Game Night Results

  • 3 weeks 3 days ago

    Young Crunch's growing pains continue.

    TOR-4
    SYR-2

    Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 5 shots before giving way to veteran Michael Leighton who allowed 1 goal on 19 shots for the dreaded backdoor loss.

    First Period
    0:48 SYR Stephens (2), (Yan, Cernak)
    4:21 TOR Aaltonen (1), (unassisted)
    10:27 TOR Greening (2), (Dermott, Liljegren)

    Second Period
    3:28 TOR Greening (3), (Mueller, Timashov)
    8:57 SYR Volkov (1), (Erne)

    Third Period
    17:26 TOR Johnsson (3), (Smith, Rosen)

    Alexander Volkov was the game's second star after scoring his first pro goal.

    Maybe it shouldn't be surprising the Crunch have struggled to produce wins with the amount of roster turnover that happened over the offseason and the number of veterans that have been replaced by rookie pros. That doesn't make it sting any less, though.

    Box score from TheAHL.com.

  • 3 weeks 4 days ago

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

    DET-2
    TB-3

    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.

  • 3 weeks 6 days ago

    Amazing opening segment of the year ends with some Vasilarceny.

    TB-5
    CAR-1

    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.

  • 4 weeks 2 days ago

    This feels different.

    PIT-1
    TB-7

    Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. He's been lights out all season, but lately he's been putting together the stats to match. Really want to terrify an opposing NHL GM? Remind them Vasiy's only 23 years old. You're welcome.

    First Period
    1:36 TB Kucherov (9), (Hedman, Stamkos)(PP)
    14:16 TB Stamkos (3), (Namestnikov, Kucherov)(PP)
    19:59 TB Gourde (1), (Coburn, Point)

    Second Period
    0:30 TB Point (4), (Palat, Gourde)
    5:58 TB Stralman (1), (Sergachev)
    7:12 TB Kucherov (10), (Stamkos, Killorn)

    Third Period
    10:32 TB Sergachev (3), (Stamkos, Namestnikov)(PP)
    18:18 PIT Guentzel (3), (Rust, Letang)(PP)

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

    I wasn't able to watch the game, so rather than comment on the particulars of this game I want to frame the performance of these first nine games of the campaign and offer some overall perspective.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning missed the playoffs by one point last season partly because of injuries, partly because of a bizarre goaltending situation, but probably most of all because the team just didn't seem to have the maturity to approach every game with the necessary urgency. After several years of success, the club seemed to think its bona fides alone were necessary to win hockey games, often discarding good habits and taking shortcuts on the way to being dead last in the Eastern Conference in February before a late season charge nearly punched their postseason ticket. Fresh off that disappointment the Lightning rebuilt their leadership council this season with Stamkos and Ryan Callahan returning from injury and Dan Girardi and Chris Kunitz added into the mix in free agency. Still, through the first two games against the Florida Panthers, this team didn't look like it had learned its lesson as it headed into a games against league royalty like Washington and Pittsburgh that looked like colossal landmines on the schedule.

    Seven games later the Lightning are 7-1-1-0. This feels different.

    I'm not going to sit here and tell you tonight's drubbing of the defending Stanley Cup champions alone means the Lightning are ready to hoist the hardware themselves. Certainly, an objective observer will point out Antti Niemi hasn't exactly cloaked himself in glory in either of his encounters with the Lightning this year. But, with wins against a bevy of other quality opponents and a team that seems to have found a steely eyed determination and cold blooded professional, it's hard not to consider the Lightning as one of the early season contenders from the East. The only times I've seen this from the Lightning were the second half of the '03-'04 season when that team followed their leadership council of Dave Andreychuk and Tim Taylor all the way to a Stanley Cup, and the 2011 playoff run where Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis applied what they had learned from that run and came within an eyelash of winning it all before going down in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals to Boston. The current Lightning core never quite seemed to have the maturity and experience to fully grasp the level of intensity it takes to really and truly be great in all three zones day in and day out. Close, at times? Sure. But, it took the embarrassment of last season and the realization they've probably reached about the midpoint of their Stanley Cup window to get to this point. Now, they look like a team willing (and fully able) to do what it takes. This feels different, and I like it.

    Slater Koekkoek had 1 hit in 11:15.

