Ben Bishop rebounded from his subpar performance against Carolina to allow just 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He was very sharp after shaking off the All-Star Break hangover he had in the last outing.
2:03 TB Paquette (7), (Killorn, Garrison)
11:59 DET Helm (9), (Ericsson, Datsyuk)
19:23 TB Paquette (8), (Drouin, Killorn)
4:18 TB Stamkos (27), (Stralman, Drouin)(PP)
11:03 TB Paquette (9), (unassisted)(SH)
17:39 TB Barberio (1), (Sustr, Johnson)
News of the Tampa Bay Lightning's demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. As has occurred several times so far this season, this team seems to have the ability to raise their level of play to match the challenge at hand. Tonight they faced a Red Wings team that has been playing really well and had taken a 1 point lead on the Lightning in the division after a really poor performance against cellar-dwelling Carolina coming out of the All-Star Break. Momentum-wise, this appeared to be a tough mountain for the Lightning to climb.
But, in the end, the Lightning absolutely dominated the Red Wings. After a shaky First Period in which Ben Bishop had to play well to let his team overcome some turnover and defensive zone coverage issues, the Lightning took control of all facets of the game. Shots on goal. Scoring chances. Special teams play. They rolled the Red Wings, and sent Detroit (and their fans) back to Michigan with tails firmly tucked between their legs.
Tonight's victory put the Lightning at the end of the 5th 10-game segment of the season at 66 points, 6 points ahead of the minimum they need to have to be comfortably on pace for the playoffs. They gained 2 additional insurance points in this segment and are slowly inching their way to a position where their focus can turn from clinching the playoffs to loftier aspirations. It starts with the next 10-game segment and our well-worn mantra: "12 in 10, do it again."
Cedric Paquette had his first career hat trick and was +3 with 5 shots and 2 hits. He was also 67% on 12 draws. As noted a few games back, he looked due, and his goal against the Hurricanes appears to have opened up the floodgates in dramatic fashion. The man we affectionately call Dump Truck has 1 more game to go to graduate from prospect status on the website. I kind of wish he had hit the 41 game threshold for the season tonight, because tonight's performance would've been quite the mic drop moment for a prospect.
Jonathan Drouin had a pair of helpers and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 16:49. He rebounded from an awful turnover early in the game that led to Bishop having to bail him out on the ensuing 2-on-0 chance given to the Wings. From there, though, he was dangerous offensively and his line with Paquette and Killorn put all kinds of pressure on the Wings all night long. Drouin's got 2 more games to go until graduation from prospect status on the site.
Nikita Nesterov had 1 shot in 14:58. He got caught in no-man's land on Detroit's first goal, failing to pick up Helm as he circled from behind the Lightning net, and he had some defensive zone coverage issues. He's taken a little half step back in the past couple of games, which coupled with the improved play of Barberio tells me perhaps more seasoning needs to be in the cards for Nesterov.
HPK 5 vs. Lukko 0
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 32 GP, 3-4-7, E, 4 PIM
Saku Salminen assisted on the game opening goal and had 6:15 of ice time in HPK's 5-0 demolition of Lukko. Ex-Lightning pick Eero Somervuori also had an helper in the win for HPK. Nashville 4th round pick Juuse Saros stopped all 40 shots he faced for the shutout. For the moment, HPK has moved into the 10th and final playoff spot on the Liiga table with the victory, 1 point ahead of Ilves.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Drummondville Voltigeurs 1 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 5
C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG, 6/13 FO, 0 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 17 GP, 12-15-27, -1, 14 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 36 GP, 13-28-41, -7, 28 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
Sherbrooke had a 4-1 lead entering the third period and coasted to a 5-1 win. Darcy scored the Phoenix’s fifth goal, his 12th goal in 17 games with the club.
South Carolina Stingrays 1 at Florida Everblades 4
D Artem Sergeev, FLA: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 7-10-17, +8, 17 PIM, 44 SOG
G Allen York, FLA, DNP
Season totals: 23 GP, 15-4-0-3, 2.76 GAA, 0.898 SV%, 3 SO
F Jeff Costello, FLA: DNP
Season totals (ECHL): 26 GP, 8-7-15, -1, 26 PIM, 65 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
F Mike Aviani, FLA: 1-0-1, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 31 GP, 7-10-17, +1, 30 PIM, 58 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Allen York sat backup for Andy Iles, who pitched a 27-save for the Everblades 4-1 victory over the Stingrays. Mike Aviani scored Florida's first goal, the 1-1 equalizer late in the first period and then Lightning prospect Artem Sergeev assisted on the go-ahead goal at the game's midpoint. Jeff Costello missed his fourth straight contest. The Everblades homestand continues this weekend against Greenville.
Magnitogorsk 3 vs. Dinamo Minsk 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 29/31, 2.00 GAA, .935 sv%
Season totals: 43 GP, 27-7-6, 4 SO, 1.76 GAA, .937 sv%
Ex-NHL journeyman Tim Stapleton scored the game winner for Magnitogorsk in their 3-2 win over Minsk. Minsk got a goal from former Lightning forward Paul Szczechura in defeat. It was Szczechura's 14th of the season.
Kazan 3 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 1
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, DNP
Season totals: 45 GP, 18-10-28, +3, 12 PIM
Fresh off an KHL All-Star Game appearance that featured 2 goals, 4 points, and a scintillating shootout move in the skills competition that became the toast of the internet, Nikita Gusev got the day off today in Yugra's 3-1 loss to Kazan. Kazan got a goal from ex-Thrashers/Jets first rounder Alexander Burmistrov in the victory. It was his 10th of the campaign.
St. Petersburg 1 vs. Bratislava 2 (SO)
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 25 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA, .891 sv%
Ex-NHLer Ladislav Nagy scored Bratislava's lone goal in their 2-1 shootout loss to SKA St. Petersburg. Jaroslav Janus did not dress for the match for Slovan.
Dinamo Riga 3 vs. Mytischi 1
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 1-8-9, -1, 51 PIM
Dmitry Korobov was -2 in 18:15 in Mytischi's 3-1 loss to Riga.