Northeastern Huskies 4 @ No. 11 Boston University Terriers 5
D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 8 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 37 GP, 2-7-9, +19, 58 PIM
John Macleod was back in the BU lineup after being a healthy scratch last Saturday.
Minnesota State Mavericks 4 @ Ferris State Bulldogs 7
W Jimmy Mullin, MSU: Did not play
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-0-1, -4, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals (Miami): 19 GP, 1-6-7, 23 PIM
Mullin missed his second straight game due to injury. He took a hard hit to the head in his last game.
*USCHO poll used
Ontario Hockey League
Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Niagara IceDogs 5
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-2-3, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 17 GP, 7-11-18, +6, 23 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM
The Spitfires, No. 10 in the most recent CHL Top-10 rankings, lost by a goal in St. Catherines. DiGiacinto had his first three-point game since last November against Saginaw. It was his fourth career game with three or more points.
North Bay Battalion 5 @ Peterborough Petes 3
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 0-3-3, +14, 18 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM
D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 9 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 2-3-5, -1, 19 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM
The Petes have now lost six of their last seven games. Matt Spencer got an instigator and fighting major shortly after Peterborough cut North Bay’s lead to 4-2 mid-way through the third period. He also received a misconduct.
Lightning crush Sabres against the run of play.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. I still don't think he's 100% up to NHL speed following the puck, but there were a couple of times in this game you could see his quickness and technical proficiency with his angles really got into Buffalo's shooters' heads. They were cutting it fine because they felt they had to against the big Russian mountain.
5:55 TB Stamkos (7), (Filppula, Palat)
11:35 TB Johnson (2), (Killorn, Kucherov)
18:20 TB Kucherov (5), (Namestnikov, Coburn)
4:21 BUF Eichel (5), (Weber, Ennis)
19:30 TB Hedman (1), (Sustr)(SH)
Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.
Hockey's a funny sport. The Lightning played a much better game against Detroit last time out and couldn't find the payoff for the chances they manufactured with their hard work. Tonight, I felt they got outworked and they definitely got outchanced and outshot, on balance, by Buffalo. The Sabres had their forecheck really working on the Lightning in the first 40 minutes, but when the Lightning were able to break that pressure and come out of their zone, they were able to catch Buffalo on 3-on-2's on the counter. The skill players did the rest to build the 3-0 lead. They probably didn't deserve to have that big of a margin, but considering how snake bitten they've been offensively, I'm not going to complain about it. They were definitely guilty of playing down to their opponent and even more guilty of taking their foot off the gas once they got up 3-0. But, to their credit, they really tightened up defensively in the Third Period to quell the Buffalo uprising and deliver the W.
With the win, the Lightning have 6 points through 6 games of this 10 game segment of the season. A win against Minnesota would be tremendous if they can get it next time out.
Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 15:40. The stat line looks OK, but I think the tape will reveal Nesterov didn't cloak himself in glory tonight. He looked like the physically overmatched young blueliner that struggled in his rookie pro season of North American hockey tonight, taking some big hits and getting overwhelmed physically, rather than the offensive juggernaut he was in his sophomore pro campaign. Not his finest hour.
Finland 2 vs. Russia 1
Nikita Gusev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Vasily Koshechkin, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Ex-Blackhawks pick Petri Kontiola had a Third Period PP goal that broke a 1-1 tie and lifted Finland to a 2-1 victory over Russia in their opening match of the Karjala Tournament. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk had Russia's lone goal. Lightning prospect Nikita Gusev lined up at 4th line left wing for Russia and Vasily Koshechkin served as the club's backup netminder.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 (OT)
W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 14 GP, 3-4-7, -2, 23 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM
W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 15 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 15 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM
The Sea Dogs rode into Sherbrooke and beat the Phoenix, 3-2, in overtime. Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph was named a late addition to Team QMJHL for the upcoming CHL Canada-Russia series.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan 4 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 6
W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 14 GP, 16-12-28, +7, 19 PIM
2014-2015 Season: 59 GP, 33-31-64, +23, 71 PIM
Yan has at least a goal in 10 of his 14 games so far this season. He is currently riding an 11-game point streak.
Western Hockey League
Victoria Royals 5 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 2
C Brayden Point, MJ: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 14 GP, 12-20-32, +9, 4 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM
The Royals outshot Moose Jaw, 31-19, en route to a big road win in Saskatchewan. Point, who was just named the WHL Player of the Month for September-October, is on a 4-game point streak, his third such streak of the season. Point does not have a game so far this year where he has only recorded one point; he has two no-point games, seven 2-point games, two 3-point games, and three 4-point games. The Lightning already have him under contract for next year when he turns pro.
· The No. 41
· Internal, slump-busting changes ahead for Lightning?
· No changes? What are we protecting?
· 4 TB players elevating their games, but 1 stands out and he’s on the verge of stardom
· Interview with Syracuse’s Joel Vermin
Joel Vermin has continued to evolve as a player.
