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's three stars. Since being sent down to Syracuse, Namestnikov has averaged 2 points a game with 2 goals and 6 points in 3 games.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-7-14 Admirals at Crunch

Houghtaling stole my game headline...

SYR-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the OT loss. His save percentage has dipped just a shade below .900 at .897 as he continues to adapt to North American hockey. He'll get there, Lightning fans. Breath.

First Period
SYR Cote, (1) (Angelidis, Ikonen), 3:51
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Nesterov, Blunden), 6:51 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Kerdiles, (2) (Leblanc), 15:18
NOR Wagner, (6) (Yip, Bell), 19:43

Third Period
SYR Angelidis, (2) (Samson, Dotchin), 1:02
NOR Cramarossa, (2) (McIver), 6:44 (SH)

Third Period
NOR Theodore, (1) (Cramarossa), 2:01

Mike Angelidis and J.P. Cote were the game's second and third stars.

Syracuse established themselves in the game with a good First Period, but were outshot 24-14 and outscored 3-1 thereafter. Not good, with Nikita Nesterov wearing the goat horns on Norfolk's OT winner.

The two teams will matchup again tomorrow.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-24-14 Crunch at Sharks

No Drouin? No Paquette? No problem.

WOR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the OT victory.

First Period
WOR Abeltshauser, (1) (Hamilton, Trupp), 7:54 (PP)
SYR Smith, (1) (Samson), 8:27

Second Period
SYR Angelidis, (1) (Paradis), 9:54

Third Period
WOR Haley, (4) (Emanuelsson, Carpenter), 18:49

SYR Nesterov, (1) (Marchessault), 5:08 (PP)

Nikita Nesterov and Dalton Smith were the game's first and second stars.

With J.T. Brown and Brett Connolly getting hurt in tonight's Lightning game at Winnipeg, we'll see if a forward like Marchessault or Blunden gets the call for tomorrow's game at Minnesota. The Crunch, for their part, face Portland tomorrow.

Box score from

Nesterov Takes Next Step Toward NHL Dream

By Jeremy Houghtaling

For Nikita Nesterov, this season is his first away from home.

The Syracuse Crunch defensemen, who spent the last four seasons in his hometown of Chelyabinsk with the junior MHL team or with Traktor of the Kontinental Hockey League, is still getting acclimated to his new surroundings. While his homeland is halfway around the world, the ultimate goal -- to play in the National Hockey League -- is one step away.

"It was pretty tough, I won two medals with my KHL team, third and second place in the past two years, but I wanted to learn something new," Nesterov said through a translator.

AHL Game Night: 11-27-13 Crunch at Senators

Depleted Crunch continue to struggle.


Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 37 shots for the loss. The Crunch could really use one of their goaltenders standing on their head to get through this rough patch. Didn't quite happen tonight. Helenius did, at least, turn aside a Binghamton penalty shot early in the First Period.

First Period
BNG Sdao, (2) , 10:26

Second Period
BNG Petersson, (6) (O'Brien, Prince), 6:45
SYR Walker, (1) (Korobov, Cote), 10:35 (PP)
BNG Prince, (5) , 19:02

Third Period
BNG Schneider, (6) (Dziurzynski, Robinson), 11:31
BNG Petersson, (7) (O'Brien, Prince), 15:14

To add injury to insult, Nikita Nesterov took a slapshot to the face in an ugly scene, and may miss some more time because of it.

At this point, I have to openly wonder if Julien BriseBois is going to pull the trigger to get a veteran player or two into Syracuse to try to stabilize things. The team did add familiar face P.M. Devos on a PTO, but it may take a weightier move to staunch the bleeding.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-23-13 Bulldogs at Crunch

I hate all teams named "Bulldogs".


Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
HAM Thomas, (1) (St. Pierre, Beaulieu), 1:29 (PP)
HAM Pateryn, (4) (Schiestel, Leblanc), 7:18 (PP)

Third Period
HAM Beaulieu, (2) (St. Pierre, Thomas), 6:47 (PP)

Nikita Nesterov was the game's third star.

Evidently hell hath no fury like Dusting Tokarski scorned. Tic stopped 43 shots in the blanking of his former teammates.

Syracuse gets Binghamton on Wednesday. They've now dropped to 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-1-13 Americans at Crunch

The 'ovs spur an amazing Crunch comeback.

SYR-5 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 33 shots in regulation and OT before stopping 4 of 5 in the penalty shot session for the win.

First Period
RCH Adam, (8) (McNabb, Sulzer), 3:25 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (9) (Brown, Korobov), 3:58
RCH Tardif, (2) (Varone, McNabb), 9:13 (PP)
RCH McNabb, (2) (Varone, Bagnall), 14:21

Second Period
RCH Sundher, (2) (Tardif, McNabb), 6:53
SYR Kucherov, (10) (Korobov, Namestnikov), 7:52

Third Period
SYR Nesterov, (1) (Namestnikov, Kucherov), 12:38 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (5) (Kucherov, Nesterov), 17:23 (PP)


RCH- Jacobs
SYR- Kucherov, Paquette

Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and second stars. As of this moment, Kucherov is 1 back of the AHL lead in points and up by 2 for the league lead in goals. Namestnikov had quietly snuck into a tie for 3rd in the AHL in scoring and, along with Kucherov, is tied with many others for 7th in the league in helpers. Nikita Nesterov also chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist and now has 1 goal and 6 points in his first 9 pro games in North America.

It took a while for the team to adjust to having J.P. Cote and Brett Connolly not in the lineup, but they continue to have an unstoppable power play and a top line that always gives them a puncher's chance in any situation. They'll head to Binghamton to play the Senators tomorrow night having now climbed to 5th in the Eastern Conference with their 5 game winning streak. Think what'll happen if they ever find consistency in the back and/or something resembling second line scoring.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-12-13 Americans at Crunch

Syracuse's home opener takes on a distinctly Russian (and Belarusian) flavor.


Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory. Life is good when your team gives you 5 goals of support and only allows a paltry 8 shots the first 40 minutes of the game.

First Period

Second Period
SYR Brown, (1) (Nesterov, Namestnikov), 4:31 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Connolly), 6:18 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (1) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 16:48 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Kucherov, (2) (Nesterov, Taormina), 0:24 (PP)
RCH Tardif, (1) (Varone, McNabb), 5:30 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (3) (Nesterov, Brown), 12:56

Nikita Nesterov, J.T. Brown, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Bold choice by the Syracuse media not giving a nod to Nikita Kucherov, who introduced himself to the home fans with a hat trick.

For their part, the Russian/Belarussian trio of Nesterov, Sergeev, and Korobov (AKA the mythical 70's R&B cover band known as Eastern European Soul) got huge marks in the game. Nesterov had assists in triplicate and was +1 while Artem Sergeev scored his first professional goal, and Dmitry Korobov got himself involved in one of the big physical dust ups late in the game and earned the third star selection. That's a heck of a positive sign for the Crunch as these guys need to step up this year for Syracuse to continue the momentum they had last season as an elite level AHL club.

Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett got 16 penalty minutes in the game, including a roughing call, diving call, and unsportsmanlike call (all minors) in three separate incidents in the Second Period that he chased down with a 10 Misconduct and a Game Misconduct late in the Third Period. You don't often see an unglued mess like that between the pipes. Treasure the memory, Crunch fans.

Syracuse gets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow at home.

Box score from

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