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NHL Game Night: 11-12-15 Flames at Lightning

Lightning stop the bleeding for one night.


Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. With the fragile state the team is in, he simply couldn't allow them to fall behind in this game, and he didn't. He kept everything square until the breakthrough until the Third Period.

First Period

Second Period
1:59 TB Boyle (3), (Coburn)
6:45 CGY Bennett (4), (Backlund, Wideman)(PP)

Third Period
12:51 TB Stamkos (9), (Killorn, Johnson)(PP)
18:27 TB Johnson (3), (Kucherov)

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

Three goals by the Lightning off of broken plays. I'll take it. On the NBCSN broadcast, Brian Engblom floated the idea the Lightning have hit a physical and emotional wall because of the amount of hockey they played last season on their deep Stanley Cup Final run by citing the experience of the Pittsburgh Penguins after deep runs under Dan Bylsma. That's plausible given the minimal roster turnover and the lack of energy and fight the team has shown at times. Eventually they'll work through that wall, but in the mean time they'll have to hope they can continue to manufacture wins like they did tonight. Again, at this point the question isn't if they'll be in a hole. The question is whether it will be a pot hole or a sink hole.

Box score and extended statistics from

KHL Game Day: 11-12-15

Astana 2 vs. Jokerit 0
Saku Salminen, Jokerit, DNP
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Slovakian netminder Jan Laco turned aside all 33 shots he faced to stake Astana to a 2-0 victory over Jokerit. Ex-Calgary Flame Dustin Boyd had a goal in the win.

Kazan 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 3 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, SO Win, 36/38, 1.85 GAA, .947 sv%
Season totals: 25 GP, 10-9-6, 0 SO, 2.35 GAA, .916 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin blanked both shooters he faced in the penalty shot session as Magnitogorsk toppled Kazan 3-2 in the Shootout. Magnitogorsk got a goal from ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin in the win.

St. Petersburg 5 vs. Podolsk 3
Nikita Gusev, St. Peterburg, 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 4 GP, 3-4-7, +5, 0 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 27 GP, 10-11-21, +11, 4 PIM

Nikita Gusev had a power play goal and an even strength goal and helper in SKA's 5-3 win over Podolsk. The forward played 19:20 in the match. Ex-Panthers forward Evgeny Dadonov chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist in the win.

Novgorod 5 vs. Zagbreb 2
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 0-3-3, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 6-4-10, +5, 14 PIM

Carter Ashton had a trio of primary assists in 17:11 of ice time as Novgorod thumped Zagreb 5-2. Ex-Avs pick Linus Videll had 1 goal and 1 assist for Novgorod in the win.

Juniors Game Night: 11-11-15

Vancouver Giants 1 @ Kelowna Rockets 2 (SO)

D Ben Thomas, VAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 19 GP, 2-5-7, -10, 10 PIM
With Vancouver: 6 GP, 2-2-4, E, 2 PIM
With Calgary: 13 GP, 0-3-3, -10, 8 PIM
2014-15 totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM

Overage goalie Jackson Whistle (undrafted) stopped 32 of 33 shots in regulation and overtime, the 2 of 2 in the shootout to grab a win for the Rockets. Thomas was coming off his first career 2-goal game. He was an honorable mention for our Prospect of the Week, which went to Brayden Point.

Liiga Game Day: 11-11-15

Tappara 1 vs. KalPa 2
Jonne Tammela, KalPa, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 8 GP, 2-0-2, +1, 6 PIM

Jonne Tammela was scoreless in 12:54 of ice time in KalPa's 2-1 win over Tappara. Ex-Devils pick Patrick Davis had a goal in the match for KalPa.

Bolt Prospect of the Week

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for the week ending November 10 is … Brayden Point, C, Moose Jaw Warriors, Team WHL.

I hope Brayden Point has a big trophy case, he’s probably going to need some extra room this year.

The Lightning’s 2014 third round steal currently leads the Western Hockey League in scoring with 16 goals and 39 points in 16 games. That six points ahead of his closest competitor despite playing two fewer games. This past week-plus he had 15 points in Moose Jaw games, including a hat trick/five-point night on Saturday against Prince Albert. He was originally credited with four goals that game, but the league made a late scoring change. It was his seventh career hat trick.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 42

This week's “Dana Tyrell Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 42
· Lightning lose a response game. At home. To Buffalo.
· Not buying the this year/last year no-comparison comment.
· Cut the damn cord.
· Your move, Steve.
· Cranky questions from the #BPMailbag
· Interview with Syracuse’s Adam Wilcox
· #BPMailbag leftovers, fresh out of the microwave

Wilcox Looks Ahead After First Pro Win

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Wilcox is moving on after his milestone victory.

The Crunch rookie netminder turned aside 25 shots to lift Syracuse to a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for his first professional win Saturday, but was back to the regular grind at practice on Monday.

Wilcox is continuing to refine his technique as he progresses at the pro level.

“Obviously, it was a good feeling,” Wilcox said. “I was excited about it and it’s one of the hardest wins to get. It’s just getting over that, and now that the first one is out of the way, hopefully I can keep rolling here.”

