Togliatti 2 vs. St. Petersburg 3 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 37 GP, 17-31-48, +29, 6 PIM
Nikita Gusev had a power play goal and assisted on the OT power play winner in SKA's 3-2 win over Lada Togliatti. Gusev played 15:08 in the win. Vadim Shipachyov had the OT winner for SKA to go with a pair of assists. Gusev now has 48 points in 37 games this season, which is 1 point off his career high of 49 points set in 56 games between SKA and Yugra last year.
The Bournival Ultimatum: Beat St. Louis.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the victory. The good ones respond to giving up a couple in the opening frame by shutting the door the rest of the way. That's exactly what Vasilevskiy did tonight.
14:11 STL Perron (9), (unassisted)
14:43 STL Megan (1), (Reaves, Edmundson)
9:48 TB Boyle (8), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
17:27 TB Bournival (1), (Garrison, Brown)
5:25 TB Killorn (11), (Stralman, Hedman)
18:20 TB Drouin (9), (Filppula, Stralman)
19:29 TB Drouin (10), (Hedman, Filppula)(EN)
Just when you think the team is ready to collapse under the weight of the bloated, overfed injury bug that has feasted on the roster all year, the Lightning show the pride of an elite franchise and rise from the ashes. The Lightning went tonight without Paquette and Namestnikov, which led to the quick recall of Michael Bournival and playing Nikita Nesterov at forward (by the way, let's not be quick to dismiss the whole "Nesterov to forward" idea). The Lightning came out and played a sloppy First Period falling behind 2-0. Vultures were circling. Anton Stralman was threatening to politely go postal in the intermission interview. And then, the Lightning resolved to tighten up their game, and the final 40 minutes became a Lightning clinic. Bournival, fresh off the airplane, tied the game on a tip late in the Second Period setting the stage for a Third Period that was punctuated by Jonathan Drouin literally breaking a goaltender on a deke. Not figuratively. In basketball, they talk about a guard figuratively breaking a defender's ankles with a cross over. So sudden and nasty was Drouin's deke left to right on the Lightning's fourth goal that he literally broke Jake Allen. I don't think I've ever seen that in a game. Mercy. Merci.
Brayden Point had 2 shots and 1 hit in 18:46 and was 29% on 7 draws. He had a turnover in the First Period that ended up in the back of the Lightning net, which is a rare mistake this year for a player who has shown maturity beyond his years.
Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:24.
Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:37. He was also 83% on his 6 draws.
Adam Erne had a hand in every Syracuse goal, but the Crunch came up short.
The Syracuse forward netted a pair of goals and assists for his first four-point night as a pro, but the depleted Crunch fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 5-4, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.
Three of the Crunch’s six leading scorers are on recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Obviously, we want to win hockey games regardless of the lineup,” Erne said. “I don’t think that’s really an excuse for us. I think we need to find a way to win these games.”
Frantic Syracuse comeback falls just short.
Adam Wilcox allowed 5 goals on 24 shots for the loss. With Ben Bishop potentially injured for the long term and Gudlevskis up in Tampa Bay, Syracuse's crease belongs to Wilcox now. We'll see how he handles the challenge.
16:08 SYR Erne (7), (Peca)
19:42 HFD Graves (4), (Joly, Jensen)
2:58 HFD Tambellini (5), (Fontaine, Kampfer)(PP)
6:21 HFD Bodie (6), (Oksanen, McPherson)
7:48 SYR Hart (3), (Erne)
17:28 HFD Oksanen (2), (Bodie, McRae)
1:01 SYR Erne (8), (Taormina)
2:11 HFD Fontaine (4), (Nieves)
4:00 SYR Walcott (1), (Gourde, Erne)
Adam Erne and Brian Hart were the game's first and third stars. Erne's 4 point night moves him to 5 goals and 10 points in 9 games in the month of December. An afterthought for much of the past few seasons, the former 2nd round pick Hart now has 3 goals and 4 points in the past 5 games. Two young power forwards starting to make a little progress, at least on the scoresheet, is a positive thing.
Syracuse's North Division lead has now shrunk to 2 points, although the Crunch still hold a couple of games in hand on Albany.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Chekhov Jr. 2 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 5
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM
Oleg Sosunov did not dress for the second game of Loko Jr.'s set with Chekhov Jr. Loko currently sits in 6th place in the 15 team conference.
Lightning dominate Wings even as injuries continue to mount.
Ben Bishop stopped all 4 shots he faced before leaving in the First Period with an apparent groin or other kind of soft tissue injury. I'm not a doctor, but I'll play one on the internet: the eye test indicates that's likely a week-to-week injury rather than a day-to-day injury, but we'll see and hold out hope. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal (with under 11 seconds left to go) on 23 shots for the rare back door win. Hmmmmm.
7:02 TB Boyle (7), (Stralman, Drouin)
7:41 TB Drouin (8), (Killorn, Johnson)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (3), (Johnson, Hedman)
19:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Killorn, Point)
19:49 DET Mantha (5), (Jensen, Zetterberg)
Jonathan Drouin, Brayden Point, and Brian Boyle were the game's three stars. Drouin and Point were very dangerous all game and Drouin is starting to be the star his skill set always said he was going to be. If he ever figures out the nuances of situational hockey on top of this, he's going to be a Hall of Famer.
Point had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 shots in 19:32. He could've had a second goal easily on a shot where he hit the goalpost flush.
Slater Koekkoek had 1 hit in 11:23.
Tanner Richard had 1 shot, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot and was 27% on 11 draws in 12:23 in his NHL debut. He wasn't glaringly good or bad, which is neither particularly good or bad for a first game. He'll need to get used to going against the best faceoff men in the world at this level and I think the speed of the skaters up top will be a challenge for him to adjust to.
SaiPa 2 vs. HIFK 4
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 25 GP, 2-4-6, -4, 39 PIM
Saku Salminen was scoreless in 9:33 of ice time in SaiPa's 4-2 loss to HIFK. Ex-Canadiens farmhand Brock Trotter had a goal in defeat for SaiPa.
Chekhov Jr. 0 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 3
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM
Ilya Konovalov only had to turn away 17 shots to stake Loko Jr. to a 3-0 shutout win over Chekhov Jr. Now two dozen games into his campaign, Oleg Sosunov is still looking for his first MHL point of the year for Loko Jr.
Ontario Hockey League
Sarnia Sting 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 8
W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-2-4, +4, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, *First Star*
Season: 32 GP, 16-14-30, +8, 22 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM
Katchouk was first star for the second game in a row, scoring twice and adding two helpers for four points. One of Katchouk’s assists came short-handed. He has four shorthanded goals on the season, which is tied for the lead in the OHL.
Peterborough Petes 5 @ North Bay Battalion 2
D Matt Spencer, PBO: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 25 GP, 4-12-16, +11, 25 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM
W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM
Peterborough won its eighth game in a row, beating North Bay 5-2. Matt Spencer has seven points during the eight-game win streak.
NOTE: All leagues are on break until the week after Christmas. The following players are with Team Canada in preparation for the World Junior Championships: Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Mitchell Stephens, Connor Ingram, Mathieu Joseph. Libor Hajek is with Team Czech Republic.
Crunch drop finale of 3 game weekend set.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the loss.
13:57 PRO Kuraly (3), (Porter, White)
7:24 SYR Halmo (8), (unassisted)
12:43 PRO DeBrusk (5), (Grzelcyk, Grant)
18:09 PRO Vatrano (2), (Heinen, Cross)(EN)
Mike Halmo was the game's third star.
Box score from TheAHL.com.