Best performance of the year by the Lightning.
Mike Smith stopped 15 of 15 shots faced for the big shutout win. He was on tonight. No rebounds.
05:15 TB Pettinger (2), (Szczechura, Recchi)
11:14 TB Szczechura (2), (Jokinen, Recchi)(PP)
Paul Szczechura, Matt Pettinger, and Mark Recchi were your three stars, and let me tell you, Szczechura played an awesome game at both ends of the ice. #38 seems to live in the opposing team's passing lanes, and when the Lightning went into the trap in the third period he drove the Pens crazy by picking off pass after pass. He set up the first goal. He scored the insurance goal. And he was all up in the Pens business to protect what he helped build. Great game by Szczechura. He's a revelation. Quite possibly the smartest prospect in Lightning history.
Szczechura had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +1 with 4 shots, 1 hit, and he was 29% on draws in 13:28. He tortured Pittsburgh in those 13:28.
Steven Stamkos was a non-factor in 7:47 of ice time.
Tokarski got the full game for Canada, but was beaten early when Finland's Nestori Lahde caught St. Louis Blues super-prospect Alex Pietrangelo flat footed resulting in a semi-breakaway. Lahde put a high wrister over Tokarski's shoulder. Tokarski had little chance on the second goal as a Finn was left alone in front and after taking a pass from behind the net, potted a wrister over Tokarski's arm as Dustin tried to square to the shooter and eliminate space.
Tokarski will watch as Chet Pickard gets the next exhibition start for Canada against Slovakia.
Team Russia won the Swedish leg of the Euro Tour this week going 3-0-0 in the Channel One Cup.
Defenseman Janne Niskala appeared for Finland (1-1-1) in the tournament, registering a pair of goals in his team's tournament closing 5-2 win over the Czech Republic. Niskala also had 4 penalty minutes and was -1 for the week.
Johan Harju was a late addition for Sweden after an injury to one of the Tre Kroner's forwards. Harju had a power play assist in garbage time of Sweden's 6-2 loss in Russia. Harju also had 2 penalty minutes and was -1 in the tournament.
Team Canada Notes:
Canada called in Evander Kane, a BP favorite and teammate of Lightning prospect James Wright in Vancouver, to presumably take the spot of the injured Dana Tyrell. Tyrell suffered a "significant" knee injury Friday night in an exhibition game vs. Sweden and his tournament officially over.
Also, Canada coach Pat Quinn said the goaltenders' peformance Friday night did not sway him one way or another on a starter. Dustin Tokarski (0 GAA Friday) and Chet Pickard (2 GAA Friday) will go into today's game neck and neck.
Prince George Spruce Kings 1 @ Victoria Grizzlies 2
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 38 GP, 12-31-43, 62 PIM
Courtnall goes into the Christmas break with a clear future (Boston University in the fall) and the Grizzlies scoring lead. He is 13th in league scoring. Powellâ€™s Darcy Oakes, 31-38-69 in 39 games, is 19 points ahead of anyone else in the league. The 6-0, 175-pound Oakes is a 20 year old winger from Ontario.
Des Moines @ Fargo Force - POSTPONED
Inclement weather in the upper-midwest forced the postponement of all USHL games.
The QMJHL, OHL, WHL are all off until December 27 for Christmas.
Karri getting it cooking?
Karri Ramo allowed 2 goals on 32 shots before stopping all 4 shooters he faced in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.
NOR Smolenak, (12) (Segal, Jones), 14:35 (PP)
PHI Ross, (13) (Guenin, Giroux), 12:48
NOR Ward, (2) (Downie, Jones), 17:26 (PP)
PHI Giroux, (17) (Ross), 14:17
NOR- Bochenski, Gratton
Brandon Bochenski and Ramo were the game's first and third stars.
Good road win, although the team went into a bit of a shell in the third period getting outshot 15-5. Ramo finally let in the 13th or 14th one he faced in the period, and they went to overtime. Still, the Ads played a great 40 minutes, got a couple of power play goals, and then exorcized some demons in the shootout. Defense in playing better. Goaltending is playing better. And, you've got a dangerous group of forwards that is basically three lines deep. They're still 4 games under .500, and about 7 points behind Binghamton and Wilkes/Barre with both teams holding games in hand on Norfolk, but the Admirals have a slew of home games coming up in January. So, for Norfolk, I think the push is to get back to .500 and by then, hopefully, be within striking distance of 4th place and have something to play for down the stretch.
Box score from TheAHL.com.