Lightning postpone the Islanders coronation.
Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory. Light work tonight for Big Ben compared to the huge shot totals he faced against Chicago and San Jose.
7:41 NYI Nelson (8), (Tavares, Okposo)
8:41 TB Callahan (6), (Garrison, Filppula)
11:22 NYI Bailey (3), (Boychuk, Leddy)
13:46 TB Filppula (4), (Stamkos, Garrison)(PP)
15:29 TB Paquette (5), (Namestnikov, Killorn)
1:39 TB Johnson (6), (Palat, Kucherov)
15:34 TB Gudas (1), (Callahan)
Tonight was a pretty stark contrast between "one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference" and the quality of opposition the Lightning faced in their last 2 contests. The Islanders have had a nice year so far, but the Lightning never looked out of control in this game tonight, even in the wild First Period the two teams participated in.
The win gives the Lightning 13 points for the 10 game segment with 2 more games left to go. They have 2 insurance points now in the bank with the opportunity for more against the Rangers. Remember, folks, the Lightning have the Rangers' first round pick, so anything Tampa Bay can do to sink that team will only help the long-term health of the franchise. Kick-em, kick-em hard, and see if you can contribute to them coughing up a lottery pick the Lightning's way.
So, let me reiterate: there is extra incentive to beat the Rangers on Monday, irrespective of anything to do with Marty St. Louis or the number of ex-Rangers on the Lightning squad. Every time Tampa Bay plays the Rangers this year, it's a golden chance to increase the odds they can get another very good player this June and further build up an elite contender for the next decade.
Cedric Paquette had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 14:25. He was also 45% on draws. You saw Paquette with the hands on the rebound goal. You saw Paquette creating havoc in goal mouth scrums. You saw Paquette blocking shots on the PK. You saw him mixing it up physically at the end of the game. You saw almost the full array of what he brings to the table, in true Dump Truck fashion. There's a painful decision coming up very soon with Brett Connolly coming off of IR in short order. I don't know how you easily send down a guy who has been one of your best goal scorers over the past couple of weeks.
Vladislav Namestnikov had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit in 13:48. He created Paquette's goal on a sharp angle shot coming out of one of his trademark swoops around the net. That used to be Stamkos' claim to fame, but it's become Namestnikov's this season.
Syracuse movin' on up.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. He kept his team in the game and gave them the opportunity to make, and complete, the comeback bid.
WBS Sheary, (4) (Rowney, Dumoulin), 12:33
WBS Ebbett, (4) (Wilson, Pouliot), 13:38 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (4) (Koekkoek, Paradis), 16:41
SYR Gourde, (5) (Nesterov, Marchessault), 2:16 (PP)
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Dotchin), 10:11
The Pens held the top spot in the Northeast Division coming into the game, 2 points ahead of Syracuse. So, the Crunch move into a tie with Wilkes-Barre Scranton at 19 points, and with Albany losing tonight the Crunch will hold a share of the division lead at the end of the night. They'll also have another key divisional matchup Wednesday in Hartford.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
HPK 3 vs. TPS 1
Saku Salminen, HPK, DNP
Season totals: 10 GP, 1-1-2, E, 2 PIM
Ex-Bruins first rounder Zach Hamill had a goal in HPK's 3-1 win over TPS. After a rough start to the year, HPK has now risen to 3rd on the Liiga table with the win.
Florida Everblades 4 at South Carolina Stingrays 1
D Artem Sergeev, FLA: DNP
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-3-4, +2, 0 PIM, 7 SOG
G Allen York, FLA, W, 60:00 MIN, 1 GA, 17 SH, 16 SV
Season totals: 7 GP, 5-1-0-1, 1.97 GAA, 0.919 SV%, 1 SO
F Jeff Costello, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 11 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 11 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
F Mike Aviani, FLA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (ECHL): 5 GP, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (AHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Allen York managed to stay sharp amid light duty against the Stingrays Friday night in Charleston, facing just 17 shots as the Everblades cruised to a 4-1 victory. Returning to the ice for Florida was Jeff Costello, recently reassigned from Syracuse in exchange for Everblade forward Kevin Lynch (who scored for the Crunch). Costello was a thorn all night under the Stingrays skin, logging two boarding minors, a high sticking minor, and a fighting major with South Carolina blueliner Wade Epp. Costello and Epp are no strangers as the Notre Dame and Northern Michigan alums played against one another numerous times during their recent four year college careers. Lightning prospect Artem Sergeev remained sidelined with an injury. The Everblades travel to Duluth, GA to take on back-to-back games against the Gladiators to finish up the weekend road trip.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2 @ Halifax Mooseheads 3
C Cameron Darcy, CB: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 9/22 FO, 0 Hits
Season totals: 13 GP: 1-7-8, -4, 12 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
The Mooseheads beat the Eagles in a battle between two of the league’s weakest teams. Jets pick and former partner-in-crime of Jonathan Drouin Nik Ehlers had two assists for Halifax.
Ontario Hockey League
Oshawa Generals 3 @ Sarnia Sting 2
D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 14 GP, 3-11-14, -3, 38 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
Oshawa outshot Sarnia 39-14, but needed two third period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit and get the win.
Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Saginaw Spirit 2 (SO)
W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 13 GP, 6-2-8, -4, 26 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM
Windsor scored twice in the third period to force overtime. They eventually won in a shootout, 2-1, for a 3-2 final. It was a wide open game with 88 total shots on goal.
Peterborough Petes 2 @ North Bay Battalion 7
D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
Season totals: 17 GP, 3-5-8, -9, 35 PIM
2013-14 totals: 39 GP, 2-19-21, +6, 102 PIM
Peterborough lost its third-straight game, 7-2 in North Bay. The Petes have the third fewest points in the league.
Western Hockey League
Moose Jaw Warriors 5 @ Prince Albert Raiders 3
C Brayden Point, MJ: 2-1-3, +5, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *First Star*
Season totals: 19 GP, 11-15-26, +14, 19 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM
Point had two goals, an assist, and his line was all plus-5 as the Warriors beat the Raiders, 5-3. Point is starting to dominate most of his shifts and could be taking his already-impressive game to another level.
Calgary Hitmen 6 @ Kootenay Ice 7 (OT)
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 20 GP, 2-9-11, +2, 12 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Calgary held a 6-5 lead with under two minutes to go in regulation, but Kootenay scored with their goalie pulled 5-on-5. The Ice then took a delay of game call to give the Hitmen a 5-on-3 power play, but they couldn’t convert despite several prime chances. The 4-on-3 power play carrying over into overtime didn’t net a goal, either, and Kootenay made them pay with a goal after a bad icing call with 15 seconds left. Thomas was aggressive offensively in the third period and overtime. He was on the ice for the game-tying goal when the Ice simply outworked every Hitman to each loose puck before scoring on their third scoring chance of the sequence. Thomas did not play on the 5-on-3 or 4-on-3. Buffalo’s first overall pick in last summer’s draft, Sam Reinhart, had four assists and some nice defensive plays for Kootenay.