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NHL Game Night: 11-15-16 Lightning at Red Wings

Lightning get a big win, but possibly at a terrible price.

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DET-3

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory. Obviously it would've been nice if he could've maintained the lead in the Third Period by himself, but that 4-on-3 opportunity against was just a tough scramble play to defend. I can find no fault with either goal.

First Period
3:30 TB Kucherov (7), (Nesterov, Namestnikov)
6:09 TB Stamkos (9), (Hedman, Kucherov)
18:41 DET Nielsen (3), (Glendening)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
1:29 TB Nesterov (1), (Filppula, Namestnikov)(PP)
7:12 DET Sproul (1), (Green, Nyquist)(PP)
9:38 DET Zetterberg (3), (Mantha, Sproul)(PP)
18:50 TB Kucherov (8), (Coburn, Johnson)

Nikita Kucherov and Nikita Nesterov were the game's first and third stars.

The Lightning got a crucial point in a tough game on the back end of a back-to-back situation and generally did it the right way. They were opportunistic and made sure they jumped out to the fast start. They got a big assist from Petr Mrazek on a puck handling miscue that led to the first goal. That soft goal ended up being the margin of victory, as soft goals usually are. The Lightning then used the power play in the Third Period when King Chicken, Justin Abdelkader, took an undisciplined call at the end of the Second Period that Nesterov cashed in for the two goal lead. If there's a critique to be made in this game, it's getting undisciplined while trying to protect the lead and eventually letting Detroit tie it on two power play goals. I thought the Lightning were generally good 5 on 5 until their legs got heavy in the Third Period, so giving Detroit man advantages (albeit because the game was getting out of hand because the refs failed to throw Ott out for a clear charge where Ott left his feet and elbowed Paquette in the head in the Second Period) gave them a lifeline the Lightning didn't need to be giving them. Still, you have to be proud of the response by the Lightning to dig deep and get a couple of decent forechecking shifts late that led to Kucherov's game winning greasy goal.

These back-to-back wins were absolutely critical in the standings calculus. The Lightning now need just 3 points the remainder of this road trip to hit their quota of 12 points every 10 game segment to stay on playoff pace. Sneaking out of Detroit with 2 points is a fantastic result because of that.

But... it came at a price. Late in the First Period, while battling for a loose puck, Steven Stamkos appeared to twist his leg slightly and left the ice grabbing the back of his right knee. It didn't look like a particularly awful or awkward movement that he got hurt on, but it doesn't have to be to cause a serious injury. I'm not a doctor, but I'll play one on the internet right now: I'm hoping this is just a knee sprain and Stamkos just needs a week or two off to heal. Obviously, some sort of tear will be a far more significant blow to the team. Either way, it takes Stamkos off the ice at a time where he was starting to form one of the best lines in hockey with Kucherov and Namestnikov. If you're trying to find a silver lining, it's not like the Lightning don't have a clue how to win with Stamkos and Stralman out of the lineup. However, part of the reason the Lightning weathered that storm the last time was a healthy Jonathan Drouin, who needs to return from his (presumed) concussion soon, please.

My apologies to the entire Tampa Bay Lightning fan base for having to watch the game on NBCSN tonight. The play-by-play and color was fine, but the studio crew of Mike Milbury and Keith Jones continues to prove they are, collectively, dumb as a stone. How do I hate thee, Mike Milbury? Let me count the ways. Was it the condescending way you remarked in pregame that somehow Steven Stamkos must like playing in Tampa Bay, as if that somehow makes him a strange dude? No, you're right, Mike, Stamkos is totally wrong to want to play for a now perennial Stanley Cup contender in a town where the average temperature in January is approximately 75 degrees and his effective tax rate is pennies on the dollar. He's clearly the wrong one, not you, Mike Milbury. Was it Tappen then asking Milbury what the Edmonton Oilers need to do to turn their season around? As if Milbury has a clue!? Folks, there's two things Mike Milbury is an expert on: beating people with shoes (not tying his own, though), and burning down a once proud franchise like he did to the Islanders as GM (big ups to you, Alexei Yashin). If you need advice about that, turn to Milbury. If you need advice about anything else, including basic arithmetic, you're better off consulting a trained monkey.

