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Old 01-12-2019, 10:30 PM
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Default NHL Game Night: 1-12-19 Lightning at Sabres






Kucherov takes over Third Period and buries Buffalo.

TB-5
BUF-3


Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the win. He was overpushing pretty badly against odd man rush attempts and it burned him a couple of times, but goal support is a beautiful thing. I will give him credit, though, he made a couple of key ten bell saves in the Second Period to allow the Lightning to stay fully in the game.

First Period
0:26 TB Point (29), (Kucherov, Johnson)
5:47 BUF Reinhart (10), (Skinner, Dahlin)
19:50 BUF Thompson (6), (Girgensons, Sobotka)

Second Period
7:50 TB Palat (6), (Sergachev, Hedman)

Third Period
5:54 BUF Scandella (3), (Pominville, Sheary)
6:17 TB Kucherov (22), (Stamkos)
14:44 TB Stamkos (24), (Kucherov, Hedman)
18:41 TB Callahan (5), (Cirelli, Killorn)(PP)

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

Lightning games have gotten somewhat formulaic at this point. They haven't really played a First Period of note in a while, and tonight's flat start was nothing new. They hang around in a tied game or even trailing by a goal here or there. And then they either flip the switch and blow a team off the ice or simply wear a team out in the final frame. Tonight's game had the extra feature of Nikita Kucherov absolutely taking over the game in the Third Period. He's a very good player, but I could make an argument this was Kucherov going to another gear tonight to help put the Sabres, who are now outside the playoffs looking in, away.

A word of note about the controversial Third Period officiating. First, Buffalo fans crying about the officiating need to recognize they outpaced the Lightning in power plays awarded 4-1. Call me crazy, but I know Buffalo isn't as pure as the driven snow and I know there were several missed calls Buffalo got away with. Second, on the Sergachev and Larsson dust up in the Third Period, recognize there was an uncalled slew foot moments before Sergachev snapped a hit Larsson in the mush. Yes, the Larsson call was a phantom cross check, but again, don't tell me Buffalo was as pure as the driven snow. Finally, the Eichel elbowing call to the back of McDonagh's head. He makes the argument that his elbow was tucked into his body and that McDonagh had his head down. Fine. Doesn't matter. It was a head shot. Period. Whatever you choose to call it, be it "elbowing" or whatever, the point is the league is trying to legislate head shots out of the game. It has to be a call. That was far more of a clear cut head shot than the Martel hit in Vancouver ever was, certainly.

Adam Erne had 2 hits in 10:08. Felt like he was stapled to the bench most of the night.

Erik Cernak was -2 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 22:08.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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  #2  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:00 PM
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RSchmitz RSchmitz is offline
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Cernak which I believe is the first game he's been awarded the most TOI, was very impressive tonight. The big guys continues to get better with each game, he's going to be a beast come April.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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Bolthed Bolthed is offline
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He needs to work on his handle, though. He gets opportunities every game, which is surely a testament to his potential, but he fumbles too many passes (both giving and receiving). Still a lot to like and be encouraged by. What a steal by Yzerman when you consider that LA was the only team willing to give us ANYTHING for Bishop.

This game, like the Carolina game, followed my favorite plot line – take the best shot from a hungry, young team and then steal their lunch money at the very end. It’s gotta be so demoralizing.

I thought the Lightning played the first half of this game like they knew Buffalo had played the night before and were planning to withstand for awhile and then take over later in the game. That third period was just dominating. Obviously it’s not a sound strategy. It’ll be interesting to see how they come out tonight against another potential first-round opponent. And both teams played last night.
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