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KHL Game Day: 1-20-16

Novgorod 1 vs. Yaroslavl 2 (SO)
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 41 GP, 11-9-20, +3, 61 PIM

Carter Ashton was scoreless in 18:48 of ice time in Novgorod's 2-1 SO loss to Yaroslavl. Ex-Kings forward Andrei Loktionov had the Shootout winner for Yaroslavl.

Juniors Game Night: 1-19-16

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 1 @ Edmonton Oil Kings 3

C Brayden Point, MJ: Did not play
Season totals: 22 GP, 20-29-49, +13, 17 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 38-49-87, +6, 46 PIM

Point was not in the lineup Tuesday in Edmonton as he was suspended one game for a clipping major.

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Tri-City Americans 5

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 49 GP, 4-14-18, -19, 28 PIM
With Vancouver: 35 GP, 4-11-15, -9, 18 PIM
With Calgary: 14 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 10 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Thomas has one assist in his last eight games. Vancouver dropped a decision to Portland on Monday. Thomas was -1 in that game.

NHL Game Night: 1-19-16 Oilers at Lightning

Lightning win 80's throwback night at Amalie.

EDM-4
TB-6

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the victory. Two short side goals and a whole lot of rebounds handed out. This was a rough outing for Vasilevskiy, and the silver lining is the team managed to find a way to pull it out for him anyway. That hasn't happened much for Lightning goaltenders this season, so the role reversal was a nice change of pace.

First Period
3:57 TB Nesterov (3), (Killorn, Sustr)
5:25 EDM Kassian (1), (Pakarinen)
16:57 TB Kucherov (19), (Johnson, Killorn)
19:26 EDM Letestu (7), (Nurse)(SH)

Second Period
6:09 TB Palat (4), (Namestnikov, Stamkos)
17:12 TB Namestnikov (10), (Palat, Stamkos)

Third Period
2:10 EDM Draisaitl (11), (Hall, Kassian)
4:29 EDM Pakarinen (4), (unassisted)
7:42 TB Boyle (9), (Coburn, Brown)(SH)
19:33 TB Killorn (8), (Kucherov)(EN)

Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn were the game's first and second stars.

So, now that they've re-found their goal scoring groove, the Lightning got away with a night of pond hockey against Edmonton. That won't please Jon Cooper. Too many turnovers. Too many odd man rushes. Too many plays that weren't situationally smart, especially early in the Third Period. And, it was all compounded by some subpar goaltending. Maybe it's fitting that Edmonton was the opponent in a game that took a definite 1980's feel in the style department. I'm not inclined to freak out about it, because the Lightning haven't played many games this wide open all year, but they do need to get back to a responsible mindset with a beast like Chicago coming to town... because 6 is a fluke, 7 is a streak.

The good news: the Palat/Namestnikov/Stamkos line is the truth, and Kucherov is starting to pull Johnson and Killorn along with him to build a second, potent scoring line. The Lightning never had a second scoring line last season despite leading the league in goals. If they can piece two together down the stretch and into a presumptive playoff run, they'll be that much more dangerous in the postseason. And, if they ever find anything approaching consistency on the power play, well, that's the stuff of dreams and legends, isn't it?

Advancing to 6-0-0 in this 10-game segment of the season, the Lightning now have 4 games to pay down/off their 6 point season deficit and get on firm pace to make the playoffs. There's still a lot of work to do, but even going .500 the next 4 games would put the Lightning in considerably better shape than they were after the stinker they laid in Calgary just a couple of weeks ago. Also, with the win, the Lightning have pulled to within 3 points of idle Florida for the top spot in the Atlantic Division with another head-to-head matchup between the two clubs coming up in 4 days.

"But Pete, don't you tell us to ignore the standings and keep an eye on the segment goals?" Yes, yes I do. But, I'm willing to forego that discipline on this one occasion because I really hate the Panthers with the intense burning heat of about 1,000 exploding suns and it would bring me infinite joy to pass them like a road cone on the way to the playoffs while they're still in the haze of the false euphoria of their precious little turn-of-the-year winning streak.

Bring forth the Governor's Cup and I shall use it as a chalice to hold the bitter tears of Panther fan(s), to be garnished by their broken dreams (and a lime)!

Nikita Nesterov had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 17:08. Nesterov certainly looked like he was in his element playing in a game this wide open. He really appeared to savor it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 1-19-16

St. Petersburg 4 vs. Novokuznetsk 0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 25 GP, 11-16-27, +6, 2 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 48 GP, 18-23-41, +12, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had a power play helper on ex-Panthers pick Evgeny Dadonov's goal in SKA's 4-0 blanking of Novokuznetsk. Dadonov also had a pair of helpers in the win. Ex-Islanders second rounder Mikko Koskinen stopped all 20 shots he faced for the shutout.