    Yanni Gourde had 1 goal, 1 assist, and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes and 4 shots. He was also 33% on 9 draws. It was just a matter of time. If he's putting up 4 shots a night, he's a 20 goal scorer this year, I think.

    Gabriel Dumont had 2 shots and 2 hits in 12:18. He was also 38% on 13 draws.

    Jake Dotchin was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 12:52.

    Mikhail Sergachev had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 16:56. Now we're getting close to the workload I think he needs to get to for the Lightning to really hit the higher end of some of its season's goals. When you're in a game that has nearly 40 minutes of garbage time, clearly there's no better time to let a young horse like Sergachev get plenty of reps. He did well with them, I see.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 4 weeks 2 days ago

    Crunch finally break through with a big win.

    SPR-1
    SYR-4

    Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 23 shots for the victory. He played well in relief against the Devils and followed it up with another solid effort.

    1st
    17:45 SYR McGinn (2), (Conacher, Lynch)

    Second Period
    14:44 SYR Akeson (1), (Erne)

    Third Period
    3:19 SYR Bournival (2), (Erne, Masin)
    4:42 SPR Valk (1), (Hawryluk, Wittchow)(PP)
    19:57 SYR Bournival (3), (Lynch, Cirelli)(EN)

    Ingram, Jason Akeson, and Adam Erne were the game's three stars.

    After a healthy dose of one goal losses, the Crunch finally picked themselves off the mat against the 0-6-0 Thunderbirds. Is the win impressive given the quality of opponent? Who cares. It was necessary, and the team got it.

    Box score from TheAHL.com.

  • 4 weeks 2 days ago


    By Jeremy Houghtaling

    Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx believes his team took a big step forward.

    The Crunch created significantly more scoring chances and held the Thunderbirds off the board until the third period, as Syracuse beat winless Springfield 4-1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

    “I thought tonight was pretty good. We were a second effort hockey club,” Groulx said. “Many blocked shots by many different players. They’re driving the net. That demands a second effort. I thought we played well in the three zones and we moved the puck quick.

    “They had a push late in the game, but overall I thought we controlled that game pretty well.”

  • 4 weeks 3 days ago

    The struggle continues.

    BNG-3
    SYR-2

    Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 2 shots before being lifted quickly in the First Period. Connor Ingram allowed 1 goal on 20 shots for the injustice of the backdoor loss.

    First Period
    0:11 BNG Quenneville (4), (Bastian, Strait)
    3:57 BNG Speers (1), (Pietila, Rooney)
    11:49 BNG Lappin (4), (Erixon, Kapla)

    Second Period
    11:54 SYR Bournival (1), (unassisted)(SH)
    13:26 SYR Cernak (2), (Bodie)(SH)

    Third Period
    NO SCORING

    Michael Bournival and Erik Cernak were the game's second and third stars.

    Syracuse sits alone in the North Division basement at a dismal 1-4-1-0. That said, they've only really been run off the rink in one of the losses (against the Penguins) and there's probably an alternate dimension where Syracuse could just as easily be 4-1-1-0. There's no such thing as moral victories, though, and Syracuse needs to figure out how to get on the right side of these 1 goal decisions quickly.

    Box score from TheAHL.com.

  • 4 weeks 3 days ago


    By Jeremy Houghtaling

    The Syracuse Crunch’s penalty kill provided a spark in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a rough start.

    Syracuse allowed goals on the first two shots and trailed 3-0 after the first 20 minutes. The Crunch netted a pair of shorthanded markers on the same penalty, but their rally came up short in a 3-2 loss to the Binghamton Devils at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

    “Obviously, when you have a rough start like we did tonight, you only can get better,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “When you’re down 3-0 after the first period, you have a choice. You battle back or you quit. I like the fact tonight we battled back. We had our chances. We manufactured more chances on the power play. Their goalie was good and they blocked shots.

    “Other than the first period, I thought we got much better. It’s a work in progress I guess.”

  • 4 weeks 4 days ago

    Let there be kittens!!!

