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KHL Game Day: 1-23-13

KHL (Russia):
Chelyabinsk 4 vs. Magnitogorsk 1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 30 GP, 0-0-0, +6, 12 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov took a minor for roughing in 18:04 of ice time in Chelyabinsk's 4-1 win over Magnitogorsk. Nesterov has averaged 12:07 of ice time per game for the club so far this season. Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov and Caps first rounder Evgeny Kuznetsov each had 2 assists in the victory. Traktor plays Dynamo Moscow on Saturday.

Ufa 3 vs. Novosibirsk 1
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Season totals (KHL): 5 GP, 2-1-0, 1 SO, 1.82 GAA, .934 sv%
Season totals (MHL): 27 GP, 20-6-1, 3 SO, 1.93 GAA, .930 sv%

Ex-Lightning first rounder Alex Svitov scored his 7th goal of the season in Ufa's 3-1 win over Novosibirsk. They play Astana on Saturday.

Prospect of the Week: January 23, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for January 23 is … Cory Conacher, W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)

Last week the North American sports world’s biggest headlines were about a story that was fake. During the college football season, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o was the subject of multiple stories documenting his inspirational play in memory of his deceased girlfriend. It was a heart-wrenching story… until it was proven to be false. Te’o was allegedly the victim of a hoax and his girlfriend never existed beyond someone’s imagination.

The American sports fan was already cynical, and now their ability to engage in an emotional story will take a greater hit.

Don’t let it.

Good (true) stories still exist. Take Cory Conacher as an example.

Day-After Digest: Game 3 (Lightning 4, Hurricanes 1)

Part game recap, analysis and scouting report, the Day-After Digest appears after every Lightning game.

By Mike Gallimore

The Rundown

After sluggish starts against the Capitals and Islanders, the Lightning came out of the gate with a far better first period showing against the Hurricanes. Despite playing the second match of a back-to-back and for the third time in four days, the Bolts seemed surprisingly spry as they kept pace, avoided early penalty trouble and seized much of initial momentum en route to securing a 2-0 lead before heading into the middle frame. Jeff Skinner narrowed the gap early in the second when he managed to possess and backhand, in a terrific display of dexterity, a rebound up and over a down-and-out Mathieu Garon while leaning away from the net, but a day after being picked apart defensively, Tampa Bay stayed far more structured in all zones, executing cleaner exits and entries and found an extra gear to put the game out of reach with another strong showing in the third period.

"We want to wear teams down," Boucher remarked after game. "We know we've got the offense, we know we can punch at any moment but we don't want to force it."

Tom Pyatt, Cory Conacher, Keith Aulie and Ryan Malone scored for the Lightning, whose forwards buzzed Carolina's net all night long. Aside from the Pyatt goal, which came upon his reading Lecavalier pulling up and looking for a play, then slipping by a defender and deflecting a feed out of midair and past Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward, all came as a result of getting numbers near the paint. On the Lightning's second goal, Lecavalier brought the puck out of the corner and into the crease for a stuff-in attempt before Conacher followed up and put the loose rebound through Ward. The third goal saw Pyatt and Nate Thompson parked in front of Ward, screening him, as Aulie drifted in from above the circle to the face-off dot, spied a lane and fired the puck on and into the net. The final goal had three forwards down low on a late power play when Sami Salo cranked a long-range rocket that skittered to Martin St. Louis before Malone was finally able to chip in the rebound.

Boucher commended Lecavalier for "setting the tone" Tuesday night with his efforts in the offensive zone as well as for being "the first guy back defensively." Boucher added Vinny "is doing terrific work as the captain."

Mathieu Garon was spectacular in his season debut, even if he got a bit lucky being bailed out by his post and Alex Semin flubbing what appeared to be a sure goal. He wasn't beaten at even-strength and, whatever breaks he did get, he put on a show last night.

Dana Tyrell and Brendan Mikkelson also made their first appearances this season. Tyrell saw the least amount of action of all Tampa Bay skaters but still nearly double the ice time that Labrie, whom he replaced, did Monday afternoon. Mikkelson, in for Brian Lee, was effective in the 14:09 he played, taking no penalties, blocking several shots, landing a couple hits and moving the puck quickly to his outlets. He also made the cross-point pass on Aulie's goal that earned a primary assist.

NHL Game Night: 1-22-13 Lightning at Hurricanes

The Lightning deploy the secret weapon.

TB-4
CAR-1

Mathieu Garon allowed 1 goal on 36 shots for the win in his first start of the season. He gave the Canes nothing cheap and held his ground when the Lightning were under seige in the Second Period.

First Period
05:18 TB Pyatt (1), (Lecavalier, Carle)
11:36 TB Conacher (2), (Lecavalier, Purcell)

Second Period
03:35 CAR Skinner (1), (J. Staal, Semin)(PP)

Third Period
01:37 TB Aulie (1), (Mikkelson)
09:57 TB Malone (1), (St. Louis, Salo)(PP)

Vincent Lecavalier, Garon, and Cory Conacher were the game's three stars.

The Lightning deployed their secret weapon, Keith Aulie who reduced a former Cup winning goaltender to ash with a short side bullet for his first goal of the season. Keith Aulie has 2 points in 3 games now. I would've bet on just about every other player on the Lightning having 2 points or more right now before #3 would. Good for the big guy.

Aulie had 1 goal and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 12:20.

Conacher also had 1 goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 14:12. That's looking like the standard Conacher stat line early this year.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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