Schedule and injuries victimize the Lightning.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss before being lifted for Kristers Gudlevskis, who stopped all 3 shots he saw in garbage time. I wasn't in love with the 1st and 4th goals Vasilevskiy gave up, not that this atrocity was his fault.
0:55 WSH Carlson (2), (Alzner, Wilson)
15:42 WSH Carlson (3), (Johansson, Backstrom)
10:48 WSH Ovechkin (15), (Orlov)
8:33 WSH Johansson (13), (Backstrom)
No chance. The Lightning got to Washington at 2:30 am last night after their game against St. Louis already hobbled with multiple injuries. You had guys like Bournival who have played something like 6 of the last 8 days along with the travel. Stralman looked like he was completely running on fumes. This was a schedule loss, plain and simple, and it was made worse by fatigue leading to multiple injuries. Drouin and Coburn went out. Hedman went out and came back in. The Lightning would've been better off not getting of the plane and declaring this a no contest. This schedule in the first three months of the year has been as vicious as I think I've seen in the league for a Lightning team. They've been grinded down into the ground and they just collapsed under the weight of it tonight.
Unfortunately, halfway through this fourth ten game segment of the season, the Lightning need 7 of a possible 10 remaining points in the segment just to tread water and not dig their hole deeper in their playoff pursuit. Fortunately, the Lightning do have a glut of home games and hopefully a glut of guys returning from injury to try to make some hey with over the course of those five games.
Brayden Point was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 19:35.
Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:34.
Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 hits and he was 38% on 13 draws in 16:07.
You get a minus. And, you get a minus. And, YOU get a minus!
The Bournival Ultimatum: Beat St. Louis.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the victory. The good ones respond to giving up a couple in the opening frame by shutting the door the rest of the way. That's exactly what Vasilevskiy did tonight.
14:11 STL Perron (9), (unassisted)
14:43 STL Megan (1), (Reaves, Edmundson)
9:48 TB Boyle (8), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
17:27 TB Bournival (1), (Garrison, Brown)
5:25 TB Killorn (11), (Stralman, Hedman)
18:20 TB Drouin (9), (Filppula, Stralman)
19:29 TB Drouin (10), (Hedman, Filppula)(EN)
Just when you think the team is ready to collapse under the weight of the bloated, overfed injury bug that has feasted on the roster all year, the Lightning show the pride of an elite franchise and rise from the ashes. The Lightning went tonight without Paquette and Namestnikov, which led to the quick recall of Michael Bournival and playing Nikita Nesterov at forward (by the way, let's not be quick to dismiss the whole "Nesterov to forward" idea). The Lightning came out and played a sloppy First Period falling behind 2-0. Vultures were circling. Anton Stralman was threatening to politely go postal in the intermission interview. And then, the Lightning resolved to tighten up their game, and the final 40 minutes became a Lightning clinic. Bournival, fresh off the airplane, tied the game on a tip late in the Second Period setting the stage for a Third Period that was punctuated by Jonathan Drouin literally breaking a goaltender on a deke. Not figuratively. In basketball, they talk about a guard figuratively breaking a defender's ankles with a cross over. So sudden and nasty was Drouin's deke left to right on the Lightning's fourth goal that he literally broke Jake Allen. I don't think I've ever seen that in a game. Mercy. Merci.
Brayden Point had 2 shots and 1 hit in 18:46 and was 29% on 7 draws. He had a turnover in the First Period that ended up in the back of the Lightning net, which is a rare mistake this year for a player who has shown maturity beyond his years.
Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:24.
Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:37. He was also 83% on his 6 draws.
Lightning dominate Wings even as injuries continue to mount.
Ben Bishop stopped all 4 shots he faced before leaving in the First Period with an apparent groin or other kind of soft tissue injury. I'm not a doctor, but I'll play one on the internet: the eye test indicates that's likely a week-to-week injury rather than a day-to-day injury, but we'll see and hold out hope. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal (with under 11 seconds left to go) on 23 shots for the rare back door win. Hmmmmm.
7:02 TB Boyle (7), (Stralman, Drouin)
7:41 TB Drouin (8), (Killorn, Johnson)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (3), (Johnson, Hedman)
19:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Killorn, Point)
19:49 DET Mantha (5), (Jensen, Zetterberg)
Jonathan Drouin, Brayden Point, and Brian Boyle were the game's three stars. Drouin and Point were very dangerous all game and Drouin is starting to be the star his skill set always said he was going to be. If he ever figures out the nuances of situational hockey on top of this, he's going to be a Hall of Famer.
Point had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 shots in 19:32. He could've had a second goal easily on a shot where he hit the goalpost flush.
Slater Koekkoek had 1 hit in 11:23.
Tanner Richard had 1 shot, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot and was 27% on 11 draws in 12:23 in his NHL debut. He wasn't glaringly good or bad, which is neither particularly good or bad for a first game. He'll need to get used to going against the best faceoff men in the world at this level and I think the speed of the skaters up top will be a challenge for him to adjust to.
Crunch clip their rivals.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 34 shots before stopping 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.
7:45 UTI Pelletier (1), (Kunyk, Subban)(PP)
13:20 SYR Ikonen (1), (Bournival, Gourde)
5:03 UTI Virtanen (4), (Billins, Robak)(PP)
7:01 SYR Thomas (1), (Richard, Hart)
0:12 SYR Taormina (8), (Dotchin, Peca)(SH)
15:21 UTI Cassels (3), (Kunyk, Grenier)
SYR- Conacher, Richard
Syracuse, for the moment, moves 6 points clear of second place atop the North Division. They're starting to make up some ground on Lehigh Valley for tops in the conference if they can stay on track.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch get Demko'ed.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on just 15 shots for the loss. He found himself in a goaltending duel and couldn't help covert Syracuse's 32-15 shot surplus into a win.
