Syracuse Crunch clamp down on Panthers B squad.
Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout victory. This is an excellent start for a netminder who just got a prove it contract who may have an NHL backup opportunity looming in his future once the Lightning sort out their starting situation up top.
3:54 TB Morin (1), (unassisted)
14:48 TB Point (2), (Morin, Bournival)
Gudlevskis, Jeremy Morin, and Slater Koekkoek were the game's three stars. Kudos to the Lightning equipment guys for having the sense of humor to stick Morin in #33. He's one letter away from being a Lightning all-timer. Made me double-take, for certain.
If the Lightning preseason opener was a showcase for the team's junior prospects, tonight was an opportunity for many prospects earmarked for the Syracuse Crunch. And, on first blush, I'd think new coach Benoit Groulx will be pleased with what he saw tonight.
Matthew Peca had 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 19:37. 90% on 10 draws is pleasing to the eye. I remain convinced that for Syracuse to go anywhere, Peca's going to have to become a big time AHL player. He'll have a little more help this season with Brayden Point in Syracuse, but as an older and more experienced guy, he's one I suspect needs to become one of the leaders for the Crunch.
Tanner Richard had 2 hits in 16:49. 13% on 8 draws is a little cringe-worthy stat line on draws. He's on the clock now to make a push and earn a look in the NHL. Not sure he really flashed enough tonight.
Brayden Point had his second goal in as many games and was +2 with 3 shots in 14:02. He was also 45% on 11 draws. The Lightning are already trying to tamp down expectations because they know Point needs seasoning and experience, but his raw talent is undeniable.
Yanni Gourde had 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 16:58.
Mike Halmo had 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 11:48.
Gabriel Dumont had 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:57.
Daniel Walcott had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:43.
Dylan Blujus had 3 shots and 4 blocked shots in 18:34. Blujus is a guy who somewhat falls into the same boat as Richard. He needs to start making a push to challenge Witkowski to become the Lightning's first righty callup from Syracuse.
Jake Dotchin was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 17:48.
Slater Koekkoek was +1 in 16:40. The Lightning have played Koekkoek in both games, which is telling, but they've also resolved not to give him a gigantic load of minutes in these games as they might've been tempted to do. That tells me they're easing Koekkoek into a marathon rather than putting him through a sprint of a look-see.
Yaroslavl Jr. 5 vs. Chekhov Jr. 1
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 8 PIM
Oleg Sosunov was +1 in Loko Jr.'s 5-1 win over Chekhov Jr. Loko went with 7 defensemen for today's match.
St. Petersburg 3 vs. Beijing 0
Nikita Gusev. St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 14 GP, 8-9-17, +12, 2 PIM
Nikita Gusev potted a goal in 15:05 of ice time as SKA blanked China's entrant into the KHL, the Kunlun Red Stars of Beijing, 3-0. Rangers 2014 4th rounder Igor Shestyorkin stopped all 19 shots he faced for the shutout.
Yaroslavl Jr. 4 vs. Chekhov Jr. 0
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM
Oleg Sosunov was +2 with a minor for hooking in Loko Jr's 4-0 blanking of Chekhov Jr. Sosunov got back to level in +/- for the young season with the performance.
Valiant Third Period comeback bid by Junior Lightning gives hope for the future.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 23 shots before giving way to Adam Wilcox, who allowed 1 goal on 15 shots for ye old backdoor loss. It was a respectable outing for both netminders who get additional time thanks to the World Cup of Hockey.
19:07 CAR Br. Sutter (1), (Foegele)
10:26 CAR Wallmark (1), (Kuokkanen)
11:28 CAR Skinner (1), (Stempniak, Pesce)
11:28 TB Point (1), (Johnson, Hajek)
18:41 TB Imama (1), (Vermin, Cerelli)
Brayden Point was the game's third star.
This is going to be a strange camp/preseason because of it being chopped up by the WCOH. The silver lining is some extra time for potential future contributors like Point, who didn't embarrass themselves tonight. Among those prospects, the ice time was as follows, revealing more who the organization wanted to take a long early look at for the future than who they trust and are thinking about from an NHL roster standpoint for this season...
Brett Howden was -1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 17:50. He was also 44% on 9 draws.
Point had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot in 15:38. He was also 57% on 7 draws.
Anthony Cirelli had a helper and 1 shot in 15:36. He was also 39% on 18 draws.
Joel Vermin had a helper and was +1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 15:19.
Mathieu Joseph had 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:04.
Dennis Yan had 2 penalty minutes in 12:40.
Boko Imama had 1 goal, 3 shots, and 2 hits in 10:28. He also killed 0 Hurricanes with his fists... this time.
Libor Hajek had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in a hefty 20:45.
Luke Witkowski was -1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:59.
Matthew Spencer was -1 with 4 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots in 18:51.
Slater Koekkoek had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 16:23.
St. Petersburg 3 vs. Vladivostok 2 (SO)
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 13 GP, 7-9-16, +10, 2 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the winner in the Shootout in SKA's 3-2 win over Vladivostok. He played 13:13 in the match. Ex-Lightning forward James Wright had a goal in defeat for Vladivostok.
St. Petersburg 4 vs. Khabarovsk 1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 7-9-16, +11, 2 PIM
Nikita Gusev scored SKA's third goal and assisted on their capping goal of a 4-1 victory over one of his former clubs, Amur Khabarovsk. Gusev played 15:46 in the match and is now 3rd in the KHL in scoring, 1 point behind teammate Ilya Kovalchuk and longtime Magnitogorsk star Sergei Mozyakin. Interesting to note, Part One: SKA has played the past couple of weeks without several top forwards who were called to the World Cup of Hockey including Evgeny Dadonov and living legend Pavel Datsyuk. Interesting to note, Part Two: at 14:49 of ice time per game, Gusev has received by far the lowest average TOI/game of the league's top five scorers, with the next closest being Kovalchuk at 18:44 a contest.
Pelicans 4 vs. SaiPa 2
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 5 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
Saku Salminen was 33% on draws in 11:32 of ice time in SaiPa's 4-2 loss to Pelicans Lahti. Ex-Predators pick Janne Juvonen made 30 saves for the victory for Pelicans.
SaiPa 4 vs. Lukko 2
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
Ex-Oilers second rounder Curtis Hamilton had a pair of goals to lead SaiPa to a 4-2 win over Lukko. Lightning prospect Saku Salminen was scoreless in 9:46 of ice time.
St. Petersburg 9 vs. Khanty-Mansisyk 4
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 11 GP, 6-8-14, +9, 2 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the capping goal of SKA's 9-4 blowout win over Yugra. The young forward also had a pair of First Period helpers, including one on the power play, in his 15:01 of ice time. Gusev's 14 points on the season puts him in a tie for 6th in the league in scoring, which is made more remarkable by the fact he averages just 14:44 of ice time per contest. His 3 points were matched by 4 other St. Petersburg skaters, including former NHL'er Ilya Kovalchuk, who had 2 goals and 1 assist.