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NHL Game Night: 10-18-14 Lightning at Canucks

Sloppy, but effective.

TB-4
VAN-2

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory. Ultimately, I thought he was the big differences in the game, as Vancouver got a rather pedestrian effort from Lack at the other end.

First Period
0:53 TB Stamkos (4), (Palat)
7:15 VAN Higgins (1), (Bonino, Edler)
8:26 TB Stamkos (5), (Callahan, Palat)

Second Period
2:42 VAN Edler (1), (D. Sedin, Bieksa)(PP)
16:48 TB Callahan (3), (Stamkos, Garrison)(PP)

Third Period
6:04 TB Killorn (2), (Johnson, Stralman)

Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan were the game's first and third stars. How they, in good conscience, could rob Ben Bishop of a star tonight, I don't know.

On the surface, a 4-2 win in Vancouver looks sweet as sugar, but anyone who watched the game or looks deeper in the stats can see the Lightning's play was closer to another word that starts with the letter "s". They got away with playing pond hockey in the First Period and spending most of the Second Period in the box because they've got an elite goaltender (thank goodness). Out of necessity, with Hedman out with an upper body injury and only 5 defensemen, I thought they settled into a more efficient game in the Third Period, but fatigue and Vancouver's urgency tilted the ice in the Canucks' favor where, again, Bishop had to be on his game. That effort tonight might get you points in places like Calgary and Edmonton later in this trip, but if they put that on the ice against a team like Minnesota, they're going to get blown out.

With Hedman's injury, with the big Swede out for at least the rest of this trip, it's my sincere hope that A.) Radko Gudas gets back in the lineup quickly, and B.) Cooper starts to dress 7 D playing both Gudas and Barberio to thin out the ice time, and C.) If he does so, Connolly gets out of the lineup. I've watched Cooper bench an AHL MVP, Cory Conacher, for taking too many minor penalties and hurting his team. I've watched him bench Alex Killorn, one of his best rookies, for the same thing. Connolly is becoming maddening in that respect, and it's because he's got a bad habit of not moving his feet. He's a half step out of the play too often and that means he's reaching. And, when you're reaching, you're taking penalties. The offensive zone penalty he took tonight in the Third Period took a Lightning team that was playing fairly under control with a lead and scrambled them for the rest of the final frame. Unacceptable. When Jonathan Drouin comes back from Syracuse, I know whose spot in the lineup he needs to take, and it's not old man Brendan Morrow's. Morrow had 5 hits tonight, including 1 that saved a goal, and drew a penalty. Given the choice between getting that 10 minutes from Morrow or the 10 minutes the Lightning got from Connolly, sign me up for Team Brendan. Seriously, that's what Connolly puts out in front of the home province? That?

Vladislav Namestnikov had 1 shot and was 60% on draws in 8:30. In a tight game against a team that has a fair number of talented veterans, Coach Cooper seemed to be hiding his kid line a bit. Can't say I blame him entirely.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 10-17-14

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 4 @ Barrie Colts 7

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-0-1, -1, 4 PIM
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, E, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

DiGiacinto was back in the Windsor lineup Saturday after serving a suspension. He scored his second goal of the season in the loss.

Plymouth Whalers 4 @ Peterborough Petes 3 (SO)

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 8 GP, 2-2-4, -5, 24 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM

Masin had an assist on the game-tying goal for the Petes, coming with just over two minutes left in regulation. Plymouth won the shootout, 2-1.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 4 @ Swift Current Broncos 3

C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 9 GP, 6-8-14, +9, 10 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM

Point set up teammate Jaimen Yakubowski for the game-winning goal with four seconds remaining in regulation. Moose Jaw had an early 3-0 lead in the game that was eventually erased by the Broncos.

Medicine Hat Tigers 4 @ Calgary Hitmen 1

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 1-2-3, -1, 4 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

The Tigers outshot Calgary 34-18 en route to a 4-1 win. The teams split their home-and-home series over the past two days.

NCAA Game Night: 10-18-14

USA U-18 4 vs No. 14 Boston University Terriers 6 (Exhibition)

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
2013-2014 totals: 19 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 36 PIM

Jack Eichel had two goals and an assist to pace the Terriers to an exhibition win over the USA Under-18 squad.

No. 3 North Dakota 7 @ Colorado College Tigers 2

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM

North Dakota completed a weekend sweep of the Tigers with a big 7-2 win on Saturday.

No. 9 UMass-Lowell Riverhawks 3 @ No. 13 Quinnipiac Bobcats 3

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-4-5, -3, 0 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 40 GP, 12-26-38, +4, 16 PIM

Quinnipiac finished their home-and-home weekend series with UMass-Lowell, 0-1-1. Peca has a point in every game so far.

Crunch Surge Past Senators, 4-2


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The first surge gave the Syracuse Crunch a short-lived lead, but the second sealed the win.

Syracuse scored 25 seconds apart in the second period and 70 seconds apart in the third, as the Crunch beat the Binghamton Senators, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

"When we got on the ice after the goal, we just said 'Hey, we need a good one,'" said Crunch forward Joel Vermin, who finished with a goal and an assist. "It's crucial. Right after a goal, you need a good shift."

AHL Game Night: 10-18-14 Senators at Crunch

Crunch's stars help pull out big victory over Bingo.

BNG-2
SYR-4

Kristers Gudlevskis had an excellent night allowing just 2 goals on 45 shots for the victory. Both defenses were porous, but Gudlevskis outdueled his counterpart at the opposite end of the rink.

First Period
BNG Schneider, (1) (Prince, Wideman), 3:58

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (2) (Paquette, Drouin), 5:19
SYR Vermin, (1) (Blunden), 5:44
BNG Puempel, (1) (Johnson, Schneider), 8:51 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (2) (Vermin, Kunyk), 13:20
SYR Corrente, (1) (Paquette, Drouin), 14:30

Mike Blunden, Jonathan Drouin, and Gudlevskis were the game's three stars. Drouin had 2 helpers and a game high 7 shots on goal. The current plan appears to be for Drouin to remain with the Crunch through next weekend before he rejoins the Lightning.

Syracuse travels to Worcester to play the Sharks next Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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