Quick Strikes: Vasilevskiy stops 22 shots to earn second consecutive shutout for Russia

Kucherov smiles in a family picture, Vasilevskiy keeps Russia undefeated, J.T. Brown’s updated Wikipedia page, and five Tampa Bay Lightning prospects prepare for the Memorial Cup Tournament.

The Bolts

Happy Mother’s Day! It looks like Nikita Kucherov is spending the holiday weekend with his family.

#kucherov #family

A post shared by Denis Kucherov (@kucheroff) on

Scouting the 2017 NHL Draft: Nicolas Hague would be a huge addition on defense. “The towering blueliner would add size and a little skill to the Lightning’s defense” [Raw Charge]

“If you're a Lightning fan, you should pay attention to this Predators-Ducks Western Conference final. Specifically, keep an eye on the blueline... The Lightning is more likely to go the trade route, and could take advantage of defensemen-rich teams who can't protect everyone leading up to the June 21st expansion draft.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Joshua Toshua Brown reminds us all that Wikipedia is unreliable.

It's your turn to decide the best play of the 2016-17 Lightning season. “Voting for the first group in the Best of the Bolts Round of 16 starts at noon on Friday, May 12 and ends at noon on Monday, May 15. Each matchup is listed below and you can vote as many times as you'd like for your favorite play in each matchup.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The Worlds

With ten members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participating across four teams at the IIHF World Championship, we'll be keeping a close eye on Canada (Jon Cooper, Alex Killorn, and Brayden Point), Russia (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and prospect Nikita Gusev), Sweden (Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman), and Switzerland (Tanner Richard).

Switzerland defeats Canada 3-2 in overtime.

Richard picked up an assist while Killorn and Point were held off the score sheet. Killorn has yet to score at Worlds.

“John Cooper had a simple message following Canada's first loss at the world hockey championships on Saturday: Just move on to the next game. ‘This situation that we're going through — I'm glad we're going through at this stage of the tournament, and not in an elimination game. We just move on, that's it.’” [TSN]

Russia defeats Slovakia 6-0.

Kucherov scored a goal, Gusev picked up two assists, and Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots to earn his second consecutive shutout as Russia’s netminder. Russia is the only undefeated team in the tournament.

Vasilevskiy spoke after the game. Official translation by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, with a few edits for clarity provided by Natalia.

We played against a good team. In the second and third periods, they could have scored more than once. We have to get better; we can't give our opponents such opportunities in the future. It has been a good practice for me, but if we face a stronger team, we might not be able to pull the game out. There are a lot of NHL players on Team USA and playing against them will be hard, but we should think about the match against Latvia now. One game at a time.

Pictures of the victory, courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

The Prospects

Five different Syracuse Crunch players found the net in their 5-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies in Game 5 of the North Division Finals. The win gives Syracuse a 3-2 edge as the series heads back to Toronto. “You need that contribution from your role players,” Crunch head coach Ben Groulx said of the goals scored by Racine and Lynch. “I thought Lynch played well, I thought Walcott played well again tonight, Dumont had an empty netter, Racine (scored) shorthanded, so it was a good night.” [Raw Charge]

ICYMI: Three Tampa Bay Lightning prospects won the OHL Championship! “Taylor Raddysh scored a hat trick and Anthony Cirelli scored the overtime winner as the Erie Otters captured their second OHL Championship on home ice last night. The Lightning prospects played the biggest games of their careers so far and now they’re taking some well deserved rest, before heading to Windsor for the 2017 Memorial Cup Tournament.” [Raw Charge]

The Game

For the second night in a row, the NHL playoffs needed overtime to decide the winner of Game 1. “The Ottawa Senators did what they needed to do in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Bobby Ryan ended the 2-1 game in overtime with a real great individual effort to win a foot race in the offensive zone before putting the finish behind Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins.” [SB Nation]

If you’re wondering why the Penguins-Senators game was delayed last night, blame golf and NBC. “Viewers got treated to 25 minutes of golf as Game 1 was delayed because of the third round of The Players Championship was running long on NBC. It’s not really a good look for the NHL at all, as despite their status as one of America’s ‘big four sports’ it’s hard to imagine the NFL or NBA playoffs being shafted for golf of all things. Luckily, Game 1 was just delayed instead of starting on time with the American audience cut out of the broadcast. That’d be a whole different fiasco.” [SB Nation]