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NHL Game Night: 12-20-16 Red Wings at Lightning

Lightning dominate Wings even as injuries continue to mount.

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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.

First Period
7:02 TB Boyle (7), (Stralman, Drouin)

Second Period
7:41 TB Drouin (8), (Killorn, Johnson)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (3), (Johnson, Hedman)
19:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Killorn, Point)

Third Period
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.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 12-20-16

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.

MHL Game Day: 12-20-16

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.

CHL Game Night: 12-18-16

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.

AHL Game Night: 12-18-16 Crunch at Bruins

Crunch drop finale of 3 game weekend set.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the loss.

First Period
13:57 PRO Kuraly (3), (Porter, White)

Second Period
7:24 SYR Halmo (8), (unassisted)
12:43 PRO DeBrusk (5), (Grzelcyk, Grant)

Third Period
18:09 PRO Vatrano (2), (Heinen, Cross)(EN)

Mike Halmo was the game's third star.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 12-17-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 2 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 8

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 1-2-3, +1, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 31 GP, 20-8-28, +5, 40 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

One day after a snowstorm forced the postponement of a Halifax-Saint John matchup the Dogs put a snowman on the board against the Islanders. Imama now has 20 goals in 31 games. He had 30 in his entire QMJHL career coming into this season (210 games). Let that sink in.

Moncton Wildcats 6 @ Halifax Mooseheads 4

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 2-1-3, +1, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, 16/26 FO, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 28 GP, 8-14-22, -3, 18 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Somppi scored twice and added an assist, but it wasn’t enough for Halifax, who lost to Moncton, 6-4. Somppi’s second of the game cut the Wildcats’ lead to 5-4 at 7:58 of the third period. That was the closest they’d come. This was Somppi’s first multi-goal game since February 4 of last year. He has three 2-goal games in his brief QMJHL career.

Shawinigan Cataractes 6 @ Quebec Remparts 1

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 4 Hits
Season Totals: 28 GP, 22-17-39, +9, 32 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

One game after putting five points on the board vs. the Sags, Yan scored once in Shawinigan’s 6-1 win in Quebec City. Yan has six goals and seven assists in six December games.

NOTE: The QMJHL is on break until December 28.

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Niagara IceDogs 4 (SO)

W/C Christopher Paquette, NIA: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 31 GP, 12-15-27, -5, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

Niagara was down 2-0, then up 3-2 late before Windsor forced overtime. The IceDogs won in a shootout. Paquette had two points in regulation, but was not one of the five shooters for Niagara in the circus. Former Bolt prospect Cristiano DiGiacinto had a goal and two assists for the Spits. The former sixth rounder has eight goals and 11 helpers in 21 games this year.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Regina Pats 7

C Brett Howden, MJ: 1-1-2, -3, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 20 GP, 15-16-31, +3, 15 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Moose Jaw heads into the break with a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Pats, whom the Warriors upset on Friday night. Howden’s goal put Moose Jaw up 3-2 entering the third period Saturday before Regina scored five times in the final frame – none into an empty net. The Warriors gave the Pats just their third loss of the season on Friday.

NOTE: 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.

NHL Game Night: 12-17-16 Lightning at Oilers

Lightning close out a .500 road trip.

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EDM-3 (SO)

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 32 shots before allowing 2 of 3 to convert in the Shootout for the penalty shot session loss. What's the difference between this game and the game against Vancouver? One less bit of bad luck, but more importantly better situational goaltending and no softies. Bishop made sure the Lightning kept contact in the First and Second Periods. It's a shame his PK couldn't help him get it over the finish line in regulation. He played well.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
3:58 EDM Lucic (9), (Draisaitl, Sekera)(PP)
18:59 TB Drouin (7), (Hedman, Point)(PP)

Third Period
2:35 TB Johnson (9), (Conacher, Nesterov)
7:03 EDM Draisaitl (14), (Letestu, Sekera)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Drouin
EDM- Letestu, McDavid

Victor Hedman was the game's second star. He played 28:26 tonight on the tail of a back-to-back and was good from the first shift to the last.

Coming into this game, after looking underwhelming against the Canucks and losing Paquette from the lineup, the expectations were low for the night. In pregame, the HNIC crew didn't mince words about Tampa's chances, or lack thereof. The Lightning weathered kind of a tough First Period just continued to get stronger at 5v5 as the game wore on. By the Third Period, despite being the more road weary team, they were fairly dominant in possession and managed to build the 2-1 lead. It's tough that they couldn't close it out in regulation and tough Namestnikov had a chance in OT that came within an eyelash of securing the second point, but there was a lot to like tonight. Under the gun with roster issues and fatigue issues, the Lightning trusted their structure and played well within it. When guys like Palat and Kucherov return, there's reasons for optimism even though there's no moral victories with the standings situation what it is at the moment.

