Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the OT win, rebounding from giving up 4 or more goals in each of his previous 3 starts. Gudlevskis saw the Vasilevskiy train leaving the station, and didn't want to be left behind. Big plus for the Crunch that he stepped up tonight.
UTI DeFazio, (9) (Tommernes, Sanguinetti), 15:09
SYR Angelidis, (10) (Ikonen, Mormina), 17:49
SYR Gourde, (11) (Richard, Mormina), 6:00
Gudlevskis and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars. Also, very quietly, Henri Ikonen has 1 goal and 3 points in the last 2 games. That matches his statistical output from all of November.
The Crunch's win pulls them within 2 points of division and conference leading Springfield, which lost to Norfolk tonight. Syracuse has 2 games in hand on the Falcons, and they can move into a tie with Springfield on Wednesday when they square off against Rochester.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss.
10:33 WSH Backstrom (6), (Wilson, Schmidt)
18:40 WSH Backstrom (7), (Ovechkin, Wilson)
2:17 WSH Backstrom (8), (Ovechkin)
15:36 TB Johnson (9), (Carle, Kucherov)
17:29 TB Carle (3), (Stamkos, Garrison)
19:21 WSH Fehr (6), (unassisted)(EN)
Frustrating. This was a game filled with self-inflicted wounds. I'm not going to dwell on the disallowed Stamkos goal in the First Period, because ultimately that's not what undid the Lightning in this game. They had a 5-on-3 for a full 2 minutes and only got a slow dribbler chance by Callahan that Holtby held out. Then Paquette loses a faceoff and loses his man. Little thing. Down 1-0. They have plenty of guys back in transition and they completely blow the coverage and Backstrom gets a rebound goal. Little thing. Down 2-0. They have a neutral zone turnover and the defense parts to let Backstrom get a prime chance in the slot. Little thing. Down 3-0. They even have 2 players collide at center with the extra attacker so Fehr can get the EN goal. Little things, and they surrender the 4th goal. It's not like the Caps have dominated these two games, but the Lightning have done everything in their power to make them look like world beaters. Other than the PK there was very little of value to take out of tonight, other than what little morale building you can get out of climbing to withing 1 goal late in a game where you were down 3-0 in the Third Period.
Moving back to basics: Cooper's got to get these guys to get 35 shots on goal a night. The shot totals have been anemic lately, and when shot totals are low you don't get a good diet of greasy goals. They need that, and they need a healthy Palat back. A functional PP would be a nice change of pace, too. Every season has a spot like this where the offense will just struggle to get goals. It seems like, more often than not, the Lightning's struggle seems to come in December. It happened in '03. It's happening now.
Cedric Paquette was -1 with 4 penalty minutes, 3 hits, and he was 33% on draws. The first goal was on him. He lost the draw and then lost Backstrom, which allowed Backstrom to easily collect the blocked shot and roll to the slot to get the backhander. Not good.
Jonathan Drouin was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 10:55. He was on the ice for Paquette's faux-pas and the Fehr empty-netter, so the +/- is deceiving. He got more comfortable and looked more dangerous as the game rolled on.
HPK 2 vs. Lukko 1
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals: 17 GP, 1-3-4, +1, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen had a team high 6 shots on goal in 12:57 in HPK's 2-1 win over Lukko. Ex-Isles pick Jyri Niemi potted a goal in the victory for HPK.
Magnitogorsk 3 vs. Jokerit 4
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, No Decision, 15/17, 3.61 GAA, .882 sv%
Season totals: 33 GP, 22-4-4, 3 SO, 1.73 GAA, .936 sv%
Vasily Koshechkin left the game midway through the Second Period in Magnitogorsk's 4-3 loss to Jokerit. Ex-University of New Hampshire product Steve Moses led the way for Jokerit with 2 goals and 4 points.
No. 1 North Dakota 1 @ No. 11 Denver Pioneers 4
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 5-2-7, E, 23 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM
O’Donnell’s brief two-game goal streak came to an end as Denver upset No. 1 UND, 4-1. Defenseman Joey LaLeggia had a goal for Denver. The senior was a teammate of O’Donnell’s in Penticton of the BCHL before they left for school.