Gourde, Yanni

NHL Game Night: 11-16-17 Stars at Lightning

Lightning pummel ex-mate Bishop in his return to Tampa.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. The typical formula applied. He made a handful of important situational saves early in the game, allowing the Lightning the time to start pulling away in the Second Period.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:47 TB Stamkos (9), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)
3:34 DAL Faksa (4), (unassisted)
4:51 TB Sergachev (5), (Killorn, Johnson)
11:20 TB Point (8), (unassisted)(SH)

Third Period
3:57 TB Stamkos (10), (Kucherov, Namestnikov)
8:18 TB Dotchin (2), (Sergachev, Stamkos)
13:52 TB Kucherov (17), (Hedman, Stamkos)

Steven Stamkos, Mikhail Sergachev, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

Impressive showing by the Lightning. They showed no rust at all in the first game from a road trip, outskating and outpossessing Dallas by a significant margin in the First Period. The game got a lot more even in the Second Period as the Lightning took a few penalties, but the Lightning's special teams paid off with a PP and SH goal in the frame, and that allowed them to start to pull away. At 5 on 5, there's few teams that seem to be able to touch this team. On the power play, they're lethal. And, on the penalty kill, the injection of players like Point and Gourde have added a lethal element that gives teams very little respite. Some team or two is going to get their act together over the course of the season and lay down their marker as a potential contender, but right now the league is looking like the Tampa Bay Lightning and then everyone else so far this year.

With the victory, the Lightning stand at 32 points through 19 games, meaning with 1 game to go in the second 10-game segment of the year the Lightning have already banked 8 insurance points. Remarkable.

Yanni Gourde was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 21:33. He was also 40% on 5 draws.

Jake Dotchin had his second NHL goal and was +1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 16:21. Thought his goal was maybe a touch on the soft side, but he had a scoring chance earlier in the game where I thought he might've been a little luckier on the outcome, so these things even out.

Sergachev had a goal and an assist and was +3 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 14:16. His goal was kind of a lucky shot that deflected on a long point shot off a Dallas defender and went straight into the top corner. This is why Cooper preaches shooting the puck. The helper on Dotchin's goal was nothing fancy, but kind of epitomized how he played all night, using his mobility to support the play in all three zones.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-12-17 Lightning at Ducks

Dominant Lightning need some Vasilarceny to complete California sweep.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. He didn't have a ton of saves to make in the first 40 minutes but found himself locked in an absolute duel with John Gibson standing on his head at the other end of the rink. The sealer was an theft of thefts by Vasilevskiy pushing to his left and robbing a one timer on the PK late in the Third Period. My gosh, what a save. I though he had no chance.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
9:12 TB Nametnikov (9), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
3:48 ANH Silfverberg (5), (Wagner, Cogliano)
7:18 TB Brown (1), (Kunitz, Callahan)

Vladislav Namestnikov and Victor Hedman were the game's second and third stars. Quite the spiteful, bitter, sour grapes move by the Anaheim media to snub Vasilevskiy from a star. Truly.

Tampa Bay deserved the victory tonight. The first 40 minutes of this contest were an absolute clinic. Tampa Bay had all of the puck and a ton of scoring chances and Gibson had to play one of the best games of his life just to hold Anaheim in the game. The Third Period was more of a Ducks period with the ice titled by score effects and the Lightning got an amazing goal from J.T. Brown and a ton of great saves by Vasilevskiy to get it over the finish line.

The Lightning only won 48% of their draws tonight, but that's better than I'd have thought with this many young centermen playing against any team that has Antoine Vermette. Pleasant surprise.

Tampa Bay clinches another successful 10-game segment of the season with the win, now sitting at 13 points through 8 games of the segment. They also pot 1 insurance point giving them 6 insurance points on the season with 2 games left to rack up more in this segment.

Yanni Gourde was -1 with 2 shots in 16:16. He was also 40% on 5 draws.

