KHL Game Day: 12-28-15

Magnitogorsk 2 vs. Dynamo Moscow 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 27/28, 1.00 GAA, .964 sv%
Season totals: 37 GP, 16-12-7, 1 SO, 2.28 GAA, .918 sv%

Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead Magnitka to a 2-1 win over Dynamo Moscow.

Dinamo Riga 1 vs. Novgorod 4
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 9-7-16, +1, 51 PIM

Carter Ashton took a minor for tripping in 19:48 of ice time as Novgorod crushed Riga 4-1. Novgorod got a goal from ex-NHLer Alexander Frolov.

AHL Game Day: 12-27-15 Crunch at Comets

Syracuse falls short and falls back to .500.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR Blujus, (3) (DeAngelo, Darcy), 3:09 (PP)
UTI Shields, (1) (Grenier, Shinkaruk), 17:56

Second Period
UTI Kurtz, (1) (Negrin, Zalewski), 3:55
SYR Koekkoek, (1) (Taormina, Richard), 13:27 (PP)
UTI Landry, (1) (Subban, Gaunce), 17:45

Third Period
UTI Syvret, (2) (Shields, Friesen), 2:53

Well, at least Slater Koekkoek potted his first goal of the season. He's been the one top pick for Tampa that hasn't been hitting the scoresheet regularly despite some thoroughbred offensive instincts.

Box score from

Crunch Score Three Unanswered Goals in Win Over Falcons

By Jeremy Houghtaling

It took some time, but the Crunch shrugged off the rust.

Coming out of a five-day break, Syracuse had the better chances but Springfield took a one-goal lead into the first intermission. The Crunch responded by scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win over the Falcons at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“They got a lucky bounce and went up 1-0, but I think the key for us was to stick to our game,” said Crunch center Tanner Richard. “No one got discouraged, no one stopped believing. We knew we were going to get our chances and the pucks were going to go in eventually. Luckily, we got two in the second and we kept rolling from there.”

NHL Game Night: 12-26-15 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Apocalypse in Tampa.


Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:34 TB Blunden (2), (Sustr, Condra)
9:44 CBJ Bourque (1), (Jenner, Johansen)

Second Period
3:07 CBJ Hartnell (14), (Wennberg, Prout)
6:21 TB Stamkos (15), (Kucherov, Marchessault)(PP)
6:53 TB Stamkos (16), (Marchessault, Kucherov)(PP)
14:17 TB Nesterov (2), (Callahan, Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
4:39 TB Garrison (3), (Blunden)

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

Let it be noted that Nikita Nesterov brought about the apocalypse at 14:17 of the Second Period. One game removed from a tear stained 1 for 10 effort in defeat against the Vancouver Canucks, the Tampa Bay Lightning scored 3 power play goals in the Second Period tonight to break open a must-win game against Columbus. It also likely turned Tampa Bay into a lake of fire, because I'm pretty sure 3 power play goals by the Lightning is one of the signs of the end of days. Columbus opened the door by getting in severe penalty trouble with back-to-back 5-on-3's and later a major penalty on Scott Hartnell for running Ben Bishop, and lo and behold the Lightning power play actually made them pay for it. Good thing, too, because trailing 2-1 in the Second Period and being outshot by a decent margin, it looked like the Lightning needed the help.

Mind you, as exciting as the Lightning PP showing a pulse tonight was, nothing will beat the thrill of watching Vladislav Namestnikov beat the living daylights out of a man twice his size in Ryan Johansen. People forget Namestnikov had a rep as an instigator in junior, and they tend to sleep on him because of the Russian last name. He'll surprise you with his ability with the fisticuffs though, and he embarrassed the much bigger Johansen tonight.

Mike Angelidis was +1 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 7:57. He was also 13% on 8 draws.

Jonathan Marchessault had 2 helpers and was -1 with 2 shots in 15:25. He looked very comfortable running the center point position on the 5-on-3's where he got his two apples.

Nesterov released the 4 Horsemen with his PP goal and had 2 shots and 2 hits in 16:57. Tonight was a night where he started to look like the same Nikita Nesterov who was such a positive story for the Lightning last season, and his goal celebration was flavorful.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 12-26-15 Falcons at Crunch

First AHL goal for The Hit Man.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 30 saves for the victory. In 7 AHL games he's sitting on a stylish .937 save percentage.

First Period
SPR Selleck, (4) (Mauermann, DiSalvatore), 17:33

Second Period
SYR Hart, (1) (DeAngelo, Walcott), 14:05
SYR McGinn, (9) (DeAngelo), 18:01

Third Period
SYR Richard, (1) (Erne), 4:00

Vasilevskiy, Brian Hart, and Anthony DeAngelo were the game's three stars. Hart had his first AHL goal in the contest, while the Lightning's top draft picks like Vasilevskiy, DeAngelo, and Erne continue to produce like top draft picks should.

Box score from

U20 WJC Game Day: 12-26-15

Group A
USA 4 vs. Canada 2
Brayden Point, Canada, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Mitchell Stephens, Canada, 0-0-0, -1 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Brayden Point had a team high 4 shots for Canada in their 4-2 tournament-opening loss to arch-rival Team USA. Team USA weathered a First Period spearing major and game misconduct by undrafted 18 year old Alex Debrincat of Erie before pulling away with 2 goals in the final 4 minutes of the game scored by Minnesota third rounder Louis Belpedio and presumptive 2016 number one overall pick Auston Matthews. Matthews had 1 goal and 1 assist, for his part, in the tournament opener.