Then, oh how I enjoyed the NBCSN lionizing of King Chicken Justin Abdelkader. Yes, NBCSN, it truly takes a warrior to needlessly spear Alex Killorn at the end of the Second Period and eventually give Tampa Bay a critical power play goal. If I'm starting a Zaxby's franchise, I'd love me some Justin Abdelkader. For my hockey team, not so much. The capper was, of course, the snap reaction to the game praising Detroit's heart after they got stomped by Montreal in their last game. Wait, WHAT? They give trophies for trying now on NBCSN!?!? Are you kidding? And, you're going to praise DETROIT'S heart? Not the team that dug down to pull out a win on the downside of a back-to-back? Not the team playing without it's #2 defenseman already and that saw it's captain and best goal scorer leave the game late in the First Period to a potentially scary knee injury? No, you're right, the Detroit Red Wings, possessors of plenty of chickens and no nuggets, are the ones with HEART! Because Milbury and Jones proclaim it!

I pray for a day when the NHL grows enough in prominence the United States that people take more notice of this buffoonery and demand these fools be swept off the airwaves. In the meantime, their sole utility is to remind us that maybe Paul Kennedy and Brian Engblom aren't so bad on the local broadcasts after all. Maybe.

Brayden Point was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot on goal in 13:14. Very brave move by King Chicken Abdelkader to decide to thug it up on young Point after the whistle in the Second Period. Truly, that was a moment of bravery that was worthy of NBCSN's praise. It takes a real manly man to pick on a 20 year old rookie who is listed at 166 pounds. Heck, Abdelkader probably lays eggs that weigh more than Point. Is this really the guy you want to hitch your hype machine up to NBCSN? Really? Care to rethink that?

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 13:29.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

MHL Game Day: 11-15-16

St. Petersburg Jr. 2 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 0
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, E, 6 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 34 PIM

Oleg Sosunov had a minor for interference and a four minute double minor for roughing in Loko Jr.'s 2-0 loss to St. Petersburg Jr.

KHL Game Day: 11-15-16

St. Petersburg 9 vs. Astana 0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-4-5, +4, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 29 GP, 13-27-40, +30, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had an even strength goal and four helpers, two of which came with the man advantage, as SKA destroyed Barys Astana 9-0. Gusev, amazingly, played just 12:50 in the match. He is still third in the KHL in scoring, but is now just 3 points back of Sergei Mozyakin and Ilya Kovalchuk for the top spot and is tied with ex-Oilers pick Linus Omark for first in the league in helpers. Gusev's linemate, ex-Pather Evgeny Dadonov, had the big game for SKA with 4 goals and 5 points in the win. Just as a reminder, 31 games into the season, St. Petersburg has just one loss in regulation thus far. One.

NHL Game Night: 11-14-16 Lightning at Islanders

UNLEASH THE KITTENS!

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Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout win. He looked about as solid as the security around Fort Knox all night. He didn't face a ton of chances in the middle frame, in particular, but even if he had, the Isles were getting nothing from Vasiy tonight. Vasilevskiy's next decision will graduate him from prospect status on the website.

First Period
18:58 TB Brown (2), (Paquette, Coburn)
19:40 TB Callahan (1), (Sustr, Hedman)

Second Period
14:24 TB Kucherov (6), (Stamkos)(PP)
17:02 TB Namestnikov (3), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Steven Stamkos, Vasilevskiy, and Nikita Nesterov were the game's three stars. Why Nesterov? 19:24 of ice time filling in for the injured Anton Stralman. Nesterov played almost 20 minutes and the Lightning got a shutout? You'd have gotten good odds in Vegas against that, I'm sure.

The Lightning should just petition the league to play the Isles every single game. They'll go 82-0. The Islanders really tried in this game, unlike how they folded like a cheap tent in the first of the three encounters against Tampa Bay. But, with two quick strikes at the end of the First Period, the Lightning again took the heart of the allegedly rough, tough, and gritty Islanders. The Lightning then put on an absolute clinic in the Second Period before garbage time in the Third Period when Vasilevskiy raised the force fields to preserve his shutout.

Brayden Point was +1 with 1 shot in 16:07.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:16.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

MHL Game Day: 11-14-16

St. Petersburg Jr. 4 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 3
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 28 PIM

Oleg Sosunov had a minor for cross checking in Loko Jr's 4-3 loss to St. Petersburg Jr.

CHL Game Night: 11-13-16

Ontario Hockey League

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Oshawa Generals 4

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 17/21 FO, *First Star*
Season Totals: 17 GP, 11-14-25, +15, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

Cirelli scored on the power play from the left wing circle to lead the Gens to a 4-2 win over visiting Oshawa. He later assisted on a shorthanded, empty-net goal to seal the game.

