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AHL Game Night: 3-20-13 Penguins at Crunch

Still riding in first place.

WBS-0
SYR-1

Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 20 shots he faced for the shutout victory. With Anders Lindback possibly being hurt tonight in Toronto, we'll see if Cedrick hops a plane back to join the Lightning.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Devos, (5) (Gauthier, Taormina), 2:01

Third Period
NO SCORING

Philip-Michael Devos, Desjardins, and J.P. Cote were the game's three stars.

Syracuse expands their Eastern Conference lead to 3 points over the Providence Bruins with Providence holding 1 game in hand. They'll also move 1 point ahead of the Texas Stars for the best record in the league, as well. They draw Hamilton next on Friday with 13 games remaining in the regular season. It's going to be a nail biter for Syracuse as they chase the conference crown.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-20-13

KHL Playoffs (Russia):

Eastern Conference
(1)Kazan 4 vs. (5)Ufa 3
Kazan Wins the Series 4-3
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 Nikolai Zherdev had a goal as Kazan squeaked by Ufa in a 4-3 Game Seven triumph to advance to the KHL Eastern Conference Finals. Ex-NHLer Brent Sopel had a goal in defeat for Ufa. Lightning prospect netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy did not play in the playoffs, and speculation will now turn toward his potential signing with the club. His junior club remains alive in the MHL playoffs, so it is possible he re-joins his former team.

Kazan advances to play Chelyabinsk and the last Lightning prospect survivor in the KHL playoffs, Nikita Nesterov. Game One is slated for Saturday. SKA St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow are facing off in the Western Finals.

Koekkoek Gets His Contract

The Lightning signed 2012 first-round pick Slater Koekkoek to a standard three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

"This is obviously something I have been working toward my whole life,” Koekkoek said in a Spitfires press release. “I am happy it's done. But now the real hard work begins.

"Obviously my first hope is to make the Tampa club out of camp [next year]. But knowing I have a great team and teammates to come back to in Windsor if that doesn't happen is awesome."

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.

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