Omsk 2 @ Astana 1
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Win, 25/26, 1.00 GAA, .962 sv%
Season totals: 24 GP, 14-9, 2 SO, 1.91 GAA, .917 sv%
Jaromir Jagr assisted on Dimitri Pestunov's game winning third period goal to help lift Karri Ramo and Omsk over Astana 2-1. Former Lightning draft pick Ilya Solarev took two minor penalties in the match for Astana. Interestingly, Ramo's numbers are very similar to St. Petersburg goaltender Robert Esche (15-7, 3 SO, 2.04 GAA, .916 sv%), who the Lightning briefly courted for Ramo's vacant backup spot in Tampa Bay before signing Antero Niittymaki.
Chekhov 0 @ Magnitogorsk 4
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 29/29, 1 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 14-13, 3 SO, 2.13 GAA, .920 sv%
Koshechkin got his first shutout in a Metallurg jersey to help boost Magnitogorsk to a 4-0 victory. Former NHL superstar Sergei Fedorov supported Koshechkin with a goal and an assist in the match. Magnitogorsk moves 1 point ahead of Yulaev into 1st in the Eastern Conference.
CSKA 2 @ Ekaterinburg 1 (OT)
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-3-7, -9, 10 PIM
CSKA got an overtime goal from ex-Senators draft pick Alexander Nikulin to pull out a 2-1 win over Ekaterinburg. Denis Kazionov played 13:29 in the match. Ekaterinburg has managed to climb over Novokuznetsk and Khabarovsk to get out of the Eastern Conference basement, but still sits 5 points behind Chelyabinsk for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.
Ottawa 67â€™s 4 @ Belleville Bulls 3
RW Kyle DeCoste, BEL: 2-0-2, E, 2 PIM (hooking), *Second Star*
Season Totals: 25 GP, 9-6-15, +2, 24 PIM
With Bulls: 12 GP, 7-5-12, +4, 4 PIM
With SSM: 13 GP, 2-1-3, -2, 20 PIM
DeCoste now has four goals and five points in his last two games. He tied the game at three with a power play goal with just under two minutes remaining in the third period, but Ottawa came back to steal a win with a goal at 19:23.
Boston remains the Lightning's chamber of horrors.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 38 shots for the loss. I thought Smitty's play was subpar tonight. I think Boston's first and third goals were suspect, and I think they really changed the complexion of the game. You can't spot Tim Thomas two extra goals of support in his own barn. He'll beat you.
BOS 8:05, Savard 5 (Morris, Chara)(PP)
BOS 14:03, Bergeron 8 (Chara, Recchi)
BOS 13:36, Sturm 7 (Recchi, Bergeron)
BOS 16:09, Sturm 8 (Bergeron, Recchi)
TB 1:27, Halpern 4 (Downie, Malone)
The team didn't play as poorly as the score indicated, outside of the goaltending. The forecheck and the dirty work in front of the opposition's cage is coming along. They'd have gotten more were it not for Thomas being Thomas tonight.
It was good to see Matt Smaby back in action, although he only got one shift in the third period after seeing about 10-11 minutes in the first two periods. He was feeling his way out in this game. I think he needs a couple of games to get comfortable again and then the hits will start coming. I hope the Lightning recognize what they have in Smaby. Big, physical defensemen are rare and worth their weight in gold. It seems like every year teams draft 2-3 dozen of these types of guys out of junior and only a handful pan out. So, when you get one that does, you need to keep him and continue to develop him.
Steven Stamkos has gotten into more of a pass-first mode the past couple of games. Shoot the puck, young man. Shoot it from the team hotel. Shoot it from the nacho stand. Shoot it from the restaurant after the game. Shoot the puck. He had 5 shots tonight, but he gave up at least three shots from prime scoring areas. Shoot.
Zenon Konopka had 2 shots and 4 hits in 8:17.
Paul Szczechura had 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:16 but was 43% on draws. He's been one of the Lightning's better forwards over the past couple of games.
James Wright had 2 blocked shots in 8:53.
Victor Hedman was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:41.
Kazan 1 @ Togliatti 2
Dimitry Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 8-1-9, E, 12 PIM
Kazan fell to cash-strapped Togliatti on two second period goals by Lada. The older Kazionov, Dimitry, played 12:12 in the match.
Spartak Moscow 4 @ Dynamo Moscow 2
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 30 GP, 2-5-7, -5, 22 PIM
It was another frustrating night at the rink for Johan Harju, who was -2 in 13:49 with a second period roughing minor to boot. The lone bright spot was that Harju was 80% on draws in the game, bringing him to 58% on the season with 434 faceoffs taken. Former Lightning checking liner Martin Cibak assisted on Spartak's first goal, which was former NHLer Branko Radivojevic's 11th of the year.