Lightning weather awful performance to pull out a win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Another performance where he held the team in the game with his performance in the First Period. All three goals came on deflections, so altogether another quality start.
7:58 TB Hedman (11), (Kucherov, Palat)(PP)
11:51 CAR Hanifin (3), (Lindholm, Aho)
14:54 CAR Ryan (9), (Hanifin, Rask)(PP)
10:51 TB Johnson (18), (Dotchin, Palat)
15:18 TB Kucherov (27), (Johnson, Garrison)
17:23 CAR McClement (5), (Slavin, Lindholm)(SH)
0:46 TB Hedman (12), (Kucherov, Johnson)
Garbage performance by the Lightning and they got away with it. They came out flat as a pancake again after more trade drama with the departure of Valtteri Filppula earlier in the day. As bad as those 4 shots on goal were in the First Period, they actually managed only 3 in the Third Period. Just a really mentally soft, really emotionally bankrupt effort that they stole 2 points out of.
So, how high is the hill now? Well, the Lightning have pulled within 30 points of magic number 96. The math's actually simple at this hour with 20 games left to go: get 30 of a remaining 40 possible points. Playing .750 remains a pretty tough ask, but they've been playing at that clip for the past couple of weeks, and if Stamkos can return in mid to late March... look, it's nice to dream.
New addition Greg McKegg had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 8:14.
Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 20:07. The key goal to knot the game at 2-2 came on a Dotchin bomb from the point that deflected down and in off Tyler Johnson's skate. Big goal from a big shot. Dotchin's strong as an ox and it shows in his slapper.
Gabriel Dumont had 1 hit in 8:32.
Adam Erne had 4 hits in 15:12. 4 shots attempted on goal, but couldn't get any on frame.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman Mark Streit from the Philadelphia Flyers today in exchange for forward Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round pick in 2017 and a seventh-round selection in 2017, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Tampa Bay then traded Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for their fourth-round selection in 2018.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Mike McKenna from the Florida Panthers in exchange for goaltender Adam Wilcox, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
McKenna, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, has played in 26 games with the Springfield Thunderbirds this season, recording a 9-10-7 record with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage with one shutout. He has appeared in 415 career AHL games with Springfield, the Portland Pirates, Peoria Rivermen, Binghamton Senators, Albany Devils, Lowell Devils, Norfolk Admirals, Milwaukee Admirals and Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. McKenna has amassed a 201-158-18 record, a 2.70 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage with 26 shutouts.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, McKenna has played in 22 career NHL games with the Lightning, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes. He made his NHL debut with Tampa Bay on February 3, 2009 at the New York Islanders in a relief effort.
McKenna, 33, was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round, 172nd overall, of the 2002 NHL Draft.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Shawinigan Cataractes 3 @ Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4
W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 56 GP, 41-26-67, +29, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM
Shawinigan overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead, but had given it up by the end of the second period. Flyers pick German Rubtsov scored his eighth goal in 14 games since coming over from Russia.
SaiPa 1 vs. Assat 2 (OT)
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, DNP
Season totals: 39 GP, 3-4-7, -9, 41 PIM
Undrafted 24 year old Simon Suoranta scored a tying goal with less than 5 minutes to go in regulation and chased it down with the OT winner to lift Assat to a 2-1 win over SaiPa. SaiPa? Still bad. Salminen? Still hurt. SaiPa falls 3 points back of KooKoo in the Liiga basement.
New look Lightning survive sleepy start to annihilate Ottawa.
Andrei Vasilevskiy began life as the presumptive number one goaltender in Tampa Bay with a 39/40 command performance for the win that included some pure Vasilarceniy in the First Period to allow his team to keep contact and eventually secure the win. That's about all you could ask for from Andrei in his first night as "the man."
6:26 OTT Turris (22), (Karlsson, Hoffman)(PP)
1:39 TB Point (9), (unassisted)
5:37 TB Kucherov (24), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
10:26 TB Kucherov (25), (Drouin, Johnson)(PP)
19:46 TB Kucherov (26), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
10:57 TB Coburn (3), (Kucherov, Johnson)
Nikita Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, and Jonathan Drouin were the game's three stars. Kucherov had the natural hat trick and a four point night overall and appears to be fully back to unstoppable form after a very pedestrian middle part of his campaign. When Kucherov is Kucherov, the Lightning are awfully hard to beat.
The Lightning, probably reeling from the trades of veterans Ben Bishop and Brian Boyle, frankly looked lost in the First Period tonight. It took Vasilevskiy stepping up in that opening frame just to give the team a chance because honestly an ordinary goaltending performance would've left them run out of their own barn. A good forecheck on an early shift in the Second Period led to an awful turnover into the slot that led to a Brayden Point quick release goal, and from that point on the Lightning looked like a giant weight had been lifted off of them. Here's the thing about when veterans move out of your locker room: sometimes the vacuum actually gives oxygen to your younger players to step up and take bigger leadership roles. Point and Drouin, in particular, had great body language in that Second Period and you hope they seize the opportunity now to fill the void and imprint their identity on the Lightning now moving forward.
