Has this team given up?
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 6 goals on 28 shots for the loss. Ugly all around.
ALB Hrabarenka, (7) , 3:28
ALB Larsson, (2) (Zajac, Janssen), 8:34
ALB Urbom, (1) (Hrabarenka, Zajac), 18:23
ALB Boucher, (18) (Larsson, Whitney), 1:36
SYR Connolly, (16) (Paquette, Namestnikov), 2:56 (PP)
ALB Zajac, (9) (Wohlberg), 9:56
ALB Sislo, (23) (Timmins, Whitney), 1:07 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (15) (DiSalvatore, Connolly), 16:14 (PP)
There is A LOT wrong in Syracuse right now. A LOT. And although some tweaks have already been made with a view toward next season, I don't think Julien BriseBois was in Syracuse this weekend just to take in the scenery. As the second half of this season has unfolded, it's become clear changes need to be made, but this last stretch of the year may mean bigger changes. This team is fast sinking to the bottom of the conference, and it's got to be an embarrassment to the Lightning organization at this point.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
After putting the Syracuse Crunch on the board with a power play goal early in the second period, Brett Connolly celebrated with an unenthusiastic fist pump.
The goal brought the Crunch back to within three, but the Albany Devils continued to pour on the pressure to hand Syracuse its fourth-straight loss, 6-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.
"It's a moral victory that we played better tonight than we did last night," Connolly said. "But it's still not good enough."
KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1)Magnitogorsk 3 vs. (2)Novosibirsk 2
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 2-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 28/30, 2.00 GAA, .933 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 6-1-0, 0 SO, 2.00 GAA, .929 sv%
Ex-Lightning draft pick Dmitri Kazionov scored a shorthanded goal and ex-Blue Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin had the game winning goal for Magnitogorsk in their 3-2 win over Novosibirsk in Game Two of their second round series. It was Kazionov's first point of the playoffs. Ex-Red Wings farmhand Francis Pare had Metallurg's other goal.
(2)Astana 5 vs. (4)Ufa 2
Series Tied 1-1
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Loss, 31/36, 5.04 GAA, .861 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 5-4-0, 0 SO, 2.27 GAA, .927 sv%
Andrey Vasilevskiy was pulled for the final 28 seconds of play in Ufa's 5-2 loss to Barys Astana. Astana got 3 assists from former Lightning forward Brandon Bochenski and a goal from former Lightning defenseman Kristian Kudroc in the win.
When you play the Pens, you play 5-on-7.
Anders Lindback allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the OT loss. I feel bad for the young man. He was sharp and made some sparkling saves to give the Lightning an opportunity to win this game. In fact, I'd say he was doing his best Ben Bishop impression all game. And then the refs just kept gifting power plays to the Pens, hanging him out to dry.
5:29 PIT Crosby (34), (Malkin, Zatkoff)(PP)
16:44 TB Filppula (24), (Stamkos, Hedman)(PP)
8:17 TB Stamkos (20), (Killorn, Gudas)
11:07 PIT Malkin (22), (Niskanen, Crosby)(PP)
16:43 PIT Malkin (23), (Jokinen)
18:38 TB Palat (19), (Gudas, Carle)
1:27 PIT Neal (23), (Malkin, Crosby)(PP)
Steven Stamkos was the game's third star. He was beastly today. He looked like he's clearly past the injury and back to being hell bent on proving he's the best player in the game today. He was excellent.
If you want to look on the bright side, I think the Lightning made a statement today. They've been pulling out wins against bad teams and proving they deserve to be in the playoffs, but I think today they asserted to the league that they are a team fully capable of doing damage when they get there. They went toe to tow with one of the two elite teams in the conference and gave them all they could handle. Were the officiating right down the middle, who knows what might've happened.
But, you know, it wasn't. The referees really gift wrapped two goals for the Pens in this game, which was infuriating. The "slashing" call they gave to Killorn for blade on blade stick contact on Malkin was an absolute joke. Prior to Tyler Johnson's terrible turnover that allowed the Pens to take the lead in the Third Period, you had an obvious interference call perpetrated on Filppula go uncalled. And then, in Overtime, the kill shots came on a borderline too many men call followed up by a uncalled Crosby interference on Tyler Johnson off the faceoff moments before Neal's winning goal. The joke of this league is that you know going into games against certain teams that they'll get every borderline call and even a few they outright don't deserve. You can call it before the game. And right now, at the top of that list, there's the Pittsburgh Penguins. It's rough when you're out there having to compete against 5 very talented hockey players and 2 less-than-above-board referees. Impossible on many nights, in fact.
All of which should not dampen Lightning fans appreciation of the amazing individual effort Ondrej Palat put in to tie the game at 3-3 and get the team the point today. Nothing against Tyler Johnson, but if you held a gun to my head all season, Ondrej is the one I'd be promoting for the Calder Trophy. He's been the truth in all three zones this season, and that highlight reel goal today likely exposed him to a lot more people around the league.
Mike Kostka had 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:04. When you play against the Pens, arguably the scariest offensive team in the league, and you hold your own, that's proof you belong.
Miami RedHawks 3 vs No. 11 North Dakota 0
F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: Did not play
Season totals: 19 GP, 1-6-7, +3, 23 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 38 GP, 6-8-14, E, 14 PIM
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 31 GP, 7-8-15, +5, 8 PIM
2012-2013 totals: 29 GP, 2-8-10, E, 20 PIM
Miami continued their hot streak after knocking off top-seeded St. Cloud State last weekend, beating North Dakota, 3-0, in the NCHC semifinals on Friday night. Mullin remains out for the RedHawks with a lower body injury. O’Donnell and North Dakota will wait to see where they play in the national tournament. Miami will play Denver for the first NCHC championship.
No. 14 Colgate Raiders 3 vs No. 5 Quinnipiac Bobcats 2 (2OT)
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-1-1, -3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 12-26-38, +5, 16 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
Quinnipiac will go another year without an ECAC championship as they blew a 2-0 lead and fell in double overtime to Colgate, 3-2, in the semifinals. Peca had a power play assist on a one-touch pass into the slot to help the Bobcats to a 2-0 lead. He was on the ice late in the third period with Colgate’s goalie pulled, covering high as Colgate banged away at a loose puck in the crease to tie the game at two. In double overtime, Peca came off the bench to backcheck on an odd-man rush. Colgate’s initial shot caromed back into the high slot and a QU defenseman lost his feet, enabling a clear shot for a Raider player to win the game. The Bobcats will next play in the national tournament.
Ohio State Buckeyes 3 vs No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 1
Big 10 Semifinals
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Loss, 22 saves on 24 shots
Season totals: 34 GP, 23-5-6, 1.91 GAA, .934 sv%, 3 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Wilcox, who was named a Hobey Baker Award finalist earlier in the week, allowed two goals to Ohio State, but the story was the Gophers picking a bad time for sloppy play. Minnesota wasn’t themselves on Friday night, especially late in the third period when they struggled to even get the puck in deep on the forecheck. One of those failed opportunities resulted in an empty net goal. The Gophers will await their seeding in the national tournament.
*USCHO poll used