Less than an hour after receiving his award for AHL Goalie of the Month, Andrei Vasilevskiy was making his first relief appearance for the Syracuse Crunch.
Trailing by one heading into the second period, Syracuse turned to the Russian netminder to close the door. The Crunch took the lead in the second, held the Penguins to four shots on goal in the third, and Vasilevskiy finished with 10 saves in Syracuse's 4-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"He came out in the second period and made two or three unreal saves to start the period," said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. "Then we slowly felt good about our game again and slowly took over."
Crunch outlast Penguins... barely.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 9 shots. They were soft enough that he was lifted at the First Intermission for Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed 1 goal on 11 shots the rest of the way to eventually collect the come-from-behind win.
SYR Paradis, (8) (Mormina, Corrente), 4:16
WBS Megna, (10) (Kostopoulos, Harrington), 14:31
WBS Megna, (11) (Boak), 18:38
SYR Marchessault, (10) (Namestnikov), 3:29
SYR Blunden, (10) (Witkowski, Marchessault), 14:21
SYR Ikonen, (4) (Vermin, Angelidis), 14:16
WBS Rowney, (2) (Dumoulin, Kostopoulos), 19:52 (PP)
The night also saw the return of Philippe Paradis from injury. Paradis has been a key missing cog from the Gourde line that has sputtered in his absence. Henri Ikonen also potted a goal for the second game in a row.
At this moment, Syracuse's 51 points has them 1 point off the pace for both the division and the conference lead.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
SaiPa 0 vs. HPK 1 (SO)
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 3-3-6, E, 2 PIM
HPK goaltender Juuse Saros stopped all 38 shots he faced, including both shooters he faced in the shootout session, to deliver HPK a 1-0 lead over SaiPa. HPK remains on the outside of the playoff window at 11th on the Liiga table, but they've tied 10th place Blues at 51 points for the final playoff position.
Ufa 3 vs. Magnitogorsk 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 24/26, 2.02 GAA, .923 sv%
Season totals: 37 GP, 23-6-5, 4 SO, 1.80 GAA, .934 sv%
Ex-Lightning pick Alexei Glukhov assisted on Ufa's game opening goal as his club outlasted Magnitogorsk 3-2. Magnitka got a pair of goals in the last 3:09 of regulation, but a Ufa empty netter eventually sealed the victory.
Khanty-Mansiysk 3 vs. Vladivostok 6
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals: 40 GP, 15-8-23, +3, 10 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the first goal of the contest for Yugra in their 6-3 blowout loss to Admiral Vladivostok. He played 15:55 in the match and had a team high 6 shots on goal. Ex-Habs 2nd rounder Ben Maxwell had Yugra's other 2 goals in the defeat.
Mytischi 2 vs. Dynamo Moscow 3
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 1-7-8, +2, 49 PIM
Ex-Lightning forward Martins Karsums had 1 goal and 1 assist to help Dynamo Moscow build a 3-0 lead in their eventual 3-2 win over Mytischi. Dmitry Korobov assisted on a late garbage time goal for Mytischi and played 18:44 in the match. Ex- Russian junior national team member Albert Yarullin also assisted on the goal.
Yaroslavl 0 vs. Bratislava 2
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA, .893 sv%
Jaroslav Janus did not dress for Slovan's 2-0 win over Yaroslavl. Ex-Flyers farmhand Johan Backlund stopped all 25 shots he faced for the shutout victory.
This week's edition of the BoltProspects Podcast (now on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:
· Replacing Gudas – options inside and outside the organization
· Midseason surprises and disappointments
· Interview with Luke Witkowski
· BP Mailbag (Most expendable player … FA defensemen … Why are the Triplets successful? … Yandle to TB? … DeAngelo’s timeline)
· Prospects of the Week
To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.