8:45 UTI Grenier (6), (Bancks, Valk)(PP)
11:15 UTI Hulak (4), (Carcone)
13:58 SYR Richard (6), (Vermin)
Tanner Richard extended his goal scoring streak to four games. So, there was that.
Syracuse dips to 4th in the North Division in points with the loss. They'll get back to it Friday at home against Toronto.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Gudlevskis makes good.
Fresh off of last night's shelling, Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory.
2:34 SYR Taormina (2), (Peca, Gourde)
4:06 SYR Richard (5), (Gourde, Taormina)
8:44 ALB Gormley (1), (Novak, Straka)(PP)
14:34 ALB Quenneville (5), (Blandisi, Jacobs)(PP)
19:58 SYR Condra (3), (Vermin, Walcott)
Tanner Richard now has a 3 game goal scoring streak and a 4 game point streak.
Syracuse is now just 2 points back of St. John's for first place in the North Division with a whopping 4 games in hand.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Tanner Richard remembers getting the call, taking the ice for warmups, and then hitting the showers.
The Syracuse Crunch center earned his first call-up to the Tampa Bay Lightning last December, but was a healthy scratch and never saw game action. Richard is looking to change that this season.
In a system that's all about high tempo play, Richard has continued to work on his skating in order to take the next step to the NHL.
"You're so close. You can't get any closer than doing the warmups and showering while the guys are walking out getting their names called," the fourth-year pro said. "You can't get any closer than that. It left a little taste in my mouth to just make it to there so that one day I can hear my name called during the game too.
"I used that for motivation this summer. I thought I had a good summer, so hopefully this year it can happen."
Tanner Richard netted his first goal of the season and the next two followed quickly.
The Crunch center rushed down on a 2-on-1, pulled up to avoid a sprawling defenseman and buried the puck over the goalie’s shoulder. Richard’s goal with 24 seconds remaining capped his first career hat trick, as Syracuse routed the Rochester Americans, 7-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
“The puck was in the neutral zone and (Michael) Bournival set up a perfect trap for them, and then (Erik) Condra kind of touched it to me,” Richard said. “I wanted to go backdoor all the way — I think everyone in the building knew that — and the D-man slid to take it away, so I figured I may as well take a shot.”
Crunch put up a touchdown and an extra point.
Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 31 shots while drinking from the cool, clear waters of sweet, sweet goal support for the win.
2:46 SYR Peca (4), (Condra, Walcott)
12:07 RCH Geiger (1), (Nylander, Muzito-Bagenda)
17:04 SYR Richard (1), (Conacher, Gourde)
5:09 SYR Gourde (4), (Morin, Masin)
19:00 SYR Vermin (3), (Conacher, Taormina)(PP)
9:04 RCH Muzito-Bagenda (2), (Strachan, Rodrigues)
12:28 SYR Erne (3), (Morin, Peca)
13:34 SYR Richard (2), (Conacher, Gourde)
19:36 SYR Richard (3), (Condra, Bournival)
Tanner Richard, Yanni Gourde, and Matthew Peca were the game's three stars. All hail Tanner Richard, your Dark Swiss Overlord of Garbage Time Hat Tricks. After a less than stellar training camp and difficult start to the season. Richard now has points in consecutive games and hopefully will take off from here. Also good to see youngsters like Peca and Adam Erne find the scoresheet. This is a veteran dominated team, but these talented youngsters are the ones who are going to push this team over the top. Also, congratulations to defenseman Dominik Masin on his first pro point.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Lightning miss a second straight preseason shutout by an eyelash.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 28 shots for the OT win. The lone blemish was a goal surrendered in a 6-on-4 situation with 1:05 left in regulation. If the performances of the past two nights by Gudlevskis and Vasilevskiy are any indication, Yzerman might have the flexibility he needs if he does choose to move Ben Bishop for cap reasons.
5:21 TB Johnson (1), (Palat, Nesterov)[/b]
18:55 CAR Skinner (2), (DiGiuseppe, Rask)
1:38 TB Palat (1), (unassisted)
Very interesting lineup tonight from the Lightning and a pleasantly surprising performance. Tonight's group mixed in more NHL forwards, at least on the wings, but they pretty much went with Syracuse's defensive corps plus Nikita Nesterov, who may be a bubble player in this camp. It helps when you have Vasilevskiy behind you, but to almost get a shutout with that group is not too shabby.
Brayden Point had 4 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 16:09. He was also 33% on 9 draws. Sorry, son, you don't get to score a goal every game.
Cam Darcy had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 11:31 and was 30% on 10 draws. PLEASE, Jeff Halpern, teach these kids to win faceoffs.
Joel Vermin had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:44.
Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot, 4 hits, and 4 blocked shots in 14:02. For a guy who didn't score, his stat line still looks quite active, I have to say.
Henri Ikonen had 1 blocked shot in 14:15. The window is closing on the young Finn.
Brian Hart had 4 hits in 10:14. He then hit someone with an aluminum chair and put them in the Sharpshooter.
Luke Witkowski was +1 with 4 hits and 2 blocked shots in 21:10. He's not giving any quarter in camp to anybody.
Dominik Masin had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 19:55.
Matt Taormina had 1 shot in 19:46.
Dylan Blujus had 3 blocked shots in 19:29.
Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 19:10.