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Prospect of the Week: February 25, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for February 25 is … Ondrej Palat, W, Syracuse (AHL – USA)

Ondrej Palat doesn’t make headlines.

The Syracuse Crunch forward is a complimentary winger, usually photographed in the background of a dramatic goal or its celebration. But without him, that play probably doesn’t happen.

Palat gives a scoring line 2-way ability or playmaking, whichever is needed the most. Like Martin St. Louis with the Lightning, if a coach adds him to a line, that line gets better.

NA Juniors Game Night: 2-24-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Shawinigan Cataractes 1 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 6

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-0-0, +1, 8 PIM, 6 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 57 GP, 24-51-75, +26, 99 PIM

The Armada spotted Shawinigan a goal, then scored six of their own. Blainville-Boisbriand now has a six point lead on Rouyn-Noranda for first in the TELUS West Division.

Ontario Hockey League

Kitchener Rangers 2 @ Brampton Battalion 1

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 59 GP, 2-22-24, -6, 51 PIM

Blujus is plus-3 in his last four games. He was minus-5 in his previous four games.

Sudbury Wolves 2 @ Guelph Storm 7

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: Did not play
Season totals: 43 GP, 8-45-53, +15, 90 PIM

Richard, who has missed time with an upper body injury, is expected back this week.

Note: Windsor’s Slater Koekkoek is out for the season with an injured shoulder.

NHL Game Night: 2-24-13 Lightning at Penguins

Same problems continue to plague Lightning.

TB-3
PIT-5

Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 10 shots before giving way to Mathieu Garon who allowed 1 on 11 the rest of the way, taking the back door loss.

First Period
01:16 PIT Crosby (8), (Kunitz)
07:15 PIT Crosby (9), (Neal, Martin)
19:26 PIT Martin (3), (Cooke)

Second Period
01:37 TB Brewer (4), (Stamkos, Killorn)
03:14 TB Stamkos (13), (Purcell, St. Louis)(PP)
12:20 PIT Bennett (1), (Crosby, Letang)(PP)

Third Period
03:15 TB Conacher (7), (Hedman, Stamkos)
19:08 PIT Cooke (3), (Sutter, Letang)(EN)

Steven Stamkos was the game's second star.

Too many early goals allowed. Too many goals late in periods. This team seems to be playing from behind 90% of the time, and that's not a way you win games in professional hockey.

Alex Killorn had a helper and was +1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 15:08. Good things happen when he has the puck.

Richard Panik was +1 with 2 shots and 2 blocked shots in 10:57. He had the potential tying goal on his stick on a Third Period breakaway but just didn't have the time and space to make much of a move.

Cory Conacher had a goal and was -1 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 14:20. Players are taking liberties with Conacher physically and at some point someone on the Lightning needs to defend the guy. He's leading the league in rookie scoring and he's getting the snot beaten out of him. Stevie Y had a pretty good protector in his early years by the name of Bob Probert. Conacher needs a little Secret Service protection, too.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 2-24-13

KHL Playoffs (Russia):

Western Conference
(6)Bratislava 2 vs. (3)Dynamo Moscow 4
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 3-0
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, DNP
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-1-0, 0 SO, 5.04 GAA, .839 sv%
Regular season totals: 47 GP, 26-17-4, 5 SO, 2.17 GAA, .928 sv%

Jaroslav Janus again sat backup to Branislav Konrad in Bratislava's 4-2 Game Three loss to Dynamo Moscow. Ex-Lightning prospect Michal Sersen had a helper in defeat for Slovan while ex-Lightning draft pick Marek Kvapil had a goal for victorious Dynamo. Bratislava will try to stave off elimination in Game Four on Monday.

(5)Cherepovets 3 vs. (4)Yaroslavl 2
Cherepovets Leads the Series 2-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 21/23, 2.00 GAA, .913 sv%
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 2-1-0, 0 SO, 1.69 GAA, .939 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 28-20-3, 8 SO, 2.13 GAA, .923 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin continued his strong playoff run stopping 21 shots in Game Three for a critical 3-2 Cherepovets win over Yaroslavl. The winning goal for Severstal was scored by former Lightning first rounder Nikita Alexeev. Ex-Lightning draft pick Denis Kazionov had 4 shots in 17:40 for Cherepovets. Game Four is Monday.

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