In his second full season in North America, the Syracuse Crunch forward is finding a way to harness his speed and skill, as well as making a habit of going to the hard areas of the ice. The 23-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in the first eight games with Syracuse this season, and is steadily improving many facets of his game.
“I feel really comfortable, I feel really good on the ice,” Vermin said. “I think I’ve made a big step forward from last year. I hope it keeps going like that.”
Lightning falling squarely behind the 8-ball.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the loss. Typically I'd defend a guy who only allowed 2 goals and didn't get the benefit of goal support, but Detroit's first goal was semi-soft and the game winner was all-the-way-soft. Fact of the matter is, if those keep happening, Vasilevskiy's going to start taking more than his fair share of starts.
2:02 DET Sheahan (2), (Tatar, Kindl)
15:58 TB Kucherov (4), (Johnson, Stamkos)(PP)
5:54 DET Larkin (4), (Abdelkader, DeKeyser)
Nikita Kucherov was the game's third star, and frankly he was the best player on the ice for either team by a considerable margin. He went to a new, more beastly level tonight.
It's a tale of three games. I thought the Lightning played a fairly good road period in the First Period, preventing any early surge by the home side and holding the balance of possession, although the resulting chances were few. The Second Period could've been an outright disaster, because the Lightning were getting slaughtered at the 10 feet around each blueline. They lost 80-90% of 50/50 pucks on zone exits and zone entries in the Second Period, and you can imagine the possession pressure that resulted. They're really fortunate Detroit didn't get more chances and goals from that pressure and even more fortunate they lucked into a 5-on-3 goal to equalize heading into the Third Period. The Third Period was actually the Lightning's strongest period, hitting 2 crossbars and a goal post and generating a lot of quality opportunities. That was cancelled by good goaltending by Howard and a Dairy Queen special served up by Bishop on a bad angle shot in tight coming off a 3-on-2. That's the game right there. On balance, I feel a lot better about the offense after this one, believe it or not. I was more concerned when the chances weren't flowing. Even when scoring 4 goals against Carolina, the chances were coming off of unforced or gently forced Hurricanes errors rather than pure Lightning assertiveness. The spigot is starting to open again now, though, so I'd say it's a matter of time. Looking ahead on the schedule, I know Minnesota's been in some track meets this season and Buffalo is a generous young team. I wouldn't be shocked if one of them is the recipients of a flood gates situation that looks like the opening of the Panama Canal locks.
The really big issue right now is that heading into the backside of this 10-game segment of the season the Lightning are really behind schedule in the standings to stay on track for the playoffs. They'll need 8 of the possible 10 points over the next 5 games to stay on pace. You do not want to be trying to make those points up in March and April when the sledding is the hardest. My biggest early season fear was a Stanley Cup Final hangover in the first two segments of the season, and that scenario may be playing out unless the Lightning can really put it together quickly and come out guns blazing these next 5 games.
Ontario Hockey League
Kingston Frontenacs 3 @ Oshawa Generals 6
C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-2-2, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 17 GP, 5-10-15, -4, 7 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM
Cirelli now has a four-game point streak after two assists Sunday. The Gens alternate captain was named first star for his efforts.
Western Hockey League
Brandon Wheat Kings 3 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 2
C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 13 GP, 12-18-30, +8, 4 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM
Brandon sent Moose Jaw to its second straight loss. Point continues to plug along at a two-point-per-game pace.
Tri-City Americans 4 @ Vancouver Giants 1
D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 16 GP, 0-5-5, -13, 10 PIM
With Vancouver: 3 GP, 0-2-2, -3, 2 PIM
With Calgary: 13 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
Thomas’ three-game point streak came to an end with a scoreless Sunday. He had points in both of his first two Vancouver games after coming over from Calgary.
Florida Everblades 7 at Greenville Swamp Rabbits 0
F Brian Hart, GRN: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 3-0-3, E, 0 PIM, 15 SOG
G Allen York, GRN, Loss, stopped 14 of 18 shots; pulled in 2nd period
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-3-0-0, 4.97 GAA, 0.868 SV%, 0 SO
D Charlie Dodero, GRN: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, -5, 12 PIM, 4 SOG
Not much good to say about the Swamp Rabbits tilt Sunday afternoon against the Florida Everblades. Allen York got the start but was pulled in the 2nd period after allowing 4 goals on 18 shots. York is still looking for his first win of the season and he's sporting almost 5 goals against in his 3 games thus far. For Syracuse Crunch fans and Lightning prospect followers, the Everblade trio of Mike Aviani, Kevin Lynch, and Gabriel Desjardins all contributed to the Greenville shellacking. Lightning camper Mike Aviani scored the first two goals of the game as part of a 4-point effort. Lynch also scored and added an assist as well, while Desjardins also added an assist. Greenville dropped all three games of their weekend home stand, falling to the cellar in the South Division at 3-4-0-0. The Swamp Rabbits hit the road next weekend for a Friday night game against Norfolk, followed by Saturday and Sunday games in Reading.