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What to Expect from Andrei Vasilevskiy

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Vasilevskiy, 20, has appeared in 14 games with the Crunch this season, posting a record of 8-3-3 to go along with a 2.34 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. He was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week on December 15 after posting a record of 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and .982 save percentage last week. The Tyumen, Russia native posted shutouts in back-to-back starts on December 6 vs. Rochester and December 10 at Springfield. Vasilevskiy has only allowed two goals over his past four starts and has won seven of his past eight games.

The 6-foot-3, 207-pound goaltender has shined on the international stage with Russia, earning a gold medal last year at the 2014 IIHF World Championships where he posted a 2-0-0 record to go along with a 0.50 goals-against average and .985 save percentage. He has also appeared in each of the previous three IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships with Russia. Vasilevskiy won the Silver Medal in 2012 as well as Bronze Medals in 2014 and 2013. Vasilevskiy was voted by participating coaches as one of Russia’s top three players in each of the tournaments he has played in.

NHL Game Night: 12-15-14 Lightning at Penguins

Bad news in Pittsburgh.

TB-2
PIT-4

Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 5 shots before leaving the game after the First Intermission with what was deemed a "lower body injury". Evgeny Nabokov allowed 3 goals on 21 shots the rest of the way for the loss.

First Period
19:09 PIT Sutter (7), (Scuderi)(SH)
19:33 TB Drouin (2), (Johnson, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
2:55 PIT Rust (1), (Ebbett)
19:26 PIT Downie (5), (Hornqvist, Malkin)(PP)

Third Period
7:47 PIT Dumoulin (1), (Downie, Spaling)
16:56 TB Kucherov (12), (Filppula)

The Lightning came out flying in the First Period, and were betrayed by a mixture of bad luck and great goaltending by Fleury. The one goal Bishop allowed was a shot that was going wide that took a goofy bounce off the knob of his stick and bounded into his net. It was so goofy and unlucky, I wouldn't be surprised if Bishop hurt himself kicking something in the locker room about his buzzard's luck. It was that kind of night. You then had Nabby handing Pittsburgh a free goal on a puckhandling gaffe and then a fourth goal coming off a deflection off Hedman. Meanwhile, the Lightning couldn't buy another goal on Fleury until a breakaway goal from Kucherov late in garbage time. Just nothing is going right now, and you hope that Bishop being held out for precautionary reasons turns out to be over something minor like a stubbed toe rather than something being broken or torn.

Cedric Paquette had 1 shot and 4 hits and was 60% on draws in 14:10.

Jonathan Drouin had a goal and 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 14:50. He was probably one of the three best players on the rink for the Lightning tonight, and that was reflected in his promotion to the Stamkos line in the Third Period. He could've easily had a 3 point night tonight if the Lightning were so cursed right at the moment.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 12-15-14

Bratislava 6 vs. Jokerit 2
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, Win, 25/27, 2.00 GAA, .926 sv%
Season totals: 20 GP, 6-10-4, 2 SO, 2.68 GAA, .898 sv%

Ex-Lightning first rounder Riku Helenius surrendered 6 goals in defeat for Jokerit in their 6-2 loss to Slovan Bratislava.

Juniors Game Night: 12-14-14

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 6

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, -1, 5 PIM
Season totals: 25 GP, 9-6-15, -11, 43 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

The Soo continued its strong play, knocking off visiting Windsor 6-4 on Sunday. DiGiacinto (5’11” 196) fought Tyler Gandy (6’2” 196). Both players got several punches in, with Gandy getting the victory nod. He declared victory himself after the fight, actually. It was DiGiacinto’s third fight this season, per hockeyfights.com.

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NCAA Game Night: 12-13-14

No. 1 North Dakota 3 @ No. 11 Denver Pioneers 1

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 17 GP, 5-2-7, E, 25 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM

No. 1 North Dakota salvaged a weekend split with Denver on Saturday, though it knocked them down to No. 2 in the rankings on Monday.

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