2018 Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Picks

Cal Foote

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Defense
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
6.03
Weight: 
209
Born: 
12/13/1998
Age: 
19
Hometown: 
Englewood, CO
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 (#14) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)
Projects As: 
Big, big-minute and big-shooting defenseman with upside.

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
1
Pick No.: 
14
Draft Team: 
Kelowna (WHL)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Exempt
Signing Date: 
04/01/2018
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Contract Start Year: 
2018
Contract End Year: 
2021
Contract End Status: 
RFA

Bio

History: 

Selected in the second round, 43rd overall, of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by Kelowna. Selected in the third round, 46th overall, of the 2014 USHL Futures Draft by the Omaha Lancers. Ultimately selected the Canadian junior route where he debuted for Kelowna in 2015-2016 with a fine 8 goal and 36 point premiere campaign. Had 6 goals and 51 points in his draft year in 2016-2017 and appeared for Team WHL in the Subway Super Series.

Scouting Report

Scouting Comments: 

"Big, skilled rearguard with fine offensive instincts." -Red Line Report

Strengths: 

Big, strong defenseman with excellent blood lines. Has an advanced understanding of positioning, a good stick, and good gap control. Calm under pressure and is an above average passer with a low, hard shot that should translate to the point on the power play.

Weaknesses: 

Skating has been panned as average, and while he is big and strong, he isn't nasty or mean.

Projection: 

#3 or #4 minute eating defenseman who can contribute on the power play.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2010-2011 Colorado Thunderbirds QC Int PW4 0 00 2|        
 2013-2014 Colorado Thunderbirds U16T1EHL U1633 2 1214 19|        
  Team Black USA-S155 0 00 -|        
 2014-2015 Colorado Thunderbirds U16T1EHL U1623 4 1115 42|Playoffs4 3 25
  Omaha LancersUSHL2 0 11 0|        
 2015-2016 Kelowna RocketsWHL71 8 2836 36|Playoffs18 1 89 12 
 2016-2017 Kelowna RocketsWHL71 6 5157 41|Playoffs14 1 67 24 
  WHL All-StarsJr Super Series2 0 00 2|        
 2017-2018 Kelowna RocketsWHL60 19 5170 46|Playoffs4 1 56
  Syracuse CrunchAHL6 1 01 4|Playoffs7 1 12
  Canada U20WJC-207 0 33 0|        
  WHL All-StarsCanada/Russia Series2 0 00 2|        
 2018-2019 Syracuse CrunchAHL- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Alexander Volkov

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Left Wing
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
192
Born: 
08/02/1997
Age: 
20
Hometown: 
Moscow, RUS
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2 (#48) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Syracuse (AHL)
Projects As: 
Scoring line winger

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
2
Pick No.: 
48
Draft Team: 
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Exempt
Signing Date: 
06/29/2017
Contract Type: 
Entry-level
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$864 167
Contract Start Year: 
2017
Contract End Year: 
2020
Contract End Status: 
RFA
Salary: 
$742 500
Salary: 
$925 000
Salary: 
$925 000

Bio

Awards: 

2015-2016 U17 WJC Silver Medalist
2016-2017 U18 WJC Bronze Medalist
2016-2017 VHL Champion With Dynamo Balashikha

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2013-2014 SKA-1946 St. PetersburgMHL16 2 24 6|Playoffs5 0 00
 2014-2015 SKA-1946 St. PetersburgMHL54 11 819 36|Playoffs17 1 12
  SKA-Varyagi im. MorozovaMHL B2 2 24 0|        
  Russia U18Hlinka Memorial4 0 00 2|        
  Russia U18 (all)International-Jr4 0 00 2|        
 2015-2016 SKA-1946 St. PetersburgMHL42 16 1127 34|Playoffs3 0 00
 2016-2017 SKA-Neva St. PetersburgVHL15 3 03 4|Playoffs8 1 23
  SKA-1946 St. PetersburgMHL16 6 511 12|Playoffs4 2 24
  Russian Selects U20Jr Super Series6 0 33 0|        
 2017-2018 Syracuse CrunchAHL75 23 2245 63|Playoffs7 3 36
 2018-2019 Syracuse CrunchAHL- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Alexey Lipanov

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Center
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
170
Born: 
08/17/1999
Age: 
18
Hometown: 
Moscow, RUS
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 3 (#75) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Sudbury (OHL)
Projects As: 
Solid two-way playmaking center