Group B
Czech Republic 1 vs. Russia 2 (SO)
Dominik Masin, Czech Republic, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Czech Republic weathered a First Period boarding major and game misconduct by Bruins first rounder Jakub Zboril before falling to Russia in the Shootout 2-1. Winnipeg fourth rounder Michael Spacek put the Czechs up 1-0 on a penalty shot in the Second Period before undrafted 19 year old Artur Lauta managed the Third Period equalizer and undrafted 19 year old Cape Breton star Maxim Lazarev sealed the win with a Shootout goal.

Liiga Game Day: 12-26-15

KalPa 4 vs. HPK 1
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 1-1-2, +3, 3 SOG
Season totals: 19 GP, 4-2-6, +3, 14 PIM

The Cobra strikes! After a somewhat surprising cut from Finland's U20 WJC roster, Jonne Tammela responded with 1 goal and 1 assist in 15:04 of ice time as KalPa smoked HPK 4-1. Ex-Lightning pick Eero Somervuori scored the lone goal in defeat for HPK.

KHL Game Day: 12-26-15

Magnitogorsk 4 vs. Spartak Moscow 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, SO, 20/20, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 36 GP, 15-12-7, 1 SO, 2.32 GAA, .917 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin turned aside all 20 shots he faced for his first SO of the season as Magnitogorsk clubbed Spartak 4-0. Recent signee Alexander Semin chipped in a goal in the victory.

Ufa 2 vs. St. Petersburg 1 (OT)
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 18 GP, 8-12-20, +4, 2 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 41 GP, 15-19-34, +10, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had a minor for holding in 18:50 of ice time in SKA's frustrating 2-1 OT loss to Ufa. Ufa's OT winner was scored by ex-NHLer Enver Lisin. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on St. Petersburg's lone goal.

Bratislava 3 vs. Novgorod 0
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 9-7-16, +2, 49 PIM

Carter Ashton came up dry in 18:02 of ice time as Slovan Bratislava blanked Novgorod 3-0. Ex-AHL journeyman Barry Brust stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout while ex-NHLer Cam Barker chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist.

KHL Game Day: 12-24-15

Magnitogorsk 4 vs. St. Petersburg 5
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 2-1-3, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 17 GP, 8-12-20, +5, 0 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 40 GP, 15-19-34, +11, 4 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, No Decision, 10/14, 9.17 GAA, .714 sv%
Season totals: 35 GP, 14-12-7, 0 SO, 2.39 GAA, .915 sv%

Nikita Gusev had a power play goal and assist and an even strength assist to help propel St. Petersburg to a 5-4 win over Magnitogorsk. Gusev played 13:30 in the win. Gusev's second goal chased Magnitogorsk starter Vasily Koshechkin in the Second Period. Ex-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk also had 1 goal and 3 points for SKA in the win.

NHL Game Night: 12-22-15 Canucks at Lightning

Lightning waste an opportunity to climb in the standings.


Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 19 shots for the loss. I can't be mad at him. He gave them a chance with 2-3 really important saves in the Second Period.

First Period
15:57 VAN Baertschi (5), (Vrbata, Biega)

Second Period
19:38 TB Marchessault (5), (Kucherov, Stralman)(PP)

Third Period
11:09 VAN D. Sedin (16), (H. Sedin)

Jonathan Marchessault and Ryan Callahan were the game's first and second stars.

First, the Lightning came out with a flat as a pancake First Period that they simply cannot have in the standings situation they're in. They only played energetic hockey for 40 minutes tonight and that just isn't good enough. Second, and most obviously, the power play went 1-for-10. There's the game right there. The first 6 chances on the PP were pretty putrid by the Lightning. They got the goal from Marchessault on the 7th and the 8th and 9th really fed on that and created the chances that the Lightning just couldn't bury, punctuated by one Stamkos crossbar. There's some good tape to study there, though. Marchessault, as a sniper in the slot/RW circle, helps the team develop a pressure point on the strong side of the ice and allows Stamkos to drift to the open area away from the play. That's how the Lightning power play needs to start to work. They can do that with Marchessault in that spot and they can do it with Tyler Johnson in that spot when he returns from injury. So, even though it's small solace right now, there's something to build off of despite how statistically ugly that performance was.

The kick in the pants is this game was a nice opportunity for the Lightning to close out this half of Segment Four of the season in great shape. They already had 6 points through the first 4 games and even 1 point would've put them in good shape to start to cut into their season deficit and get them back into playoff position. It's been a recurring pattern over the last 15 games: they've had their chances to do more than just tread water in the standings, and they just haven't been able to pull that one more win out to start to get their heads up above water. At some point, those chances will run out, though.

The Lightning, at least, will now take the holiday break to hopefully get a handful of their forwards out of the tub and back with the club with a must-win against Columbus coming up on Saturday.

Mike Angelidis had a 5 minute fighting major and 1 hit in 5:56. He was also 50% on 6 draws.

Marchessault had a goal and was -1 with 4 shots and 1 hit in 19:03. He was also 67% on 6 draws. He played really well and displayed his best quality again: he's a pure sniper.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:03.

Box score and extended statistics from

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