On a night of farcical officiating, Espo's Rule holds true.
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He made a couple of really key saves on the PK that allowed the Lightning to keep the game even and eventually pull away with the win.
13:32 TB Filppula (9), (Stamkos, Callahan)
0:11 TB Killorn (10), (Hedman, Filppula)
4:16 TB Boyle (9), (Connolly, Morrow)
8:09 VAN Corrado (1), (Burrows, Higgins)
17:34 TB Killorn (11), (Paquette, Hedman)(EN)
Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn, and Jason Garrison were the game's three stars. I'm shocked to see that neither Paul Devorski or Dan O'Halloran got tapped for the honor, because they clearly are the ones people buy tickets and show up to see (or so they appeared to think so, tonight).
The last 40 minutes of that game were an abomination, officiating-wise, from start to finish. I think the refs got paid by the call tonight, because they made a slew of ticky tack bookings that ultimately chopped the game up and made it less enjoyable. When you sprinkle in an icing call on the Boyle goal that probably shouldn't have been waved off and a couple of bad calls resulting in Canucks 5-on-3 and 4-on-3 opportunities, neither side can feel good about their treatment by the zebras tonight. Everybody has a hard night on the job, but those two periods were just B-A-D for the zebras.
Ultimately, though, Espo's Rule held up. Espo's Rule, simply stated, is that the team that fails to convert a 5-on-3 nearly always loses. Vancouver had a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities in this game and thanks to Bishop's goaltending on the first and some Radim Vrbata lumberjack-ery on the second, the Lightning got the kills and won the game. It's a good thing, too, because they did zippo with the power play opportunities they had, making this a much closer game than it should've been given the possession advantage the team mostly enjoyed.
Cedric Paquette had a helper and 2 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 14:12. He was also 56% on draws and continues to be entrusted by Cooper when it comes to key shifts late in games.
Jonathan Drouin was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 10:22.
Luke Witkowski had 2 blocked shots in 14:29 in his NHL debut. He wasn't terribly noticeable, which is a good thing for a rookie defenseman. If you did focus in on him, though, he did a good job of moving the puck quickly and not putting himself in bad positions where he'd have to make plays under duress. Smart man.
Nikita Nesterov had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:39. He ended up having to be fitted for a full shield after taking a high stick.
All in all, between Witkowski, Nesterov, and Sustr, I thought this younger D-corps did well in their first sans-Carle, sans-Gudas test run. They held Vancouver to 1 goal and under 30 SOG's, and you can't complain to much about that result.
HPK 3 vs. KalPa 2 (OT)
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 3-3-6, -1, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was -1 in 14:58 in HPK's 3-2 win over KalPa. Ex-Lightning pick Eero Somervuori assisted on the OT winner for HPK.
Ekaterinburg 1 vs. Magnitogorsk 2 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, SO Win, 19/20, 0.94 GAA, .950 sv%
Season totals: 41 GP, 26-6-6, 4 SP, 1.74 GAA, .937 sv%
Vasily Koshechkin stopped both shooters he faced in the penalty shot session to help lift Magnitka to a 2-1 shootout victory over Ekaterinburg. Ex-Preds pick Denis Platonov assisted on Magnitogorsk's lone regulation goal.
Podolsk 3 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 4 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansisyk, 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 44 GP, 18-10-28, +3, 12 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the Overtime winner and a First Period goal to help propel Yugra to a 4-3 win over Vityaz. Gusev played 14:29 in the match. Vityaz got 2 goals and 3 points from ex-Flyers pick Mario Kempe, brother of Kings first rounder Adrian Kempe.
Bratislava 4 vs. Dinamo Minsk 6
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA, .893 sv%
Zagreb 2 vs. Mytischi 3
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 1-7-8, -1, 51 PIM
Dmitry Korobov was scoreless in 18:53 in Mytischi's 3-2 victory over Zagreb. Ex-Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy had a goal for Mytischi and ex-Lightning forward James Wright also chipped in a goal in defeat for Zagreb.
Note that Nikita Gusev has been named to the KHL Eastern Conference squad for the upcoming KHL All-Star Game. Ex-Lightning properties Mike Lundin (Astana) and Matt Gilroy (Mytischi) are also set to play in the contest.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Sherbrooke Phoenix 6 (SO)
C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 9/21 FO, 1 Hit
With Sherbrooke: 13 GP, 9-12-21, -3, 12 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 10-25-35, -9, 26 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
Darcy had another good night statistically for the Phoenix, but it was almost all for not as Sherbrooke lost leads of 4-0 after one period and 5-2 after two. They won the shootout 2-1 to take the extra point. Darcy did not have a shootout attempt.
Charlottetown Islanders 3 @ Quebec Remparts 2
W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 17/23 FO, 0 Hits
Season totals: 40 GP, 27-28-55, +18, 52 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Erne is now scoreless in two consecutive games for the second time this month. He had no two-game scoreless streaks all season leading up to January.
Ontario Hockey League
Peterborough Petes 1 @ Ottawa 67's 5
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 6-9-15, -23, 49 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Ottawa beat the Petes in a shootout Saturday night, then defeated them handily on Sunday for the weekend sweep.
Western Hockey League
Regina Pats 2 @ Calgary Hitmen 5
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 5-14-19, -1, 18 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Thomas had two assists to give him a goal and two helpers this weekend. Adam Tambellini (NYR) had a hat trick for Calgary. The Hitmen retired Ryan Getzlaf's jersey in a pre-game ceremony.
Should've saved some goals from last night.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the loss. Quality start, though, nonetheless.
BRI Mouillierat, (13) (Conacher, Quine), 14:30 (PP)
BRI Ness, (6) (McDonald, Conacher), 13:20 (PP)
SYR Smith, (9) (Corrente, Richard), 14:52
Vasilevskiy was the game's third star.
Syracuse ends the weekend 3 points back of Springfield in the division with 1 game in hand on the Falcons.
Box score from TheAHL.com.