Jake Dotchin had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 15:48.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:18. He's going to want to burn the tape of that Third Period. Made a poor turnover on Anaheim's only goal and another in the Ducks zone later in the period that led to a 2-on-1 where Vasilevskiy had to make a dynamite save to bail him out. Bad Sergachev makes poor decisions and/or is too light on his stick passing it. I haven't seen bad Sergachev much recently, but he snuck on the rink in the final frame tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-9-17 Lightning at Kings

Lightning opens gates of hell in the First Period in Los Angeles. No Kings spared.

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Much maligned Petr Budaj allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the win. He made a critical save on Koptar early on in the game on a bang bang play that led to Kucherov's breakaway goal. That's making the situational save you need for the W.

First Period
9:27 TB Kucherov (16), (Stamkos, Koekkoek)
10:01 TB Killorn (2), (Girardi, Johnson)
10:35 TB Hedman (2), (Gourde, Palat)
11:29 TB Stamkos (8), (Killorn, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
17:31 LA Toffoli (8), (Kopitar, Muzzin)

Third Period
8:39 LA Fantenberg (1), (Brown, Laich)
12:59 TB Namestnikov (8), (Hedman, Kucherov)

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars.

Petr Budaj makes a big situational save, Kucherov scores on a breakaway at the other end, and the Lightning just erupt all over the Kings in a game that was over after less than a dozen minutes. The first 37 or so minutes tonight were just one long replay of the Second Period dominance the Lightning displayed against San Jose last night. Honestly, were it not for Quick, the Kings would've easily let up 8 or 9 goals tonight as the Lightning had something like 23 scoring chances through the first two periods. Quick almost gave the Kings a chance, but a well played replay challenge by Cooper and the Gang at the end of the Second Period helped the team maintain a 3 goal advantage through 40 minutes and it was off to garbage time for the second night in a row. And, to all a good night.

Things that'll make your mind explode: Namestnikov's on a pace for about 39 goals. Not a typo.

Tonight's victory means the Lightning are within an eyelash of clinching their second successful 10-game segment of the year. After collecting a stylish 17 points in 10 games to start the year, they have 11 points in this second segment with 3 more games to play. So, with 1 more point they'll have nabbed the 12 in 10, and anything after that is just more insurance points in the bank. It's a beautiful thing.

Slater Koekkoek had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 6:22.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and he was 60% on 5 draws. As always, the Stamkos line provides the bulk of the firepower, but the Palat/Point/Gourde line sets the pace for the Lightning.

Gabriel Dumont had 3 shots and 2 hits and was 63% on 8 draws in 9:56 as he jumped in to replace an injured Ryan Callahan in the lineup.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 16:45.

Mikhail Sergachev had 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-8-17 Lightning at Sharks

Lightning speed slays Sharks.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for the victory. He conceded an unlucky goal on the first shift of the game on a puck that deflected off Callahan's stick. After that, he made two or three ridiculous saves in the First Period to allow the team to find their equilibrium, after which the rest of his night was thankfully light work.

First Period
0:25 SJ Donskoi (5), (Thornton, Pavelski)
7:17 TB Dotchin (1), (Point, Gourde)

Second Period
0:44 TB Kucherov (15), (Namestnikov, Stamkos)
9:21 TB Koekkoek (3), (Gourde, Stralman)
12:00 TB Namestnikov (6), (Stamkos, Kucherov)

Third Period
6:14 TB Namestnikov (7), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

San Jose had no answer for the quickness of the Tampa Bay Lightning. None. The Lightning not only can outskate San Jose man for man, but they moved the puck so quickly and crisply, especially in the Second Period, the Sharks had no prayer. No prayer. The Lightning won pretty much every 50/50 puck and then just carved up the slower Sharks defense. Cooper will have some coachable things if he wants them because the Lightning had some bad habits creep in during garbage time in the Third Period, but other than that this was a clinic, on balance.

Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 9:14. His goal was a short side softie allowed by Martin Jones, who looked awful tonight en route to being lifted after two periods.

Yanni Gourde had 2 helpers and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 17:46. He was also 17% on 6 draws. The Stamkos and Kucherov line get all the plaudits, but I thought the line with Gourde and Point along with Palat were almost as good tonight and were crucial to helping the Lightning get their footing back after falling behind after the first shift tonight.