Erie Otters 2 @ North Bay Battalion 3 (OT)

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 19 GP, 18-27-45, +31, 13 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

One game after Raddysh had his 17-game point streak snapped he was back on the scoreboard, albeit in an overtime loss.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 5 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 3

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 19 GP: 0-9-9, -2, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Hajek registered his ninth assist of the year in a win over Lethbridge.

NCAA Game Night: 11-13-16

Maine Black Bears 1 @ No. 5 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 4

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 11 GP, 2-5-7, +4, 2 PIM

Lohin had a goal and an assist to help the River Hawks to a 4-1 win over Maine Sunday. Maine beat UML on Friday. This was Lohin's second 1+1 game in the last eight days.

KHL Game Day: 11-13-16

Yaroslavl 1 vs. St. Petersburg 7
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 12-23-35, +26, 4 PIM

Nikita Gusev had an even strength goal and helper in SKA's 7-1 win over Yaroslavl. He played just 12:36 in the match. Gusev's linemate Vadim Shipachyov led the way for SKA with 2 goals and 4 points in the win.

CHL Game Night: 11-12-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 7

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 4-0-4, +2, 4 PIM, 4 SOG, 4 Hits, *First Star*
Season Totals: 19 GP, 11-5-16, 1, 16 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 3-0-3, +4, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 0 Hits, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 19 GP, 19-12-31, +12, 13 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph and Imama both scored for the fifth straight game, but this time they both scored hat tricks – Imama with four goals. Jaws are dropping. Joseph re-took the league goal-scoring lead at 19. He’s fourth in points.

Charlottetown Islanders 4 @ Halifax Mooseheads 7

W Otto Somppi, HAL: Did not play
Season Totals: 16 GP, 5-6-11, -4, 12 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Somppi missed his third straight game, the last two when Halifax has scored a total of 16 goals.

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 2 @ Hamilton Bulldogs 1 (OT)

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 11/20 FO
Season Totals: 16 GP, 10-13-23, +13, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

The Gens tied the game in the third period, then won in overtime vs. Hamilton. Cirelli did not find the scoresheet.

Sudbury Wolves 1 @ Niagara IceDogs 3

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season Totals: 18 GP, 10-6-16, -5, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

No scoring for Paquette, but Niagara got the win vs. Sudbury.

Erie Otters 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 18 GP, 18-26-44, +31, 13 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season: 18 GP, 6-7-13, +1, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 44 GP, 13-28-41, -10 19 PIM

Raddysh had his 17-game point streak snapped by Katchouk and the Greyhounds.

Peterborough Petes 4 @ Saginaw Spirit 7

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season Totals: 10 GP, 1-3-4, -3, 8 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

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 13/23 FO
Season Totals: 14 GP, 7-7-14, +7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

Tammela was not in the lineup after playing the last two games. He had missed every game but the last two due to a lower-body injury. Mitchell Stephens scored his seventh goal of the year in the win – Saginaw’s second straight.

Western Hockey League

Prince George Cougars 7 @ Kamloops Blazers 0

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Loss, 24 saves on 28 shots
Season Totals: 17 GP, 9-7-1-0, 2.17 GAA, .931 sv%, 1 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram had allowed four goals on 28 shots through two periods before getting the hook. Kamloops rarely gives up that many shots in a game, not to mention two periods.

Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Medicine Hat Tigers 6

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -1, 19 PIM
Season Totals: 18 GP: 0-8-8, -3, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Hajek fought Zach Fisher and was given a 10-misconduct for starting the fight. It was Hajek’s first fight of the season and second overall in the WHL.

Red Deer Rebels 8 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 7 (OT)

C Brett Howden, MJ: Did not play
Season Totals: 11 GP, 9-5-14, -2, 6 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Howden remains out of the Moose Jaw lineup with an undisclosed injury.

NCAA Game Night: 11-12-16

Vermont Catamounts 2 @ UMass Minutemen 1

C Ross Colton, UVM: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 9 GP, 1-2-3, +1, 4 PIM

Vermont improved to 2-2 in Hockey East, beating UMass, 2-1. They are 5-3-1 overall.

No. 4 Boston University Terriers 4 @ No. 18 Michigan Wolverines 2

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 9 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 10 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 26 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 26 PIM

BU avenged a Friday loss to Michigan with a win Saturday. Unlike last year, MacLeod seems to be a regular in the Terrier lineup, which is a huge plus.

Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 6 @ Miami-Ohio Redhawks 2

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-1-0, 3.02 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Omaha swept their weekend series with Dan Boyle’s alma mater. Oldham, a freshman, sat for both games behind sophomore Evan Weninger (undrafted).

*USCHO poll used for rankings

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