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Prospect of the Week: March 19, 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 March 19 is … Dylan Blujus, D, Brampton (OHL – Canada).

For years Lightning prospect followers have pounded their fists on their computer tables in demand of a right-handed defenseman capable of impacting a game at both ends of the ice. They got their wish last June when the Bolts selected Brampton (OHL) defenseman Dylan Blujus in the second round (40th overall).

Blujus had just completed a 34-point season with the Battalion and was a prime candidate for a breakout season offensively in 2012-2013.

That hasn’t exactly happened for the young Amherst, New York, native, as he just finished his third OHL season with fewer goals and points than his second season despite playing more games. Not everything shows up on the stat sheet, obviously, and Blujus has further developed his physical game while playing big minutes for a defense-first club.

Elitserien Playoff Game Night: 3-18-13

Elitserien Playoffs (Sweden)
Quarterfinals
Brynas 0 @ Skelleftea 4
Skelleftea wins the series 4-0

Johan Harju, Brynas, 0-0-0, -1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, -5, 0 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 18-10-28, -9, 16 PIM

Brynas entered game four of the best-of-seven series with their season on life-support, needing a win to stay alive, but crumbled after Skelleftea struck on the power play approaching the midpoint of the middle frame and wound up shutout and swept in front of the home crowd. Just as had been the case in the three previous matches, Brynas had difficulty solving Skelleftea's goaltending, even despite seeing more balance in the frequency of opportunities. Former Lightning netminder Johan Holmqvist, who made every start for Brynas, stopped 29 of 32 Skelleftea attempts on net. Like his club, Johan Harju, who was his team's leading goal-scorer and among the team leaders in total production in the regular season, finished his postseason in extremely disappointing fashion having gone pointless in the series.

Official Recap | Box Score | Highlights

NHL Game Night: 3-18-13 Flyers at Lightning

Dammit, they're making me love them again.

PHI-2
TB-4

Anders Lindback allowed 2 goals on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
06:38 TB Palat (2), (Tyrell, Salo)
13:55 PHI Talbot (4), (Meszaros)
17:03 TB Pyatt (6), (Johnson, Hedman)

Second Period
15:21 PHI Giroux (9), (unassisted)

Third Period
09:25 TB Purcell (6), (Aulie, Stamkos)
19:57 TB Stamkos (21), (Killorn, St. Louis)(EN)

Ryan Malone and Anders Lindback were the game's first and second stars.

I know they're probably going to just break my heart, but this team is suddenly fun to watch again. The speed and enthusiasm all the young players are bringing to the table has become infectious. And, more to the point, the way the team played in the second half of this game sure did give the impression this team may have finally figured out how to win a close game. There was one forechecking shift by the Thompson/Crombeen line in the Third Period that was as fine a shift as any by the Dingman/Cibak/Afanasenkov line circa 2004.

Alex Killorn had a helper and a shot in 16:16.

Tyler Johnson had a helper and was +2 with 2 hits in 12:12. He was also 100% on draws again.

Ondrej Palat had the game opening goal and was +1 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 10:24.

Radko Gudas was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and a big 7 hits in 14:51.

Cory Conacher was -1 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 11:09. He almost had a very cool assist late in the game that was called back for playing a puck above his shoulders. Really close play.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-18-13

KHL Playoffs (Russia):

Eastern Conference
(5)Ufa 4 vs. (1)Kazan 3 (OT)
Series Tied 3-3
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Playoff totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals (KHL): 8 GP, 4-1-0, 1 SO, 2.22 GAA, .924 sv%
Regular season totals (MHL): 27 GP, 20-6-1, 3 SO, 1.93 GAA, .930 sv%

Ex-NHLer Brent Sopel scored 15:50 into the Second Overtime to deliver Ufa a 4-3 Game Six victory over top seeded Kazan. There will be a Game Seven. Ex-Lightning first rounder Alex Svitov contributed 1 goal and 1 assist in the winning effort for Ufa. Game Seven is Wednesday.

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