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NHL Game Night: 1-4-15 Lightning at Senators

Every win streak starts at one.

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Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 20 shots. He was beaten by the first shot he faced, but settled down, making some underrated saves in the second period. He coasted in the third when the Lightning controlled the majority of play. He's not his pre-injury self yet, but he's getting closer.

First Period
0:32 OTT Turris (9), (MacArthur, Ceci)

Second Period
3:48 TB Hedman (5), (Drouin, Carle)
7:30 OTT Stone (9), (Turris, Karlsson)
16:08 TB Johnson (14), (Kucherov, Stralman)
16:55 TB Stamkos (21), (Killorn, Hedman)

Third Period
7:58 Johnson (15), (Kucherov, Palat)

Johnson and Kucherov were the game's first and second stars, respectively.

Like in Pittsburgh, the Lightning started slow again, but the game turned out more like the recent Leafs game than Pens when they controlled the second and third periods.

The Lightning were horrific on the power play to start the game, unable to get into Ottawa’s zone without looking like a pee-wee team. It wasn’t until Johnson finished off a slick cross-ice pass from Kucherov late in the second period that they finally broke through on the man advantage. They finished a paltry 1/9, though that’s better than an 0-fer. Ottawa has experienced similar futility lately on the power play; they haven’t scored with the man advantage since December 19. They were 0/3 on Sunday.

Shortly after Johnson’s goal, Stamkos scored a highlight-reel, high-effort marker to hopefully get the monkey off his back. A big difference for him tonight was the presence of Alex Killorn on his line in place of Jonathan Drouin, which opened up some additional space. If this doesn’t get Stamkos going, Jon Cooper may think about putting Callahan back on Stamkos’ line as an investment of sorts in the Lightning’s top asset.

The difference in this game was the Lightning’s pressure in the second and third periods. The Sens played Boston on Saturday and the Lightning had been sitting in Ottawa since the Penguins game on Friday night. By the end of the third period the Lightning were getting extended zone time and Ottawa wasn’t showing much desire to keep playing.

With the win, the Lightning begin their fifth 10-game segment of the season with 2 points. To review, the goal is 12 points per segment, and they already have 4 extra points in the bank from previous segments.

The key now for the Lightning is to turn a single win into a streak. There’s no better place to start than Montreal on Tuesday night in a battle for the top spot in the Atlantic. Both teams have 54 points, with the Habs having two games in hand. This is where the 2004 Lightning took off on their way to the East's No. 1 seed.

Cedric Paquette was even with 1 shot and 1 hit in 12:18. He played a lot with Callahan and Filppula and didn’t look out of place. He’s not thriving like he did when he was first called up, but he’s settling into his checking role nicely.

Jonathan Drouin had 1 assist and was +2 with 3 shots in 12:59. He created a rebound that led to Hedman’s goal and was a Lehner toe save away from scoring on his own in the third period. Though getting fourth-line duty with grinders Morrow and Boyle, Drouin is able to produce better because he’s not up against the opposition’s best shut-down lines and pairs. It’s part of the long learning process. You can't say Cooper didn't give him a chance up top.

Nikita Nesterov was even with 2 PIM, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 13:06. He took a tripping penalty in the first period, but nearly scored after exiting the box and pinching in deep. He was sheltered for a lot of the game, though he continues to show impressive poise and aggressiveness for a rookie. Slotting in over Barberio was an interesting choice by Cooper, though it could be because Nesterov has experience playing the right side and Barberio is much better on the left than right. Both are lefties. Radko Gudas is out for the road trip so I’m curious to see if Nesterov or Barberio get the nod in the important Montreal game. I can’t say enough about how big of a difference there is in Nesterov’s play and on-ice demeanor between last year at this time and now. Kudos to him and the Syracuse staff.

Box score from NHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 1-4-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 3 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 6

C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 0-1-1, -2, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 14/20 FO, 0 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 8 GP, 7-8-15, -9, 6 PIM
With Cape Breton: 21 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 30 GP, 8-21-29, -15, 20 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM

Darcy had an assist Sunday in a loss to the Foreurs to give him 15 points in eight games with Sherbrooke.

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 5 @ Mississauga Steelheads 4 (OT)

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 13-10-23, -10, 57 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

DiGiacinto (pictured) extended his point streak to five games with a goal that cut Mississauga’s lead to 3-2. The Spits later completed the comeback and won in overtime.

Notes: The following players remain out of their respective lineups:
Brayden Point (Moose Jaw), with Team Canada for the World Junior Championships
Dominik Masin (Peterborough) has not yet returned from Team Czech Republic

ECHL Game Night: 1-3-15

Florida Everblades 5 at Greenville Road Warriors 4

D Artem Sergeev, FLA: DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 6-8-14, +7, 10 PIM, 36 SOG

Other Notables
G Allen York, FLA, W, 60:00 MIN, 4 GA, 30 SV, 34 SH
Season totals: 18 GP, 14-3-0-1, 2.54 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 2 SO

F Jeff Costello, FLA: 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 21 GP, 7-7-14, +1, 24 PIM, 49 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 22 GP, 5-8-13, +1, 11 PIM, 43 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM

