The last-minute rally provided little consolation.
The Crunch netted a pair of goals in the final 57 seconds but couldn’t overcome their struggles in the second period and on special teams, as Syracuse fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
“We had flurries late, but the damage should have been done in the first period,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “We failed to take advantage of two 5-on-3s. They got a 5-on-3 and they took advantage of it. That ended up being the difference in my mind.”
Not as close as the score indicates.
Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the loss. They'd have been completely run out of the building without him. As it was, he gave them only a tiny glimmer of hope with several solid stops.
HFD Graves, (1) (Bourque, Oleksuk), 3:33
SYR Marchessault, (3) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 5:58 (PP)
HFD Tambellini, (3) (Gibbons, Megna), 12:42
HFD Tambellini, (4) (Hrivik, Bodie), 18:46 (PP)
HFD Nehring, (3) (Glass, Graves), 17:14 (EN)
SYR Blujus, (1) (Peca, McGinn), 19:03
SYR Peca, (2) (Blunden, Gourde), 19:58 (PP)
Wilcox was the game's second star. The wrong Tambellini got first star.
You can't even call it a false hope goal when you get it cut to 1 goal deficit with less than a second left.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Khabarovsk 1 vs. Novgorod 3
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 17 GP, 5-0-5, E, 10 PIM
Carter Ashton was scoreless in 16:28 of ice time in Novgorod's 3-1 win over Khabarovsk. Ex-Thrashers 2nd rounder Carl Klingberg led the way for Novgorod with 1 goal and 2 points.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 8
W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 10 GP, 3-2-5, -2, 15 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 13-15-28, +2, 137 PIM
W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-2-3, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 1 Hit, *First Star*
Season totals: 10 GP, 5-6-11, +10, 11 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 59 GP, 21-21-42, +18, 46 PIM
Mathieu Joseph (pictured) continued his hot start to the season, notching a goal and two assists in an 8-3 win over the Titan. Joseph, who has a four-game point streak, was named the game’s first star for his efforts. He is third on the Sea Dogs in scoring, two points behind the leader, Sam Povorozniouk (undrafted). Fellow Lightning prospect Boko Imama had an assist in Thursday’s game.
Ontario Hockey League
Oshawa Generals 5 @ Peterborough Petes 4 (OT)
C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 3-5-8, -4, 5 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 0-1-1, +10, 12 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM
D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 2-1-3, E, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM
Oshawa’s Matt Mistele (Kings) scored on a penalty shot in overtime to give the Gens a road win in Peterborough.
Windsor Spitfires 5 @ North Bay Battalion 2
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 5-6-11, +5, 19 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM
DiGiacinto had a third period assist and an empty net goal, helping the Spits to secure a road win in North Bay.
Lukko 0 vs. KalPa 1
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, +2, 6 PIM
Jonne Tammela was scoreless in 16:12 of ice time in KalPa's 1-0 win over Lukko. Ex-Stars pick Eero Kilpelainen stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout.
Ekaterinburg 4 vs. St. Petersburg 2
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: (St. Petersburg): 1 GP, 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM
Nikita Gusev assisted on a pair of power play goals in his SKA debut as they fell 4-2 to Ekateriburg. Gusev played 14:11 in the match. 36 year old veteran Alexei Simakov had 2 goals and 3 points to lead the way for Ekaterinburg.
Magnitogorsk 2 vs. Jokerit 3
Saku Salminen, Jokerit, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 7 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 32/35, 3.09 GAA, .914 sv%
Season totals: 21 GP, 8-8-4, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .912 sv%
Saku Salminen was scoreless in 3:51 of ice time in Jokerit's 3-2 win over Magnitogorsk. Norwegian national Mathis Olimb had 1 goal and 3 points in the win for Jokerit.
Western Hockey League
Swift Current Broncos 1 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6
C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-3-4, +3, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Season totals: 8 GP, 10-12-22, +15, 2 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM
Brayden Point had four points by the end of the second period, helping Moose Jaw to a 6-0 lead before the second break. The Warriors lost the shutout in the third period. With his four additional points, Point is up to 22 points in eight games, which leads the WHL by two points despite Brayden missing three games due to an extended stay at Lightning camp.
