Nesterov, Nikita

AHL Game Day: 11-29-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Miserable weekend ends on a hopeful note.

SYR-4
BRI-0

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 31 shots he faced for the shutout victory. His 2.01 GAA and .935 sv% thus far this season marks a clear progression from the previous two seasons when he muddled around the .900 sv% mark.

First Period
SYR Blunden, (4) (Peca, Nesterov), 4:05

Second Period
SYR Paradis, (4) (Mormina, Richard), 15:41
SYR Blunden, (5) (Nesterov, DeAngelo), 18:51 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (4) (Richard, Paradis), 18:31 (EN)

Mike Blunden, Gudlevskis, and Nikita Nesterov were the game's three stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-7-15 Phantoms at Crunch

Baby Triplets and Wilcox steal the show.

LV-1
SYR-2

Adam Wilcox sparkled, allowing just 1 goal on 26 shots for his first pro victory. The pendulum has swung a little bit, with Gudlevskis looking a little subpar in his first game back from Tampa Bay, and maybe Wilcox move to the top spot next weekend.

First Period
SYR Marchessault, (5) (Richard, Koekkoek), 10:02
SYR Marchessault, (6) (Gourde, Richard), 14:42

Second Period
LV MacDonald, (1) (Gostisbehere, Brent), 19:42 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Jonathan Marchessault, Wilcox, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars.

Coach Zettler may have found a gem with the assembling of the line with Marchessault, Gourde, and Tanner Richard this weekend. The line generated 4 goals in 2 games this weekend, and look like they'll have some longevity if they can stay in Syracuse together. Unfortunately, with Palat injured tonight up top, one of these forwards (Marchessault) may have to be earmarked for a trip to the big club.

Looks like Nikita Nesterov will also be recalled after a 2 game confidence/conditioning stint this weekend with the Crunch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-6-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch comeback dissolves into Third Period disappointment.

ALB-4
SYR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. That's not exactly the kind of triumphant return one might've hoped for in Gudlevskis first action back from Tampa Bay. Then again, some rust due to inaction was probably inevitable.

First Period
ALB Thomson, (2) (Scarlett), 16:40

Second Period
ALB Blandisi, (3) (Lorito, Sislo), 1:41 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (2) (Marchessault, Richard), 11:41
SYR Nesterov, (1) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 17:45 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Blandisi, (4) (Lorito, Sislo), 4:03 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 8:21
ALB Kujawinski, (2) (Mozik, McKelvie), 14:38

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

It's a shame the Crunch spend all game crawling out of their initial 2 goal deficit only to relent the winner after getting the even footing for the second time in the game. Nikita Nesterov paid instant dividends in his return to the club by potting a power play goal that was the first equalizer toward the end of the Second Period. That's good news. Nesterov's regressed a bit early this year in Tampa Bay due to lack of action and a loss of confidence. Getting the chance to get more minutes, especially on the power play, is a good way for Nikita to get his swagger back. In the mean time, I'd expect a recall on the blueline to Tampa Bay for tomorrow's game against Minnesota (Slater Koekkoek?).

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-5-15 Lightning at Sabres

Lightning crush Sabres against the run of play.

TB-4
BUF-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. I still don't think he's 100% up to NHL speed following the puck, but there were a couple of times in this game you could see his quickness and technical proficiency with his angles really got into Buffalo's shooters' heads. They were cutting it fine because they felt they had to against the big Russian mountain.

First Period
5:55 TB Stamkos (7), (Filppula, Palat)
11:35 TB Johnson (2), (Killorn, Kucherov)
18:20 TB Kucherov (5), (Namestnikov, Coburn)

Second Period
4:21 BUF Eichel (5), (Weber, Ennis)

Third Period
19:30 TB Hedman (1), (Sustr)(SH)

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

Hockey's a funny sport. The Lightning played a much better game against Detroit last time out and couldn't find the payoff for the chances they manufactured with their hard work. Tonight, I felt they got outworked and they definitely got outchanced and outshot, on balance, by Buffalo. The Sabres had their forecheck really working on the Lightning in the first 40 minutes, but when the Lightning were able to break that pressure and come out of their zone, they were able to catch Buffalo on 3-on-2's on the counter. The skill players did the rest to build the 3-0 lead. They probably didn't deserve to have that big of a margin, but considering how snake bitten they've been offensively, I'm not going to complain about it. They were definitely guilty of playing down to their opponent and even more guilty of taking their foot off the gas once they got up 3-0. But, to their credit, they really tightened up defensively in the Third Period to quell the Buffalo uprising and deliver the W.

With the win, the Lightning have 6 points through 6 games of this 10 game segment of the season. A win against Minnesota would be tremendous if they can get it next time out.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 15:40. The stat line looks OK, but I think the tape will reveal Nesterov didn't cloak himself in glory tonight. He looked like the physically overmatched young blueliner that struggled in his rookie pro season of North American hockey tonight, taking some big hits and getting overwhelmed physically, rather than the offensive juggernaut he was in his sophomore pro campaign. Not his finest hour.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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