There's still a long way to go to the deadline on Wednesday and a few veteran contracts the Lightning would probably not mind getting out from under if they could, so there could be more changes in the offing. But for now, so far so good. Standings-wise, Tampa Bay needs 32 of a possible 42 remaining points to get to 96 for the season, which would be a colossal task. We're probably still in diagnostic mode the rest of the campaign, but if the Lightning can make this interesting down the stretch it only bodes well for the future. One pretty nice thing about tonight's game is it got the Lightning to dead even in goal differential this year. It'd be nice to be on the plus side at the end of the year, and that seems do-able.
Jake Dotchin had 2 hits in 16:56. I think you saw his minutes logically trimmed back against a quicker Eastern Conference team. Makes sense.
Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 5:50. Got 5 minutes worth for the price of 2 in that fight with Wideman. Wideman slashed Dumont's stick out of his hand and was promptly fed a sneaky upercut after the two dropped the gloves before Dumont ragdolled Wideman the rest of the bout. Pound for pound, Dumont showed me something there.
Adam Erne had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 hit in 13:33. He looks really comfortable at the NHL level already, and I hope he stays in Tampa Bay the rest of the way to see if he can keep developing and stick in Tampa Bay for good heading into next year. With Boyle gone, he brings an element of size and strength down low the team will need.
Primorsky Krai Jr. 4 vs. Yaroslavl Jr. 6
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., 0-0-0, +1, 25 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 77 PIM
Oleg Sosunov took 5 for fighting and a game misconduct as a line brawl broke out at the end of Loko Jr.'s 6-4 win over Taifun Jr. No word on whether the 6'8" defender chose the choke slam or the pile driver as his finishing move.
KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(7)Podolsk 1 vs. (2)St. Petersburg 7
St. Petersburg Wins the Series 4-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 2-3-5, +3, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM
Nikita Gusev had helpers at even strength and on the power play as SKA crushed Podolsk 7-1 to complete their opening round playoff sweep. Ex-NHL'er Evgeny Dadonov led SKA with 2 goals and 3 points in the match. SKA looks likely to play Dynamo Moscow in the next round with the 4th seed currently holding a 3-1 series lead over Novgorod and all Western series looking like they'll go straight chalk in the opening round.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Byron Froese (FRAYZ) and a 2017 conditional second round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Brian Boyle, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. The conditional pick in 2017 will be the highest second-round choice between the Maple Leafs’ own or previously acquired selections from either San Jose or Ottawa. The Lightning will assign Froese to the Syracuse Crunch. Also, Yzerman announced that forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond will be assigned to the Toronto Marlies.
Froese, 25, has appeared in two games with the Maple Leafs this season, posting two shots on goal. The 6-foot, 205-pound forward has skated in 58 career NHL games, all with Toronto over the past two seasons, collecting two goals and five points. He made his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens on October 24, 2015. Froese scored his first career NHL goal on December 19 against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Winkler, Manitoba native has also played in 48 games with the Marlies this season, posting 24 goals and 39 points to go along with 18 penalty minutes. Froese paces the Marlies for both goals and points. He’s appeared in 195 career AHL games, registering 49 goals and 101 points to go along with 81 penalty minutes.
Froese was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fourth round, 119th overall, at the 2009 NHL Draft.
Cincinnati Cyclones 2 at Kalamazoo Wings 6
F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 16 GP, 1-2-3, E, 0 PIMs, 26 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs
F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIMS, 4 SOG, *3rd Star*
Season Totals (ECHL): 3 GP, 1-2-3, +3, 0 PIMs, 8 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs
G Nic Riopel, KAL, Did not play
Season Totals: 22 GP, 11-9-0-1, 2.80 GAA, 0.902 SV%, 1 SO
The K-Wings completed an important weekend sweep of 6 of 6 possible points as they look to solidify a 2017 Kelly Cup playoff spot. The top 4 teams in each of the four ECHL divisions make the playoffs, and Kalamzoo current sits 4th in the Central Division, 6 points behind 3rd place Quad Cities, and 3 points ahead of 5th place Tulsa.
Lightning forward prospect Cameron Darcy scored his first goal as a K-Wing on a back-door tap-in from Bolt camper Ben Wilson, earning 3rd Star honors. Darcy has pointed in each of his first 3 games with Kalamzaoo. Fellow prospect Brian Hart started a tic-tac-toe play that resulted in the K-Wings' 6th and final goal of the game. Kalamazoo travels back to the Quad Cities for another important game Wednesday night, before a 3-in-3 next weekend with Brampton, Toledo, and Adirondack.