Juniors Game Night: 11-10-15

Ontario Hockey League

Kingston Frontenacs 3 @ Peterborough Petes 4

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 18 GP, 0-3-3, +12, 22 PIM
2014-15 totals: 48 GP, 7-19-26, -13, 68 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-3-3, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, *Third Star*
Season totals: 19 GP, 2-6-8, -4, 21 PIM
2014-15 totals: 67 GP, 6-24-30, -15, 64 PIM

Matt Spencer had his first career 3-point game, leading the Petes to a 4-3 win over visiting Kingston. Two of Spencer’s assists came on the power play. Peterborough gave up three third period goals, but hung on for the victory. The Petes had a 3-0 lead entering the third period.

NHL Game Night: 11-10-15 Sabres at Lightning

Rock bottom?


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the loss. The third goal was a hugely deflating softie that went in off of his glove. For everyone who has been ready to ship Bishop out of town at the earliest convenience and make Vasiy the guy, pump the breaks. The kid's 21, and he is mortal. There will be rough patches that he needs to develop through.

First Period
5:57 BUF Eichel (6), (Franson)(PP)

Second Period
0:52 TB Stamkos (8), (Kucherov)(PP)
1:40 BUF Franson (1), (Eichel, Ennis)

Third Period
5:24 BUF Foligno (1), (Legwand, Deslauriers)
19:24 BUF Ristolainen (4), (Johnson)(EN)

Ryan Callahan was the game's second star.

I could sit here and tell you the Lightning outshot the Sabres, and they did. I could tell you they grossly outchanced the Sabres in the last 40 minutes of the game, and they did. There's not any comfort in that, because the Lightning have such a significant talent advantage on the Sabres that they should be outshooting and outchancing them. Ultimately, this comes down to something more fundamental than talent and tactics. At this point, it's looking more and more like the Lightning emotionally and mentally don't have the will. The Sabres wanted this game more. They've wanted it more in all four games this season and have routinely jumped on the Lightning in every first period where Tampa Bay often looked flat as a pancake. The difference is that they got the payoff tonight.

So now the Lightning need to ask themselves if they have the will to turn this around. It's as simple as that. They need to outwork opponents. Absent that, they're not going to make the odd man rushes and the lucky breaks they need to get out of this slump. In retrospect, I wish Yzerman had made more than one small tweak to the roster to get more fresh, hungry blood onto the roster, but that's water under the bridge now. Short of a tweak like bringing up Koekkoek, the answers will have to come from inside that room, and it'll have to start with that fundamental question. Do you want it more than the other team? And if they can't convincingly answer that in the affirmative, they're screwed.

It's not a question anymore of whether the team is in trouble. They'll finish this segment in the red by at least 2 points based on our old 12 in 10 rule. It's only a question of how deep the hole will be. Note that this is the first time, on a season-wide basis, the Lightning have been behind schedule in over 2 years. They've missed segment targets about 4 times in the previous two seasons, but they've always had insurance points banked to cover the damage. This is uncharted and dangerous waters.

Box score and extended statistics from

KHL Game Day: 11-10-15

Omsk 0 vs. Jokerit 1
Saku Salminen, Jokerit, DNP
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Ex-Flames netminder Henrik Karlsson turned aside all 31 shots he faced in Jokerit's 1-0 win over Omsk.

Togliatti 1 vs. Magnitogorsk 7
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 13/14, 1.00 GAA, .929 sv%
Season totals: 24 GP, 10-9-4, 0 SO, 2.39 GAA, .912 sv%

The Karjala break seems to have done Magnitka well, as they allowed just 14 shots on goal in a 7-1 thumping of Lada Togliatti. Ex-NHLer Wojtek Wolski led the way with 2 goals and 3 points in the victory.

St. Petersburg 3 vs. Dynamo Moscow 2
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-1-2, +3, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (St. Petersburg): 3 GP, 1-3-4, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals (Khanty-Mansiysk): 23 GP, 7-7-14, +6, 4 PIM
Season totals: 26 GP, 8-10-18, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Gusev had 1 goal and 1 assist in just 11:56 of ice time in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-2 win over Dynamo Moscow. Dynamo got a goal from ex-Lightning forward Martins Karsums in defeat. According to the KHL website, Gusev's contract expires on 4/30/16, after which the Lightning will be free to attempt to sign him if he does not sign an extension beforehand. In recent interviews, Gusev cited his openness to coming to North America to join his friend and former CSKA Jr. teammate Nikita Kucherov. However, big market SKA St. Petersburg will have the resources to put together a compelling financial package for Gusev to stay put if they want to retain him, so stay tuned.

Novgorod 5 vs. Bratislava 3
Carter Ashton, Novgorod, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 19 GP, 6-1-7, +2, 12 PIM

Carter Ashton had 1 goal and 1 assist in 17:05 of ice time as Novgorod beat Bratislava 5-3. Bratislava got 1 goal and 1 assist from ex-NHLer Cam Barker in defeat.

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