Calgary Hitmen 0 @ Prince George Cougars 5
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 11 GP, 0-2-2, -10, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
Former Hitman goalie Mack Shields (undrafted) stopped 23 shots for a shutout Wednesday night against his former team. Shields played three seasons for Calgary.
Vladivostok 3 vs. Novgorod 8
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 2-0-2, +2, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 5-0-0, E, 10 PIM
Carter Ashton had a career day for his KHL career, potting 2 goals in 16:30 of ice time as Novgorod trounced Vladivostok 8-3. 20 year old undrafted centerman Danill Ilyin had 1 goal and 3 points to aid Novgorod's victory.
Ben Bishop allowed 4 goals on 33 shots and 1 of 3 shooters to convert for the SO Loss. I thought he was average, maybe even slightly subpar by his standards on the first goal, and that may have ultimately been the difference because Rinne was splendid at the other end even giving up 4 goals.
19:07 NSH Fisher (1), (Weber, Neal)
3:25 TB Stamkos (5), (Hedman, Filppula)(PP)
8:51 TB Kucherov (2), (Palat, Coburn)
10:29 NSH Weber (1), (Ribeiro, Wilson)
17:41 TB Callahan (3), (Hedman, Stralman)
18:55 NSH Neal (4), (Forsberg, Fisher)
5:24 TB Condra (2), (Boyle)
14:30 NSH Neal (5), (Forsberg)
Steven Stamkos was the game's third star.
I hate losing, but not so much that I can't admit that was a whale of a game and absolutely the kind of product the NHL needs to put out on the ice. That had the feeling of a heavyweight boxing match with each team trading goals like they were trading haymakers. Just when one team would get a big possession push and a good cycle, the other team would answer in kind. It was a really, really good game.
Lots of silver linings in the loss. The obvious is the Lightning put up 4 goals on that goaltender and that defensive corps in a night where Rinne was on his game. They would've scored 7 or 8 goals, I'm fairly certain, on a mortal goaltender. The other obvious one is that the special teams, which have been dreadful to this point of the season, were a strong point in this game. They got the tying goal on the PP from Stamkos to get it to 1-1 and they were fairly solid going 3-for-3 on the PK. That's no small task considering the bomb launchers Nashville has back on the points. That looked like a bad matchup going into the contest, but the Lightning held stout.
What they'll want back is the semi-soft first goal late in the opening period, the Carle turnover on the Weber goal, and Condra getting absolutely lost in coverage on the rush on Neal's second goal. Get back any one of those and you obviously get the second point.
Interesting twist to see a more tactical, possession-minded approach from Nashville in the 3-on-3 OT. They held the puck for a minute, it seemed like, on the cycle in the Lightning zone and I give credit to Stamkos and Hedman for not dropping dead from exhaustion covering that much ice. Nashville didn't get an A chance out of that much possession and that much ice, which is pretty remarkable. I'd expect to see the Lightning start to install that kind of cycle to wear out the opposing defenders in the 3-on-3 in the future. It was definitely much different than the jailbreak odd man rush fest in the first OT game of the season, and was much closer in resemblance to real hockey, to boot.
Sochi 3 vs. Jokerit 0
Saku Salminen, Jokerit, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Saku Salminen was scoreless in a season high 11:00 of ice time as Jokerit fell to Sochi 3-0. Ex-Lightning pick Denis Kazionov had a helper in the match for Sochi. Ex-Blues pick Konstantin Barulin stopped all 38 shots he faced for the shutout.
Elsewhere, the KHL announced that Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk has traded talented young forward Nikita Gusev to SKA St. Petersburg in exchange for financial considerations. Many KHL clubs have been struggling after the Russian economy took a significant hit due to the falling price of oil. According to the KHL's website, Gusev's current KHL deal expires at the end of this season.