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KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-10-17

KHL Western Conference Semifinal
(2)St. Petersburg 2 vs. (3)Dynamo Moscow 1
Series Tied 1-1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 3-4-7, +3, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev assisted on Vadim Shipachyov's eventual game winning goal in SKA's 2-1 Game Two win over Dynamo Moscow, knotting their series at 1-1. Gusev played 16:55 in the victory. SKA outshot Dynamo 40-18 in the virtually "must-win" match.

CHL Game Night: 3-9-17

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 46 GP, 3-16-19, +29, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 5/19 FO, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 47 GP, 22-36-58, +32, 12 PIM
With Erie: 20 GP, 9-13-22, +12, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 54 GP, 38-65-103, +66, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Cirelli scored at the end of the second period to give Erie a 3-1 lead, and the Otters held on for a 4-2 win. Erie widened its lead in the Western Conference to three points over Sault Ste. Marie.

Ottawa 67’s 4 @ Peterborough Petes 5 (OT)

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 15/23 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 61 GP, 19-28-47, +1, 28 PIM
With Petes: 23 GP, 7-11-18, +10, 14 PIM
With Niagara: 37 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 55 GP, 7-19-26, +11, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Paquette scored at 3:24 of overtime to give the Petes a win over visiting Ottawa. He collected the puck in his own zone, skated through traffic down the right wing, and fired a wrist shot from the circle into the top of the net. The Petes have a 10-point lead on Mississauga for first in the East, and are eight points up on Ottawa for the division lead (and top seed).

Guelph Storm 2 @ London Knights 8

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 46 GP, 22-30-52, +22, 24 PIM
With London: 23 GP, 11-12-23, +7, 10 PIM
With Saginaw: 22 GP, 11-17-28, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

London kept pace with Erie in the West by adding two points to its season total. The Knights have 91 points, four behind conference-leading Erie, but they have a game in hand. Both London and Erie are in the Midwest Division.

NHL Game Night: 3-9-17 Wild at Lightning

Lightning dominance overshadowed by centerman attrition.

MIN-1
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for a dominating victory. He gave Minnesota nothing. He was in absolute command and it took a goofy bounce for Minnesota to stave off his shutout bid. That's two straight games where Vasiy has only allowed a single goal. Hard to lose when you do that.

First Period
6:53 TB Kucherov (29), (Hedman, Palat)(PP)
11:01 TB Hedman (13), (Drouin, Dotchin)

Second Period
4:37 TB Sustr (2), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Third Period
16:02 MIN Scandella (4), (Brodin, Koivu)
18:51 TB Kucherov (30), (Gourde)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

That was probably the most dominant game the Lightning have played against a quality opponent all season. The end result was never really in doubt and even as the Lightning were seeing their players drop like flies, their lower liners stepped up and continued to keep the game under total control. Unfortunately, it's dubious whether that kind of "next man up" success is replicable over the rest of the course of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov was the first to go down after going skates first into the board on a play that could be anything from a broken ankle to a knee. To my eyes, that looked like a season ender. Tyler Johnson was the next to go on a knee to knee hit from Nino Niederreiter. Johnson when down like a dropped sack of potatoes, and I'm hopeful he's the one of the three that can get back faster, but it didn't look great. Third to go was Cedric Paquette, who appeared to give himself a high ankle sprain tackling a Wild forward in the slot on a defensive zone play. That may come pretty close to ending his season given the slim number of games the team has left on the schedule. So, the Lightning are going to have to scramble just to find bodies at that position. McKegg can go back into the lineup and they'll probably immediately recall Matthew Peca. Ultimately, though, it may take Steven Stamkos donning the Superman cape and coming back from IR in the next 2 weeks and playing well just to keep the team's slim playoff hopes alive. It's either that or get Brian Bradley off the buffet line.

Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 9:11.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 16:33.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:21. He was also 63% on 8 draws.

Yanni Gourde had a helper in 16:35 and was on the ice defending the 6 on 5 at the end of the contest.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:20. He had a really strong First Period, drawing the penalty that led to Kucherov's opening goal, but once the carnage started in the Second Period, it seemed like the line shuffling hurt the continuity Erne was forming with his linemates.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 3-9-17

SaiPa 1 vs. KooKoo 7
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, DNP
Season totals: 39 GP, 3-4-7, -9, 41 PIM

KooKoo scored the first 7 goals on the game in a 7-1 slaughter that pitted the worst team in the league (SaiPa) against the second worst (KooKoo). Saku Salminen remained out with an injury. SaiPa dropped further into the basement, now 6 points behind KooKoo with just 2 remaining regular season games.

CHL Game Night: 3-8-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3 (Tuesday)

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 5 PIM, 4 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 61 GP, 38-14-52, +10, 89 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 2 Hits
Season Totals: 51 GP, 34-40-74, +34, 53 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Imama fought Luc Deschênes late in the second period. He’s still well off his career high for penalty minutes in season, set two years ago at 137. The Dogs lead the league at 94 points with five games remaining.