Allen York returned to the Everblade lineup Saturday night after being reassigned from Syracuse and stopped 30 of 34 shots for his 14th win of the season. Greenville put on another 3rd period clinic, following up Friday night's 4-goal final period with a 3-goal rally from a 4-1 deficit. Florida needed Adam Brace's 3rd period marker to split the weekend series with the Road Warriors. Jeff Costello continues a bit of hot streak with a goal and a short-handed assist in the Everblade victory. Lightning prospect Artem Sergeev did not play for the Everblades and there is no indication that he has been recalled to Syracuse with Nikita Nesterov still in Tampa. However, earlier Saturday Florida acquired defenseman Rob Florentino from the Elmira Jackals as completion of the future considerations of the October 15th trade that sent forward Kevin Hart from Florida to Elmira. The Everblades return home next weekend for back-to-back games against Orlando.

Quad City Mallards 2 at Wichita Thunder 3

F Danick Gauthier, WIC: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 31 GP, 14-16-30, +4, 37 PIM, 100 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

D Daniel Milan, WIC: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 0-6-6, -10, 68 PIM, 31 SOG

The Thunder rallied with two 3rd period goals to extend their win streak Saturday night against the Mallards. Wichita has only a shootout loss blemish in their last 8 games of otherwise 7 victories. The win against Quad City tied them with the Mallards for 2nd on the Central Division board. Both Lightning prospect Danick Gauthier and Daniel Milan assisted on RG Flath's game-winning goal in the 3rd period. The Thunder play the division-leading Americans Sunday.

Juniors Game Night: 1-3-15

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Sherbrooke Phoenix 1 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5

C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 10/18 FO, 3 Hits
With Sherbrooke: 7 GP, 7-7-14, -7, 4 PIM
With Cape Breton: 21 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 29 GP, 8-20-28, -13, 18 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM

Darcy's 8-game points streak was snapped and Sherbrooke lost for the first time in their last five games as the Huskies beat the Phoenix, 5-1. Darcy had seven goals in his last four games coming into Saturday night.

Quebec Remparts 3 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 7

W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 4/15 FO, 2 Hits
Season totals: 34 GP, 23-27-50, +20, 44 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM

Quebec had its 5-game win streak snapped by the Armada. Lightning Assistant General Manager Julien Brisebois and Director of Player Development Stacy Roest were in attendance to see Erne, who had one of his worst games statistically. He was moved to first line center a few weeks ago and had been excellent in the circle, but was just 4 for 15 in front of his future bosses. Danick Martel (undrafted) had a hat trick for Cedric Paquette’s former team.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 4 @ Saginaw Spirit 5 (OT)

D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 29 GP, 10-28-38, E, 64 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM

DeAngelo returned to the Sting lineup the day after Team USA was eliminated from the World Junior Championships. DeAngelo had two goals and an assist in the tournament. He has primary assists on Sarnia’s final two goals, which tied the game vs the Spirit on Saturday. He was on the ice for the overtime winner, however, taking a minus.

Windsor Spitfires 6 @ Erie Otters 3

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 31 GP, 12-10-22, -12, 57 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

DiGiacinto extended his point streak to four games with an assist as Windsor upset Erie, 6-3, on the road.

Western Hockey League

Calgary Hitmen 4 @ Brandon Wheat Kings 7

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 1-0-1, -3, 2 PIM
Season totals: 28 GP, 4-12-16, -4, 14 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Calgary had a 3-1 lead at one point, then gave up six of the next seven goals. Thomas (pictured) scored his fourth goal of the season.

Notes: The following players remain out of their respective lineups:
Brayden Point (Moose Jaw), with Team Canada for the World Junior Championships
Dominik Masin (Peterborough) has not yet returned from Team Czech Republic

NCAA Game Night: 1-3-15

Union Dutchmen 3 @ No. 1 Boston University Terriers 3

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 15 GP, 2-3-5, +7, 34 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 19 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 36 PIM

BU forced a tie with the defending champs by scoring with under five minutes remaining in regulation. MacLeod got the start for the Terriers on defense.

USNTDP 4 @ No. 1 North Dakota 7 (Exhibition)

F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 17 GP, 5-2-7, E, 25 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM

No. 1 North Dakota hosted USA’s National Development Team and beat the future collegians, 7-4.

No. 15 Quinnipiac Bobcats 4 @ St. Cloud State Huskies 1

F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 20 GP, 3-14-17, -3, 19 PIM
2014-2015 totals: 40 GP, 12-26-38, +4, 16 PIM

Quinnipiac earned a weekend split with the Huskies by winning on Saturday. They lost Friday. Peca had a goal and two assists in the series.

Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers 2 @ No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers 3 (OT) (Mariucci Classic)

G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Win, 19 saves on 21 shots
Season totals: 16 GP, 10-5-1, 2.18 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
2013-2014 totals: 38 GP, 26-6-6, 1.97 GAA, .932 sv%, 4 SO

Adam Wilcox made several big saves late in the game, but didn’t have to face any in overtime as the Gophers finally disposed of RIT, 3-2. RIT came into the game 5-10-2. UMass-Lowell beat Merrimack for the Mariucci Classic championship.

*USCHO poll used

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