So ends Evgeny Nabokov's NHL career?
Evgeny Nabokov allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for the loss before giving way to Ben Bishop, who allowed 3 on 12 shots the rest of the way. The fact Cooper didn't put Nabokov back in for the Third Period seems a bit telling, like perhaps this is the end of the road. Nabokov appeared to earn the start after playing reasonably well in his last outing, but he once again proved the Lightning just can't rely on him for even a mediocre start in back-to-back situations. Were it me, I'd highly consider calling up Kristers Gudlevskis to assume day-to-day practice duties as a waiver-exempt placeholder and then swap him with Andrei Vasilevskiy for planned starts, such as in upcoming back-to-backs. It could be a sad ending for Nabokov, who is probably one of the 4 or 5 best Russian goaltenders ever. The bottom dropped out quickly for him, though, a la Dwayne Roloson several years back.
6:12 PHI VandeVelde (3), (Schenn, Giroux)
10:26 TB Stamkos (23), (Johnson, Stralman)(PP)
16:15 PHI Umberger (7), (Read, Coburn)
1:45 PHI Voracek (17), (Streit, Giroux)(PP)
2:36 PHI Bellemare (4), (VandeVelde, Del Zotto)
7:02 PHI Streit (5), (Schenn, Simmonds)(PP)
8:37 PHI Schenn (10), (Streit, Voracek)(PP)
15:01 PHI Raffl (11), (Laughton, Simmonds)
15:23 TB Boyle (8), (Paquette, Stralman)
1:20 TB Callahan (13), (Drouin, Filppula)(PP)
Adding injury to insult, Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson left the game with lower body injuries, the former of which meant that Brian Boyle ended up having to take shifts on defense. Johnson's injury, which looked like a potential twisted knee, is particularly troubling. So, in addition to whatever happens (if anything) with the goaltending situation, you could see Vladislav Namestnikov called up to fill for Johnson and on defense, I'll guess Luke Witkowski would get the call and the coaching staff might try to slide one of their lefties playing the right side over to the left side.
This was a case where the Lightning got caught peeking ahead to Boston, didn't come out with their best effort, saw some soft goaltending, and allowed it to snowball out of control. Now they'll go into a place they seemingly never win with a depleted lineup after Bishop had to nearly play 2 periods of hockey in the back-to-back situation. So, a minor lapse of mental focus may snowball beyond a single hockey game, which is a lesson Cooper should stress to his team.
Cedric Paquette had a helper with 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:32, as he got to fill some of Johnson's minutes. He was also 40% on draws. To his credit, he was still throwing checks and playing hard in garbage time on the Third Period, which isn't unexpected given his well-respected effort level.
Jonathan Drouin had a helper and was -1 with 1 hit in 15:56. Zero shot attempts. None. The kid sneezes out assists, which is amazing for a guy who rarely even attempts to shoot the puck, and tells you how big a point producer he could be if he actually did.
Astana 2 vs. Magnitogorsk 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 33/35, 2.00 GAA, .943 sv%
Season totals: 38 GP, 24-6-5, 4 SO, 1.80 GAA, .935 sv%
Ex-Predators pick Denis Platonov had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead Magnitogorsk to a 3-2 victory over Astana. Ex-NHLer Nigel Dawes had 1 goal for Astana in defeat. Magnitogorsk is currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
Khanty-Mansiysk 4 vs. Khabarovsk 2
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 41 GP, 16-8-24, +5, 10 PIM
Nikita Gusev had the late insurance marker in 17:16 of ice time in Yugra's 4-2 win over Khabarovsk. Ex-Sharks first rounder Lukas Kaspar also had a pair of goals in the win. Yugra is currently 10th in the East, but they're just 2 points shy of the 8th and final playoff spot in the conference.
Podolsk 2 vs. Bratislava 1 (OT)
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA, .893 sv%
Ex-Flyers pick Mario Kempe, brother of Kings first rounder Adrian Kempe, scored the OT winner for Podolsk in their 2-1 victory over Bratislava. Jaroslav Janus did not dress for Slovan in the defeat. Bratislava is 11th in the 14 time Western Conference.
Sochi 6 vs. Mytischi 4
Dmitry Korobov, Mytischi, 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 1-7-8, -1, 51 PIM
Dmitry Korobov was -3 in 17:44 in Mytischi's 6-4 loss to Sochi. He also took a minor for tripping in the match. Ex-Senators pick Andre Petersson had 2 goals and 4 points in the win for Sochi. Ex-Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy had a goal in defeat and ex-Russian junior national team defenseman Albert Yarullin also had a pair of helpers in the loss. Mytischi is currently dead last in the 14 team Western Conference.
Evansville IceMen 3 at Wichita Thunder 4
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 36 GP, 15-18-33, +3, 35 PIM, 113 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 0-10-10, -6, 82 PIM, 35 SOG
Lightning prospect Daniel Milan assisted on the game winning goal just past the midpoint of the 3rd period to propel the Thunder to a 4-3 victory over the visiting IceMen. Milan now sports a season-high three-game point streak with 4 assists during that span. Fellow Bolt prospect Danick Gauthier unleashed a game-high six shots on Evansville goalie Scott Greenham, but was unable to hit the scoreboard. Wichita takes on the Central Division leading Allen Americans next weekend in an important back-to-back series.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Quebec Remparts 4 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 5 (SO)
W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 5 SOG, 11/18 FO, 1 Hit
Season totals: 37 GP, 25-27-52, +17, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Despite all their added skill, Quebec fell to the Volts, 5-4 in a shootout. Adam Erne, who had two goals last game, was scoreless in the contest. He did not participate in the shootout.
Western Hockey League
Brandon Wheat Kings 5 @ Calgary Hitmen 4
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 31 GP, 4-12-16, -2, 16 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
In a game broadcast on NHL Network, Brandon beat Calgary, 5-4. Thomas hasn’t registered a point in four games.
Orlando Solar Bears 5 at Florida Everblades 4 SO
D Artem Sergeev, FLA: DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-8-14, +7, 10 PIM, 36 SOG
G Allen York, FLA, W, 65:00 MIN, 4 GA, 24 SV, 28 SH
Season totals: 20 GP, 15-3-0-2, 2.48 GAA, 0.907 SV%, 3 SO
F Jeff Costello, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 23 GP, 8-6-14, +2, 26 PIM, 57 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 7 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 24 GP, 5-8-13, E, 20 PIM, 44 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
The Everblades and Solar Bears battled to a 4-4 tie through regulation and overtime before the Solar Bears scored 2-0 in the shootout to take the 5-4 win. Lightning defensive prospect Artem Sergeev once again was not in the lineup for the Everblades. The Tulsa Oilers roll into Estero Wednesday for a 2 game tilt with Florida, the first ever meeting between these two teams.
Evansville IceMen 5 at Wichita Thunder 3
F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 35 GP, 15-18-33, +3, 35 PIM, 107 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 0-9-9, -7, 82 PIM, 33 SOG
Lightning prospect Danick Gauthier got the only assist on the game-opening goal just 90 seconds into the contest, but Evansville would reel off four straight by midpoint in the game. Fellow Bolt prospect Daniel Milan assisted on Wichita's 2nd and 3rd goals, the latter being a short-handed marker to draw the Thunder within one goal, but Evansville goalie Chris Driedger stymied all 10 of Wichita's 3rd period shots. The two teams play again Sunday to complete the back-to-back.