Jake Dotchin had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:01. He got it the way you'd want it: blew a slapshot through the goaltender for his first in the bigs.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 15:26.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-4-17 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Vasilevskiy redeemed after regulation time.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots before stopping 3 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. He let Columbus back in the game with a soft wraparound goal in the Third Period, but made up for it with a huge save on the PK in OT and a couple of acrobatic stops in the Shootout.

First Period
2:30 CBJ Jones (3), (unassisted)
2:54 TB Point (7), (Brown, Girardi)
3:32 TB Kucherov (14), (Sergachev, Namestnikov)
10:55 CBJ Werenski (4), (Dubois, Hannikainen)

Second Period
6:20 TB Stamkos (7), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)
18:01 TB Gourde (4), (Killorn, Hedman)

Third Period
9:46 CBJ Hannikainen (2), (Milano, Jones)
11:45 CBJ Dubinsky (1), (Jenner, Bjorkstrand)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
CBJ- NONE
TB- Stamkos

Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars. Would love to know how Stamkos doesn't get a star in this one.

That was almost 50 minutes of tour de force Lightning hockey that almost ended in shame because of an untimely soft goal halfway through the Third Period. The Lightning did allow a couple of goals in the First Period, one on a bout of bad puck luck and one on a play where Victor Hedman failed to cover up well for a man Andrej Sustr lost in his own corner. Other than that and a couple of other breakdowns, though, the Lightning had their game going all night and seemed in complete control. If you're going to nitpick, I'd say they overpassed the first half of the Third Period while looking for the kill shot goal. Unfortunately, soft goals are poison. Vasilevskiy threw Columbus a lifeline on that one and they manufactured a greasy goal to get to Overtime. That's where the Lightning had to engineer a magnificent 4-on-3 PK after a Stamkos penalty in which they only really allowed one fantastic chance that Vasilevskiy denied off the stick of Panarin. In the Shootout, Stamkos decided not to repeat the foolish optimism of Kucherov and Point, who deked forehand on both of their attempts, and he ripped a shot high corner to send his club to the pay window. Harder than it had to be, but they eventually got the result they deserved.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots in 16:55. He was also 40% on 5 draws. His line, with Point and Palat, was humming tonight along with the top line. It's always a fun night when the Lightning get both scoring lines going.

Jake Dotchin had 1 blocked shot in 14:16.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 13:03.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-2-17 Rangers at Lightning

Flat Lightning manage a point.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy put on a command performance, especially in the First and Third Periods, allowing just 2 goals on 35 shots for the OT loss. His individual wins streak was snapped, but that's no reflection on how well he played tonight.

First Period
18:34 NYR Kreider (4), (Zibanejad, Skjei)

Second Period
11:00 TB Gourde (3), (Hedman, Point)(SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
1:19 NYR Miller (3), (Shattenkirk)

Vasilevskiy was the game's first star.

New York played tonight with a lot of focus and succeeded in making this into a grinding, tactical kind of game. The Lightning, on the other hand, looked a little flat at the start of the game and fatigued at the close of it. New York did a good job on their film study choking off the Lightning breakout in the First Period, and the Lightning didn't really make any adjustments until the middle frame. They looked, for a moment, to have broken through and taken over the game when a disallowed Alex Killorn goal went in the net, but incidental contact by Dumont waved it off and the Lightning seemed to weaken steadily after that.

Was that a goal? I don't think Dumont's minuscule contact impeded Lundqvist from making a save. But, he did make contact and it appeared Dumont drifted into the paint of his own volition, and I think that was the determining factor for the refs. Cooper used to talk about "inviting" the refs to make a call by your positioning. That's a case where, if Dumont is mindful of the blue paint, I don't think it's an issue.

Had to watch the MSG feed tonight and all Ron Duguay's outfit was missing was a tiger named Montecore. What the hell was going on there?

Six games to go in this segment of the season. At least seven more points left to collect.

Yanni Gourde had the lone goal and 3 shots and 1 hit in 20:12. Maybe the best Lightning forward tonight.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot and 1 hit and was 25% on 4 draws in 5:30.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots and 2 hits in 17:38, but made some head scratching decisions moving the puck tonight. Like, press-boxable head scratching.