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
3
Pick No.: 
75
Draft Team: 
Dynamo (VHL)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Exempt
Signing Date: 
09/28/2017
Contract Type: 
Entry-level w/slide
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$778 333
Contract Start Year: 
2019
Contract End Year: 
2022
Contract End Status: 
RFA
Salary: 
$792 500
Salary: 
$792 500
Salary: 
$750 000

Bio

Comment: 
expected to be returned to Sudbury for 2018-19 with ELC slide
Awards: 

2015-16

  • U17 WHC Silver Medal


2016-17

  • U18 WJC Bronze Medal
  • VHL Champion

History: 

Began in Spartak Moscow's youth program before joining Moscow Dynamo's program in 2014-2015 for U16 and U17 before moving again to MHK MVD's MHL program midway through the 2015-2016 season. Split the 2016-2017 campaign between KHK MVD's MHL and VHL team. Won a championship with KHK MVD's VHL side, Dynamo Balashikha. A mainstay of the Russian junior program, he won a Silver Medal at the U17 WJC in 2015-2016 and a U18 WJC Bronze Medal with the program in 2016-2017. Was also drafted by Barrie in the first round of the 2016 CHL Import Draft.

Scouting Report

Scouting Comments: 

"Not flashy, but a very solid two-way performer." - Red Line Report

Strengths: 

Smart, high-IQ two-way player who plays a complete 200 foot game. Good skater with the above average skill-set you might expect from a classic Russian forward. Can play both center and wing effectively, giving his club some versatility.

Weaknesses: 

Somewhat undersized, and needs to grow and get stronger. As a consequence, can play a little bit of a soft, perimeter game at times.

Projection: 

Versatile third line forward who can spot on the second line. Comparable is Nick Bonino.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Dynamo Moskva U16Russia U1633 21 2849 12|        
  Dynamo Moskva U16Russia U16 Finals6 3 69 2|        
  Russia U16 (all)International-Jr7 2 35 16|        
 2015-2016 Dynamo Moskva U17Russia U1718 2 1214 39|        
  MHK Dynamo MoskvaMHL32 3 58 16|        
  Russia U17WHC-176 2 24 4|        
  Russia U18WJC-185 1 23 0|        
 2016-2017 Russia U18Hlinka Memorial5 0 55 0|        
  Dynamo BalashikhaVHL21 3 58 8|Playoffs6 0 33
  Russia U18 |WJAC-19|WJAC-194 4 48 0|        
  MHK Dynamo MoskvaMHL11 0 33 6|        
  Russia U18WJC-187 0 33 0|        
 2017-2018 Barrie ColtsOHL35 11 1930 10|        
  Sudbury WolvesOHL20 3 69 10|        
  Syracuse CrunchAHL10 0 33 4|        
  Russian Selects U20Jr Super Series2 0 22 0|        
  Russia U20 (all)International-Jr4 0 22 4|        
 2018-2019 Sudbury WolvesOHL- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Nick Perbix

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Defense
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
6.04
Weight: 
194
Born: 
06/15/1998
Age: 
20
Hometown: 
Elk River, MN
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 6 (#169) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Omaha (USHL)
Projects As: 
Right-handed defense with size

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
6
Pick No.: 
169
Draft Team: 
Elk River (USHS)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Unsigned

Bio

Comment: 
committed to St. Cloud State for 2018-19 season

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2013-2014 Elk River HighUSHS-MN23 0 33 2|Playoffs3 0 00
 2014-2015 Elk River HighUSHS-MN23 0 33 0|Playoffs3 0 22
 2015-2016 Elk River HighUSHS-MN25 5 1722 10|Playoffs2 1 34
 2016-2017 Sections 4&7 Seniors USHS-MN3 1 01 0|        
  Team NorthwestUSHS-MN21 3 1013 6|      2
  Elk River HighUSHS-MN25 10 3040 6|Playoffs2 2 57
 2017-2018 Omaha LancersUSHL56 4 2529 38|Playoffs4 0 22 14 
  USA U19WJAC-195 0 00 0|        
 2018-2019 St. Cloud State Univ.NCAA- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Cole Guttman

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Center
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
5.10
Weight: 
163
Born: 
04/06/1999
Age: 
19
Hometown: 
Northridge, CA
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 6 (#180) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Dubuque (USHL)
Projects As: 
High character pivot that produces points

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
6
Pick No.: 
180
Draft Team: 
Dubuque (USHL)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Unsigned

Bio

Comment: 
committed to Univ of Denver for 2018-19 season
Awards: 

Season Year A

  • Insert Award Here.