AHL Game Day: 1-18-16 Crunch at Americans

Crunch Brolldoze to a MLK Day win.

SYR-2
RCH-1

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Erne, (7) (Gudlevskis), 1:23

Third Period
SYR Broll, (2) (Ikonen), 2:45
RCH Bailey, (6) (Ellis, Austin), 4:09

Gudlevskis and David Broll were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse is 5-3-2 in their last 10, which closely corresponds to the beginning of Drouinsanity.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Game Day: 1-18-16

Ekaterinburg 6 vs. Magnitogorsk 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, No Decision, 2/3, 3.79 GAA, .667 sv%
Season totals: 44 GP, 20-13-8, 2 SO, 2.17 GAA, .923 sv%

Caps first rounder Ilya Samsonov allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss as Magnitka fell hard, 6-3 to Ekaterinburg. 33 year old Czech national Petr Koukal had 2 goals and 3 points for Ekaterinburg in the win.

Juniors Game Night: 1-17-16

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 4 @ Oshawa Generals 2

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 6/16 FO
Season totals: 39 GP, 12-21-33, -12 19 PIM
2014-15 totals: 68 GP, 13-23-36, +34, 22 PIM

Travis Konecny (Flyers) had two goals and an assist for Sarnia.

Windsor Spitfires 0 @ Saginaw Spirit 2

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 15-20-35, +23, 53 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG, 5/20 FO
Season totals: 14 GP, 9-7-16, +5, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 62 GP, 22-26-48, -17, 44 PIM

Saginaw’s Evan Cormier (2016) stopped 29 shots for the shutout. DiGiacinto’s scoreless streak reached four games.

Peterborough Petes 4 @ Guelph Storm 3 (SO)

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 5-12-17, +22, 28 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 3-16-19, E, 31 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

Masin extended his point streak to five games with an assist. Guelph is the worst team in the league, point-wise, yet is on a 3-0-0-1 streak.

NHL Game Night: 1-17-16 Panthers at Lightning

5 is a fluke. 6 is a streak.

FLA-1
TB-3

Ben Bishop sparkled down the stretch of the game, and ended up allowing just 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory in the duel with Luongo.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
4:21 TB Kucherov (17), (Nesterov, Stralman)
18:30 TB Sustr (2), (Garrison, Filppula)

Third Period
8:06 FLA Bjugstad (8), (Jokinen)
18:36 TB Kucherov (18), (Hedman)(EN)

Nikita Kucherov, Bishop, and Andrej Sustr were the game's three stars.

The Lightning controlled the bulk of this game, and the Panthers were very fortunate just to have a chance to pull the game out late. Tyler Johnson had the kill shot on his stick 2-3 times and just couldn't get it to go, including a rebound chance he chunked off the post that nearly ricocheted in anyway. Ultimately, though, the Lightning probably sealed the game on a marathon PK that saw the Lightning weather nearly the full 2 minutes in their own end and still maintain their positional discipline. It was majestic.

The Lightning advance to 5-0-0 in this 10-game segment of the season, and now have set themselves up with a chance to get on really solid footing for the playoff chase. In fact, with the Florida Panthers coming up on the schedule again in about a week, the team has a really unique opportunity to interject themselves fully into the division title hunt, as nobody in the Atlantic Division has really been all that consistent thus far this year. Edmonton is next on Tuesday, with the opportunity to hit the 12 point mark for this 10-game segment in a perfect 6 games.

Jonathan Marchessault had 2 shots and 1 hit in 8:45. In limited ice time, he looked dangerous offensively.

Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:28. He's terrifying to watch if teams get their forecheck on him in deep, but he's been excellent otherwise and he's been collecting pluses at a big clip lately.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 1-17-16

KalPa 2 vs. Sport 6
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 27 GP, 4-6-10, +8, 14 PIM

Jonne Tammela was scoreless in 14:48 in Kalpa's 6-2 loss at the hands of Sport. Ex-Rangers farmhand Jarkko Immonen led the way for Sport with 1 goal and 4 assists.

KHL Game Day: 1-17-16

Astana 5 vs Novgorod 2
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, DNP
Season totals: 40 GP, 11-9-20, +3, 61 PIM

Ex-Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin had a power play goal in Astana's 5-2 win over Novgorod. Ex-Lightning forward Brandon Bochenski had two helpers in the win while former Lightning pick Ilya Solarev went scoreless in the match. Solarev had 1 assist and is a -4 in 18 games this season with Barys Astana.

St. Petersburg 6 vs. Novosibirsk 2
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 2-1-3, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 24 GP, 11-15-26, +6, 2 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 47 GP, 18-22-40, +12, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had 2 power play goals and an even strength helper in 14:40 of ice time to help SKA pummel Novosibirsk 6-2. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk had 3 assists in the victory, including helpers on each of Gusev's goals.

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