Mikhail Sergachev had 1 shot in 16:32. He, himself, made a pretty press-boxable turnover in the Third Period in his own right.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-30-17 Lightning at Panthers

Heyyyyyy, there goes a snowmaaaannnnn!

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FLA-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 23 shots for the victory. Vasilevskiy sets a franchise record with 9 straight winning starts on a night when he was off his game. His first goal allowed was a short side softie that allowed Florida to avoid getting run out of their building early on. Fortunately, he got the sweet elixir known as goal support.

First Period
2:48 TB Point (6), (Coburn, Girardi)
4:55 TB Kucherov (13), (Stamkos)
10:31 FLA Ekblad (3), (Huberdeau, Barkov)
14:40 TB Stamkos (5), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)
19:07 FLA Barkov (4), (Dadonov)

Second Period
5:32 FLA Huberdeau (5), (Barkov, Dadonov)
7:17 TB Palat (Point, Gourde)
9:38 TB Gourde (2), (Sergachev, Palat)(PP)
15:41 TB Namestnikov (5), (Kucherov, Hedman)

Third Period
5:32 FLA McGinn (3), (Bjugstad, Vrbata)
9:02 TB Stamkos (6), (Dotchin, Namestnikov)
11:29 FLA Dadonov (6), (Huberdeau, Barkov)
19:41 TB Stralman (2), (unassisted)(EN)

Steven Stamkos and Vasilevskiy were the game's first and third stars. I think they broke into the stash in the Miami Dolphins offensive line coach's office on that Vasilevskiy selection, history making aside, but I digress.

I thought the Lightning could've very well crushed Florida in this game (even more so than hanging 8 goals on them) if Vasilevskiy plays his normal game. I think the soft goal threw Florida a lifeline and they always play Tampa Bay like it's their championship. And, honestly, the Governors Cup often is the most prestigious thing they have a chance to play for, sadly enough. I can only imagine the difficulty for Tampa Bay having to get up for a game against a motivated little brother in an empty building. It's got to be challenging. For that reason, I can't muster much in the way of concern trolling about the 5 goals allowed. Take the win. Rub it into Florida's face that they still stink on toast. Move on to better things.

Real talk, though, folks: the attendance tonight in Sunrise should be a league-wide scandal. Remember when I made fun of the attendance in Raleigh the other night? Sunrise said, "Hold my beer." If there were 3,000 people in that building I'd be surprised, and probably a third of those were Lightning fans. This is a joke. How does the NHL allow this to continue? I can't fathom how Bettman and his cronies can possibly believe this is better for the league than selling out an 18,000 seat barn in Quebec City every night. I mean, Jesus, the Lightning and Panthers nearly scored one goal for every man, woman, and child in attendance at tonight's game. It's pathetic. It's sad. It's indicative of a franchise that needs to mercifully get the Old Yeller treatment. Just move it already. It's not like anyone in Miami will notice.

Real talk #2, folks: I was subjected to the horror of the Panthers broadcast on Center Ice tonight and I'm fairly certain you could prop Potvin up in front of a banana for a microphone at public skate night at the practice rink and he wouldn't know the difference anymore. Not that I don't find the guy slurring Vasilevskiy's name a half dozen times in a night charming, but at a certain point it's time to send grandpa to the old folks home for his own good. At least Chief had brown liquor as an excuse. Not sure what Potvin's is.

With seven games to go in this second segment of the season, the Lightning now have eight more points to collect.

Yanni Gourde had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 goals and 3 blocked shots in 18:30. He's the heart and soul of the forecheck on his line at evens and he's become the nice little PK ace, too.

Gabriel Dumont was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 blocked shots in 14:43. He was also 47% on 17 draws. I'm still not sure I'd call him an NHL'er, but I'll co-sign how he thumped Barkov and then suckered McCoshen into a minor penalty in the Third Period. All it lacked was giving an air kiss to McCoshen as he skated off.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 16:41.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 13:44.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-28-17 Ducks at Lightning

Reality check.

