Riding a six-game point streak (three goals, three assists), Lightning prospect and Syracuse Crunch center, Vladislav Namestnikov, is third in team scoring. The second-year pro has goals in three straight games, the longest streak of his career. The tally he potted Saturday for the Crunch in Binghamton was his first career regular season game-winning goal. Both of his 2013 postseason goals were also game-winners.
Skating as a trio in their past four games, the line combination of J.T. Brown-Nikita Kucherov-Namestnikov has produced nine goals and Namestnikov alone has scored goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his AHL career.
Namestnikov, 20, of Voskresensk, Russia, was a first-round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft out of the London Knights (OHL) organization. During the 2011-12 campaign he helped the Knights to the Memorial Cup Final, collecting 18 points in 19 postseason games and led London with 49 assists in the regular season (eighth most in the OHL) and his 71 points were second most on the team. As a Lightning prospect, the 6-foot, 179-pound Namestnikov skated in two preseason games for the Bolts to open the 2013-14 season before being assigned to Syracuse. His two preseason appearances came against the Nashville Predators and the Florida Panthers, which both resulted in a win, helping the club finish with a preseason record of 5-2.
The Crunch will host one more home game against the Rochester Americans before embarking on a four game road trip which includes back-to-back games against division rival the Norfolk Admirals, where Namestnikov will look to extend his point streak and lengthen his career best.