Misdemeanor theft in Tampa Bay.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 40 shots and stopped 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. Put simply, he outdueled Varlamov to win this game for the Lightning.
1:58 TB Callahan (15), (Killorn, Stralman)(PP)
0:51 COL O'Reilly (8), (MacKinnon, Hejda)
4:08 TB Stralman (3), (Filppula)
19:53 COL MacKinnon (9), (Landeskog, Johnson)
TB- Kucherov, Callahan
Bishop and Ryan Callahan were the game's first and third stars.
Really, this was a game the Lightning probably didn't deserve to get points out of. Varlamov's second goal allowed was extremely soft, giving the Lightning a 1 goal lead that Bishop very nearly made stand up with some outstanding play. But, let's not delude ourselves. The Lightning looked pretty shabby the last 40 minutes of this game as the Avs upped their intensity level and the Lightning failed to match it. I think it's indicative of one of the major flaws that needs to be corrected before playoff time (even larger than the alleged "softness" flaw). The Lightning are built for speed and using that speed to create puck possession and protect their puck moving blueliners. When faster teams like the Oilers and Avs over the past couple of games get against the Lightning and are able to win races to 50/50 pucks, the Lightning are not good positionally without the puck in terms of gap control and separating the other team from the puck. They're not built for it and they're kind of clueless how to handle it, and it's just something that they'll need to continue to work on and get better with as they gain experience. Fortunately, as they do, they've got an elite caliber netminder in Ben Bishop at their backs.
Cedric Paquette was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:23. He was also 40% on draws. He was on the ice for MacKinnon's 6-on-5 greasy goal at the very end of regulation, but beyond that he was strong on the forecheck and the PK. Another plus night for #13.
Jonathan Drouin had 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:17. There was one shift where he undressed 3 of the 5 Avs on the ice and nearly set up a score. One of these days the coaching staff is going to find just the right combination/role to utilize the special talent this guy brings to the table.
Nikita Nesterov had 2 shots and 1 hit in 16:59. He took a puck to the face in the First Period that required stitches, but he gutted it out and had another good game contributing in all three zones.
Crunch rebound quickly to crush Sound Tigers.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory. One silver lining of the spanking the Crunch took against the Senators was that Gudlevskis got some quality PT in garbage time, and he carried that momentum over to tonight.
SYR Mormina, (2) (Marchessault, Angelidis), 8:47 (PP)
SYR Koekkoek, (3) (Marchessault), 8:58
SYR Blunden, (11) (Blujus), 5:29
BRI Courtnall, (3) (Langkow, Pelech), 12:25
SYR Richard, (6) (Blujus, Blunden), 15:56
SYR Namestnikov, (8) , 17:24 (SH)
SYR Angelidis, (13) (Blunden, Marchessault), 6:56
BRI Persson, (5) (Stretch, Lashoff), 14:41 (PP)
The other silver lining of the debacle against Bingo is the Crunch had time to collect themselves and get some continuity going with the skeleton lineup in the final 40 minutes of the game, and that also carried over into tonight's game.
Ex-Lightning 7th rounder Justin Courtnall had a goal against the organization that drafted him. Wow, that was a name from the past I wasn't sure I'd ever hear again.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
HPK 3 vs. Assat 2 (SO)
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 27 GP, 3-3-6, E, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was scoreless in 14:48 of ice time in HPK's 3-2 shootout win over Assat. Ex-Bruins first rounder Zach Hamill had a helper and the shootout winner for HPK.
Mytischi 1 vs. Yaroslavl 4
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 1-7-8, -1, 51 PIM
Dmitry Korobov was scoreless in 18:40 in Mytischi's 4-1 loss to Yaroslavl. 3 of Yaroslavl's goals came from blueliners, including a marker by ex-Leafs pick Staffan Kronwall.
Bratislava 0 vs. Dynamo Moscow 2
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA, .893 sv%
Jaroslav Janus sat backup to Denis Godla in Slovan's 2-0 loss to Dynamo Moscow. Alexander Lazushin stopped all 32 shots he faced to pin the goose egg on Slovan.
Tulsa Oilers 2 at Florida Everblades 4
D Artem Sergeev, FLA: DNP
Season totals: 25 GP, 6-9-15, +6, 10 PIM, 39 SOG
G Allen York, FLA, DNP
Season totals: 21 GP, 15-3-0-3, 2.59 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 3 SO
F Jeff Costello, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 25 GP, 8-6-14, -1, 26 PIM, 62 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 26 GP, 5-10-15, +2, 22 PIM, 48 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
After returning to the lineup for Wednesday's game against the visiting Tulsa Oilers, Lightning defensive prospect Artem Sergeev was out of the lineup for Friday's closing series match with the Oilers. With the domino effect of defensive injuries in Tampa, Sergeev has not been recalled to Syracuse so he *must* be hurt. Goalie Allen York sat backup to Andy Iles who allowed just 2 Oilers shots through, and former Tyler Johnson teammate Mitch Wahl scored points in all four of Florida's goals. After long winning streaks after another in 2014, the Everblades have dropped 4 of their last 10. When you've been playing at an 85% clip, a 60% streak feels a bit worse than it really is. The Everblades finish up their home stand against Gwinnett Saturday night, before hitting the road for a three-in-three next weekend.
Wichita Thunder 2 at Allen Americans 8
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 37 GP, 15-18-33, -1, 37 PIM, 116 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
D Daniel Milan, WIC: Recalled to Syracuse
Season totals: 36 GP, 0-10-10, -6, 82 PIM, 35 SOG
The Central Division leading Allen Americans served noticed on the Thunder, putting up a snowman on the scoreboard Friday night. Lightning defensive prospect Dan Milan, sporting a 3-game point streak, missed his first game of the season with Wichita after getting recalled by Tampa Bay to Syracuse. The Thunder will try to even the weekend series Saturday night in a rematch with the Americans.