Brayden Point had a helper, 2 PIMs, and 1 shot in 23:33. He was also 30% on 10 draws. Tonight was one of the 2-3 best games he's had all season, faceoffs aside, and his ice time reflected it.

Slater Koekkoek had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 7:23. He got on the wrong side of a 50/50 play and took the penalty that allowed Edmonton to tie the game at 2-2. Later in the game he made a decent breakout play under duress in a key shift late in the Third Period. Mixed bag.

Joel Vermin had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 9:42. He crushed Sekera on a hit that was a thing of beauty.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-17-16 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Saturday night's alright for fighting.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 13 shots before getting booted from the contest for fighting. Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 10 shots the rest of the way in cleanup duty to claim the rare bird that is the backdoor win.

First Period
14:01 SYR Hart (2), (Thomas, Peca)(PP)
14:47 SYR Gourde (8), (Brodeur, Bournival)
15:03 SYR Morin (4), (Dotchin, Taormina)

Second Period
9:24 BRI Gionta (1), (K. Jones, C. Jones)
14:05 BRI Pulock (1), (Toews, Kearns)
17:32 BRI Mayfield (2), (Kearns, St. Denis)
19:56 SYR Halmo (7), (Taormina, Gourde)

Third Period
5:53 SYR Comrie (2), (Taormina, Peca)(PP)

Matt Taormina and Matthew Peca were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse scorched their way to a 3-0 lead in the First Period and looked completely in control until 9:25 of the Second Period when Stephen Gionta scored Bridgeport's first goal and the following insanity broke loose:

Quote:
09:24 SYR Jake Dotchin, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Jake Dotchin, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Leaving the crease, 2 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Kristers Gudlevskis, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Daniel Walcott, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Daniel Walcott, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Slashing, 2 min PP
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 SYR Luke Witkowski, Misconduct - Continuing altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Patrick Cullity, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Patrick Cullity, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Kellen Jones, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Kellen Jones, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min
09:24 BRI Scott Mayfield, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Leaving the crease, 2 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Fighting, 5 min
09:24 BRI Stephon Williams, Game misconduct - Secondary altercation, 10 min

And a good time was had by all. Syracuse blew the 3 goal lead but were able to eventually regain the winning edge with a late Second Period marker by Halmo.

Syracuse is now 4 points clear of the rest of the North Division in first place and 6 points back of the conference lead with games in hand.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-16-16 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Goaltending duel settled in the penalty shot session.

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HFD-2 (SO)

Adam Wilcox allowed 1 goal on 29 shots before conceding to both shooters he faced in the Shootout for the loss.

First Period
2:30 SYR Hart (1), (Erne, Thomas)
2:45 HFD Tambellini (4), (Kovacs, Jensen)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- NONE
HFD- Tambellini, Jensen

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-16-16 Lightning at Canucks

Self-inflicted gunshot wound claims Lightning's collective foot.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss. One of those goals was an egregious soft goal that, as soft goals often are, became the margin in this game, sans the meaningless empty netter at the end of the contest. After seemingly pulling even with Ben Bishop about a month ago, Vasilevskiy has slid back a little bit as his game has sagged a little behind the Lightning's dubious defensive efforts.

First Period
6:31 TB Hedman (6), (Filppula, Boyle)

Second Period
1:37 VAN Sutter (8), (Granlund, Eriksson)
13:25 VAN Sbisa (1), (Burrows, Baertschi)

Third Period
3:53 TB Conacher (1), (Drouin, Hedman)(PP)
7:46 VAN Horvat (9), (Eriksson, Granlund)(PP)
19:13 VAN Burrows (6), (Horvat)(EN)

Victor Hedman was, rightfully, the game's second star. He's really elevated his play so far on this road trip.

There are plenty of excuses that could be made for this defeat. Horvat's game winner was a bit of a freak goal on a horribly unlucky bounce that nobody could really be faulted with. The Lightning are also now playing without Stamkos, Kucherov, and Palat. Etc. Etc. Ultimately, though, excuses are irrelevant in the cold calculus of the standings. Against a lower rung team like Vancouver, the Lightning simply have to find ways to manufacture points or they're going to slide so far behind schedule that their playoff hopes cannot recover.

Brayden Point was -3 with 2 shots and 2 hits and he was 50% on 10 draws in 15:36.

Slater Koekkoek was -2 with 1 hit in 14:25. Lost a board battle cleanly to allow Vancouver's first goal.

Joel Vermin had 1 blocked shot in 9:07.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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