Shawinigan Cataractes 4 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 3 (OT)

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 Hits, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 60 GP, 43-28-71, +24, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Shawinigan built a 3-1 lead, but watched it evaporate by the end of the third period. They recovered in overtime to take the two points. The Cataractes sit in third on the league table at 85 points with five games remaining.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 3 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 1-2-3, +4, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, *Second Star*
Season: 61 GP, 30-27-57, +15, 46 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk scored his 30th goal of the season and was named second star in the Soo’s 6-3 doubling of Steven Stamkos’ former team. The Hounds are a point behind London for the Western Conference’s top seed though the Knights have a game in hand.

Western Hockey League

Saskatoon Blades 6 @ Calgary Hitmen 2

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 56 GP: 4-21-25, -12, 66 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Saskatoon had a 6-0 lead before Calgary got on the scoreboard late in the third period. On Tuesday, Jesse Shynkaruk (undrafted) scored his second goal of the game in overtime to life the Blades to a 2-1 win over Red Deer. Hajek had the primary assist on the overtime winner.

Victoria Royals 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 5

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 27 saves on 29 shots
Season Totals: 42 GP, 25-13-2-2, 2.44 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram broke a personal two-game losing streak with a 2-GAA win against Victoria. His .927 save percentage is second in the league to Flyers prospect Carter Hart (.928). Ingram has led the WHL in that category all season. Ingram remains second in GAA behind Hart (1.94).

Reworked Power Play Leads Crunch Past IceCaps


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch’s power play adjustments paid off.

The Crunch scored three times with the man-advantage against the IceCaps, as Syracuse topped St. John’s, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday.

For Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx, the key was putting Matt Taormina and Cory Conacher together to form a clear cut top power play unit.

“Tonight was a five-player effort, but we decided to put Taormina and Conacher together on the power play,” Groulx said. “They hadn’t played together in quite a bit, because we were trying many different things. I thought the two of them were very good on the power play — like (Matthew) Peca, like (Tye) McGinn, like (Erik) Condra.”

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-8-17

KHL Western Conference Semifinals
(2) St. Petersburg 2 vs. (3) Dynamo Moscow 3 (OT)
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 1-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 9 SOG
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev had an even strength goal and a game high 9(!) shots on goal in SKA's 3-2 OT loss to Dynamo Moscow. Gusev played 23:00 in the contest. Undrafted 25 year old forward Maxim Karpov had a hat trick to lead Dynamo to the upset Game One win.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Episode 91

This week’s “Steven F. Stamkos Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast includes the following topics:

· The No. 91
· Where were you when…
· Stamkos rankings
· Trade deadline’s impact on Lightning off the ice
· Defensemen, not defenseman, a summer project
· Syracuse gets deadline attention
· Interview with Dominik Masin
· Syracuse Coach Benoit Groulx talks Dom Masin development

NHL Game Night: 3-6-17 Rangers at Lightning

Lightning Raanta'ed again.

NYR-1
TB-0 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the painfully hard luck OT loss. He was overshadowed by Raanta at the other end, but Vasiy was equally brilliant in a high pressure goaltending duel.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
3:56 NYR Zibanejad (9), (McDonagh)

Vasilevskiy was the game's first star.

The Lightning played very hard wire to wire and just lost to a hot goaltender. You can complain about decision-making with the puck late in the Third Period and into Overtime, but many nights you blow doors off with a 3:2 shot attempt/possession advantage and Vasilevskiy playing that well. The shame is the Lightning are in a spot where they just can't surrender the odd point on a night like this and realistically stay alive for the playoffs.

Luke Witkowski had 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:54. That fight was an epic. We're talking about one that rightfully should go alongside some of those old Rudy Poeschek v. Paul Laus brawls.

Jake Dotchin had 3 shots and 2 hits in 20:25.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes for a nasty boarding call, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 7:15. He was also 43% on 7 draws.

Yanni Gourde played 10:09. Blank stat line doesn't tell the tale, because he was active at both ends of the rink. This was probably his best NHL game in his time in the Lightning organization.

Adam Erne had 2 penalty minutes, 6 shots, and 2 hits in 11:32. 6 shots in under 12 minutes tells you what you need to know. He was very active tonight. Looked really good.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-5-17 Crunch at Senators

Another inauspicious McKenna outing.

SYR-4
BNG-6

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period
5:59 BNG Bailey (17), (Carlisle, Flanagan)
10:59 BNG Mike Blunden (13), (Varone, Bailey)(PP)
11:47 SYR Walcott (4), (Peca)

Second Period
6:43 BNG Akeson (11), (Varone, Perron)
14:54 SYR Peca (8), (Conacher, Thomas)
19:07 BNG Bailey (18), (Akeson, Paul)(PP)

Third Period
16:23 BNG Akeson (12), (Varone, Harpur)(EN)
18:04 SYR Kurtz (1), (Halmo, Ikonen)
18:18 SYR Halmo (15), (Condra, Taormina)
19:35 BNG Akeson (13), (Varone, Sieloff)(EN)

Matthew Peca was the game's third star.

Deduct the garbage time foolishness at the end of the contest and it's a 4-2 game, which looks less bad but is still not entirely inspiring.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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