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Liiga Game Day: 12-28-16

Ilves 1 vs. SaiPa 2
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 27 GP, 2-4-6, -5, 39 PIM

Saku Salminen was scoreless in 8:07 of ice time in SaiPa's 2-1 win over Ilves. The rare win puts SaiPa at 14th in the 15 team league, 2 points ahead of basement dwelling Lukko on the league table.

KHL Game Day: 12-27-16

Kazan 4 vs. St. Petersburg 3 (SO)
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 18-34-52, +31, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev assisted on one of two Vadim Shipachyov goals in SKA's 4-2 Shootout loss to Ak Bars Kazan. The forward played 14:30 in the match and was successful on 1 of his 2 attempts in the penalty shot session.

Bolts Ink Brett Howden to Entry-Level Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Brett Howden to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Howden, 6-foot-3, 191 pounds, has played in 21 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League this season, recording 16 goals and 32 points along with four power-play goals. He ranks fourth on the Warriors for goals and fifth for points despite missing time due to injury. Howden’s current 1.52 points per game average would be a career high.

A native of Oakbank, Manitoba, Howden has skated in 162 career WHL games, all with Moose Jaw, with 63 goals and 143 points. He has also amassed 104 penalty minutes and 20 power-play goals. Howden played in 10 WHL playoff games last season and notched four goals and 15 points. He was named the Warriors’ Rookie of the Year for the 2014-15 season.

Howden was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round, 27th overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

AHL Game Night: 12-26-16 Crunch at Americans

Crunch grinched on the day after Christmas.

SYR-1
RCH-5

Adam Wilcox allowed 5 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
5:56 SYR Masin (1), (Peca, Taormina)
8:51 RCH Bailey (11), (Schneider, O'Reilly)(PP)
9:18 RCH Rodrigues (5), (Muzito-Bagenda, Bennett)
12:59 RCH Catenacci (4), (O'Reilly, Geiger)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:57 RCH Bailey (12), (Kennedy)
15:52 RCH Schneider (11), (Kennedy)

Dominik Masin scored his first pro goal in the match. Other than that, it was a clunker.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 12-26-16

Pelicans 3 vs. SaiPa 2 (OT)
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 26 GP, 2-4-6, -4, 39 PIM

Saku Salminen was scoreless in 8:06 of ice time in SaiPa's 3-2 OT loss to Pelicans Lahti. Journeyman Justin Hodgman had the OT winner and a pair of helpers in the win for Pelicans.

Bolts Sign Joseph to Rookie Contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Mathieu Joseph to a three-year, entry-level contract on Christmas Eve, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Joseph, 6-foot-1, 172 pounds, has played in 29 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season, notching 25 goals and 45 points. He is tied for the league lead for goals and is also tied for third for shorthanded goals with four, tied for fourth for power play goals with nine and tied for second for plus/minus with a plus-23 rating.

MHL Game Day: 12-25-16

Spartak Jr. 1 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 5
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM

Oleg Sosunov is no longer listed on Loko Jr.'s roster as of this weekends two game set against Spartak Jr. Bolt Prospects will do some digging to see whether Sosunov has been demoted to MHL-B or if another transaction is in the offing.

KHL Game Day: 12-25-16

Nizhnekamsk 0 vs. St. Petersburg 4
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
Season totals: 38 GP, 18-33-51, +30, 6 PIM

Nikita Gusev had a garbage time power play goal, a game-opening power play assist, and an even strength assist sandwiched in between in SKA's 4-0 blanking of Nizhnekamsk. Gusev played 17:50 in the match and had a game high 7 shots on goal. The 3 point effort sets a new career high in points for Gusev at 51 through 38 games, which surpasses his total of 49 points in 56 games last year. He moves back to third in the KHL in scoring behind only Sergei Mozyakin of Magnitogorsk and his teammate and former NHL'er Ilya Kovalchuk. Ex-Isles pick Mikko Koskinen turned aside all 30 shots he faced for SKA for the shutout victory.

MHL Game Day: 12-24-16

Spartak Jr. 0 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 3
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 0-0-0, -4, 50 PIM

Ilya Konovalov posted a 21 save shutout in Loko Jr.'s 3-0 win over Spartak Jr.

NHL Game Night: 12-23-16 Lightning at Capitals

Schedule and injuries victimize the Lightning.

TB-0
WSH-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss before being lifted for Kristers Gudlevskis, who stopped all 3 shots he saw in garbage time. I wasn't in love with the 1st and 4th goals Vasilevskiy gave up, not that this atrocity was his fault.

First Period
0:55 WSH Carlson (2), (Alzner, Wilson)
15:42 WSH Carlson (3), (Johansson, Backstrom)

Second Period
10:48 WSH Ovechkin (15), (Orlov)

Third Period
8:33 WSH Johansson (13), (Backstrom)

No chance. The Lightning got to Washington at 2:30 am last night after their game against St. Louis already hobbled with multiple injuries. You had guys like Bournival who have played something like 6 of the last 8 days along with the travel. Stralman looked like he was completely running on fumes. This was a schedule loss, plain and simple, and it was made worse by fatigue leading to multiple injuries. Drouin and Coburn went out. Hedman went out and came back in. The Lightning would've been better off not getting of the plane and declaring this a no contest. This schedule in the first three months of the year has been as vicious as I think I've seen in the league for a Lightning team. They've been grinded down into the ground and they just collapsed under the weight of it tonight.

Unfortunately, halfway through this fourth ten game segment of the season, the Lightning need 7 of a possible 10 remaining points in the segment just to tread water and not dig their hole deeper in their playoff pursuit. Fortunately, the Lightning do have a glut of home games and hopefully a glut of guys returning from injury to try to make some hey with over the course of those five games.

Brayden Point was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 19:35.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:34.

Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 hits and he was 38% on 13 draws in 16:07.

You get a minus. And, you get a minus. And, YOU get a minus!

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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