    TB-2
    CBJ-0

    Andrei Vasilevskiy posted the 43 save shutout, his first of the season. The shot totals allowed were high, but I think the Lightning were good at limiting the quality scoring chances Andrei actually faced, with many of those shots coming from the perimeter or from really bad angles. When the good chances did come, I thought Andrei's positioning looked flawless and it just didn't seem like there was any way Columbus was getting anything tonight. Vasilevskiy's performance was so strong he even overcame the jinx of the TV broadcast flashing a graphic prematurely awarding him the shutout with 33.7 seconds still left in the game.

    First Period
    17:48 TB Sergachev (1), (Kucherov, Namestnikov)

    Second Period
    15:37 TB Sergachev (2), (Kucherov, Stamkos)

    Third Period
    NO SCORING

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

    Kind of an odd game. If all you saw was the box score, you'd see that 43-21 shot disparity and assume Vasilevskiy had to stand on his head. I didn't really feel like the game was ever really out of the Lightning's control. They were pretty efficient in the first 40 minutes and throughout the game really limited Columbus to throwing the puck toward the net from low percentage areas. Now, mind you, that's a recipe for surrendering some greasy goals and getting bitten by puck luck. You don't want to make a regular habit of that. But the Lightning still, I thought, had the lion's share of the real scoring chances.

    Tampa Bay clinches the successful opening segment of the season and at least one insurance point already in the bank. Two game left to go in this opening ten game segment and the Lightning have a chance to bear down and really build up a nice glut of insurance points in the standings right away.

    Yanni Gourde had 4 shots, 1 hit, and was 50% on 4 draws in 18:04. That was his best game of the season, and he did everything tonight but find the back of the net. I was surprised he didn't get third star. I love the volume of shot attempts for him (7). If he keeps that up, the production will follow shortly.

    Gabriel Dumont had 1 shot, 3 hits, and was 57% on 7 draws in 12:06.

    Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 shot in 12:35. I'll be interested to see how the Lightning use him whenever they switch back to a six defenseman alignment. I thought he played well tonight.

    Sergachev had his first two NHL goals and was +2 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 12:49. He's putting up numbers, which I wasn't expecting and might be a little bit of a mirage. Either way, I think any inkling of sending him back to juniors (which, I never thought was a real possibility) seems out the window at this hour.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 4 weeks 6 days ago

    Budaj's rusty start costs the Lightning a point.

    TB-4
    NJ-5 (SO)

    Petr Budaj allowed 4 goals on 34 shots and 1 goal on 3 shots in the penalty shot session for the Shootout loss. His first and third goals allowed were pretty putrid, and indicative of a guy who hasn't really played competitive hockey in about a month. He started to shake off the rust in the Second Period and got a lot sharper as the game wore on. There's a cautionary tale to the coaching staff about sneaking him a few more starts in there somewhere.

    First Period
    2:45 NJ Stafford (2), (Hischier, Butcher)
    7:33 TB Namestnikov (3), (Kucherov, Stamkos)
    12:21 TB Palat (3), (Johnson, Sergachev)(PP)
    16:19 NJ Palmieri (2), (Hall, Henrique)(PP)
    19:08 NJ Gibbons (3), (Santini, Wood)

    Second Period
    14:02 TB Kucherov (8), (Stamkos, Sergachev)
    17:23 TB Stamkos (2), (Gourde)

    Third Period
    15:54 NJ Stafford (3), (Hischier, Severson)(PP)

    Overtime
    NO SCORING

    Shootout
    TB- NONE
    NJ- Palmieri

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

    The result stinks, but honestly I thought this was a strong performance by the Lightning. Against a young, fast team the Lightning seemed to get stronger as the night wore on even though they were on the downside of the back-to-back. All things being even they probably deserved the second point, but when your goaltender surrenders soft goals, you tend to lose in the end equation no matter how well your skaters play.

    Tampa Bay now sits on 11 points with 3 games to go in the opening segment of the season, and are thus just 1 point away from clinching being on playoff pace for this segment.

    Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots in 18:50. He was also 38% on 8 draws. Strong forecheck to produce the Stamkos goal. Still needs to shoot more.

    Jake Dotchin had 1 shot and 3 hits in 13:37. Thought he had some struggles with New Jersey's speed, but didn't make any really awful mistakes from it.

    Mikhail Sergachev sneezed out 2 helpers and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 13:38. Life is good when the coaches shelter you on shifts with the Kucherov line in front of you.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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