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Peter Budaj allowed 4 goals on 21 shots for the loss. It's a different team when Vasiy's in net. It just needs to be said and understood.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
10:13 ANH Rakell (4), (Montour, Getzlaf)(PP)
16:55 ANH Montour (4), (Getzlaf)(PP)
17:52 TB Kunitz (2), (Brown, Callahan)
19:59 ANH Lindholm (1), (Wagner, Rasmussen)

Third Period
8:59 ANH Rakell (5), (Getzlaf, Perry)

Part of tonight is just a reality check/correction. Part of tonight is not minding details like allowing a critical goal very late in a period. Part of tonight is a team being allowed by the refs to slow the Lightning down with a lot of clutching and grabbing. Either way, it's a quick wake up call for the Lightning, who now have eight games to try to collect another ten points in this ten game segment of the year.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot in 6:36.

Yanni Gourde was -1 with 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:39. Gourde was also 60% on 5 draws. His line was the best Lightning line on the night, particularly Brayden Point, and had the refs called the game a little tighter they surely would've generated a handful of power plays.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 1 shot and 3 blocked shots in 16:43.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:16.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-26-17 Red Wings at Lightning

Lightning take care of business to get second ten game segment of the year off right.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Vasilevskiy continues his personal winning streak, which is now up to 8 straight games.

First Period
14:18 DET Nielsen (3), (unassisted)(SH)
16:33 TB Kucherov (12), (Hedman, Killorn)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
6:22 TB Stamkos (4), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)
17:04 TB Point (5), (Gourde, Palat)
18:11 DET Nielsen (4), (Nyquist, Abdelkader)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

Great to see the Lightning keep playing to their standards and not rest on their laurels after a wildly successful start to the season. Nine games left in this second segment of the year: ten points to gather.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 16:54. He found Point alone in front on the all-important insurance marker that turned into the game winner.

Jake Dotchin had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:03.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 4 penalty minutes to go with 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:51.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-24-17 Lightning at Hurricanes

Amazing opening segment of the year ends with some Vasilarceny.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. He's just rolling now. Everyone's going to point to the stats Stamkos and Kucherov are putting up, but the whole thing's built on the foundation of teams having to work twice as hard as the Lightning to get goals because of the quality of goaltending from 88.

First Period
19:25 TB Johnson (4), (Palat, Point)(PP)

Second Period
9:13 TB Sergachev (4), (Stamkos, Johnson)

Third Period
3:28 CAR Slavin (2), (Pesce, Jooris)
17:27 TB Namestnikov (4), (Hedman, Dotchin)(EN)
18:39 TB Callahan (1), (Kunitz, Brown)(EN)
19:56 TB Kucherov (11), (Stamkos, Corburn)

Vasilevskiy and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and third stars.

This wasn't the Lightning's sharpest game. Their passing was off, and that contributed to a decisive possession advantage for Carolina. I'd attribute some of the flatness to the fact they were playing in front of a crowd of about twelve people, if the wide shot from the corner of the stands was any indication. Truly embarrassing when you put out a scene that makes Sunrise look bustling. I also thought the refs called a pretty slanted game, to be honest. One power play all game for Tampa Bay? Does anyone really believe the Canes played their game as pure as the driven snow? I don't. Sometimes you have to manufacture a win and that's what the Lightning did tonight. Good goaltending. Blocked a ton of shots. Strong penalty killing and cashed on the only PP they got. Took advantage at the end of periods to sneak a couple of goals. You don't want to make a steady diet of it, but good teams ride the details to wins even when they don't have their A game.

The Lightning close the first ten game segment of the year with an amazing 17 points, meaning they have 5 insurance points in the bank already. Enjoy it tonight... then flush it, because segment two starts tomorrow morning. It's a what-have-you-done-for-me lately business. Twelve in ten? Do it again.

Yanni Gourde had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 17:38 and was 25% on 8 draws. Hit two posts in succession just before Johnson opened the scoring on the PP in the First Period.

Jake Dotchin had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 blocked shot in 17:36. The minutes creeping up is a good thing.

Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and was +1 with 5 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:23. He's just falling into points right now.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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