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Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy ties Daren Puppa for third most Tampa Bay Lightning wins

And Brayden Point scores his third game-winning-goal of the road trip. Happy Sunday news!

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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Here we are one day before the NHL trade deadline, and we have a few things on our minds for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s no secret that more depth in D would make a world of difference, but is Erik Karlsson the right fit? Would we have to give up too much, like a roster player? We explored this yesterday.

Could the Tampa Bay Lightning deal Vladislav Namestnikov in a trade? “Vlad Namestnikov is a name that has been popping up a lot lately in the last week or so. He’s having a career-season, can play on any line, and is relatively cheap. That could be enticing to a team looking for young talent. For the Lightning, he makes sense as a potential trade piece.” [Raw Charge]

Joe Smith weighed in on what we’d all be getting in a Karlsson trade. “Even (playing) at 85 percent, he’s probably better than 99 percent of players at 100 percent. His anticipation, his hockey sense, is off the charts. It’s as good as anybody, Sidney Crosby, I don’t care who. That’s why he’s in position (on the ice); he knows what’s going to happen.” [Tampa Bay Times]

The team had some good times in Montreal last night, though. It’s worth wishing the Habs made the playoffs just to see the kind of rivalry series we’d have. Next year, Habs!

Raw Charge’s game recap. Hardev had some tough love for Stamkos’s fighting penalties. [Raw Charge]

I actually thought Stammer had a great game that just didn’t result in a goal on the scoresheet due to bad luck and frankly clutch goaltending by Antti Niemi. My one qualm with his game tonight was that he took that 17-minute penalty. I know he was sticking up for his teammate, but third-pair defenseman Karl Alzner was able to eliminate one of the best players on the ice for a third of the game, a third during which the Habs were able to grow momentum and even score a goal. It played right into Montreal’s hands.

Mishkin’s Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Canadiens 3 - SO. “The Habs got through the two-man disadvantage and were seconds away from killing off both penalties. The crowd was ready to erupt. But Kucherov whistled a shot from the high slot that Ryan Callahan tipped past Niemi. Not only did the goal tie the game, it prevented the Canadiens from getting any momentum from the long kill.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]

We’re always happy to sing Brayden Point’s praises in here: Brayden Point leads Lightning over Canadiens in 4-3 shootout win. “The victory propelled Tampa Bay (42-17-3) into first place in the league, one point ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights. Jon Cooper’s men have won three straight games.” [Globe and Mail]

Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline. “The Lightning responded, with Cooper saying it was at its most responsible in the final 18 minutes of the third. Callahan scored a power-play goal to tie it, and the penalty kill stepped up before Point scored the only shootout goal. It was his third winner of the trip. ‘Brayden Point was outstanding,’ Cooper said.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Stamkos, Hedman fight for Lightning during same period. “Two superstar Tampa Bay Lightning players dropped the gloves in the same period against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, and while neither showing was especially boisterous or violent, the rarity really drives the point home.” [NHL on NBC]

Some unlikely players drop the gloves for Canadiens and Lightning. “Good captain,” Alzner said about his opponent. “We were even talking about it as the fight was going on. I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he’s like: ‘Yeah, I got to stick up for Kuch.’ I’m like: ‘OK’. It was a shock. I could see someone coming out of the corner of my eye and I’m like who the heck is it? And it was Stammer. And I know him a little bit, so it was fun.” [Montreal Gazette]

The Prospects

Gabriel Dumont is back!

Syracuse Crunch beat WBS Penguins, extend win streak to four games. “The biggest thing is you can tell they know how to play these games because we won 2-1, 2-1 and 3-1 today,” Dumont said. “They know how to play tight games. They’re not afraid to make the right plays. You take a guy like (Cirelli) today, who took six or seven big hits to make plays. That’s being a veteran. You can tell. … Same with (Joseph). At the end he goes out of his way and dives to block a shot. It’s just things they’ve never had to do, but now they’re doing. That’s why they’re so good.” [Auburn]

Syracuse pulls away from Pens. “One weekend after the Rochester Americans and Utica Comets beat the Penguins, the Syracuse Crunch did the honors Saturday night with a 3-1 decision. It’s the team’s third straight win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.” [Times-Tribune]

Crunch score three unanswered goals in its win over Penguins. “Gabriel Dumont got the Crunch on the board and added an assist to lead the team with a two-point night. Alex Volkov potted the game-winner, while Anthony Cirelli contributed an insurance marker to bring Syracuse to 32-18-2-3 on the season. The Crunch won the season-series against the Penguins, 4-1.” [Local Syr]

The Olympics

Men’s hockey Team Russia won the Gold, and Nikita Gusev and Nikita Nesterov along with it. Congrats!

Olympic results 2018: Olympic Athletes from Russia wins men’s hockey gold medal. “People will be talking about that game-tying goal for a long time. Germany seemed to be on the brink of putting the game away with a power play and a one-goal lead, but Russia pulled its goaltender to pull to 5-on-5 on the ice, then Gusev popped home a backhand shot from a wild angle to shock everyone watching.” [SBNation]

Oh and Canada won the Bronze. Also congrats! “Before this Olympics began, no one had much good to say about Team Canada. They were culled from all the Canadians bold enough, good enough, adventurous enough to play in Europe, but not good enough for the NHL. This Team Canada was not like the ones of recent Olympics.” [PPP]