Season Year B

  • Insert Award Here.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2008-2009 Western Selects Brick Invitational5 2 46 6|Playoffs1 1 01
 2011-2012 Los Angeles Jr. Kings QC Int PW7 9 615 6|        
 2013-2014 Los Angeles Jr. Kings Bantam AAABantam4 1 12 17|        
 2014-2015 Team Blue USA-S155 2 57 -|        
  Los Angeles Jr. Kings U16T1EHL U1624 9 1625 16|Playoffs4 0 33 14 
 2015-2016 Team Black USA-S165 3 58 0|        
  Los Angeles Jr. Kings U16T1EHL U1630 24 2448 34|Playoffs4 3 25
  USNTDP JuniorsUSHL3 0 00 0|        
  U.S. National U17 TeamUSDP3 0 00 0|        
  Dubuque Fighting SaintsUSHL2 0 11 0|Playoffs8 0 00
 2016-2017 Team Grey USA-S175 3 25 -|        
  Dubuque Fighting SaintsUSHL53 27 2754 18|Playoffs6 1 34
 2017-2018 Dubuque Fighting SaintsUSHL17 6 511 21|        
  USA U19WJAC-195 1 01 0|        
 2018-2019 Univ. of DenverNCAA- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Sammy Walker

Basics

Type: 
Prospect
Position: 
Right Wing
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
5.09
Weight: 
150
Born: 
06/07/1999
Age: 
19
Hometown: 
Minneapolis, MN
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 7 (#200) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Sioux City (USHL)
Projects As: 
Long-term project center with speed and skill

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2017
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
7
Pick No.: 
200
Draft Team: 
Edina High (USHS)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Unsigned

Bio

Comment: 
committed to Univ of Minnesota for 2018-19 season
Awards: 

Season Year A

  • Insert Award Here.


Season Year B

  • Insert Award Here.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Team Grey USA-S155 2 46 -|        
  Edina HighUSHS-MN25 3 36 6|Playoffs2 2 13
  Edina HighMN State3 0 00 2|        
 2015-2016 Team Kelly USA-S165 5 38 0|        
  Team Southwest USHS-MN21 10 414 20|        
  Edina HighUSHS-MN25 19 1837 14|Playoffs2 0 11
 2016-2017 Team Royal USA-S175 2 24 -|        
  Team Southwest USHS-MN20 9 1625 18|      5
  Edina HighUSHS-MN25 22 2446 6|Playoffs3 2 46
  Lincoln StarsUSHL4 0 00 6|        
 2017-2018 Sioux City MusketeersUSHL17 2 79 4|        
  Team Southwest UMHSEHL20 16 2541 14|Playoffs3 3 47
  Edina HighUSHS-MN25 28 3058 12|Playoffs3 4 610
  Edina HighMN State3 3 811 0|        
 2018-2019 Univ. of MinnesotaNCAA- - -- -|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com

Brown, J.T.

What to Expect from J.T. Brown and Dmitry Korobov

In the wake of the rash of injuries suffered in yesterday afternoon's game in Boston, the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced they recalled RW J.T. Brown and D Dmitry Korobov from Syracuse of the AHL. Brown and Korobov are two of the team's older, more tenured prospects in the system and both will look to get an opportunity to test their progress against NHL competition. Here's what to expect from each player:

Lightning fans should be a little familiar with J.T. Brown given he had a short 5-game stint with the Lightning in the 2011-2012 campaign after signing as a free agent out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Brown has exceptional speed, above average skill, and willingness to stick his nose in on the forecheck despite possessing a slightly built frame. He looked to have a spot in Tampa Bay heading into the 2012-2013 season before the lockout and injury problems took his career track on a detour. Playing in Syracuse, Brown has since adopted to more of a two-way role playing on a checking line with Mike Angelidis in last year's deep playoff run, and in a complimentary winger's role as his alter ego, "J.T. Brownov," playing alongside Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov on the Crunch's top line so far this year. His grit and heavy shot are assets on that line. Brown's selection may mean that Alex Killorn will slide over to center and also signals that Jon Cooper may choose a more defensive-minded, two-way approach to dealing with the team's post-Stamkos injury reality.

Dmitry Korobov (pictured) will be looking to get his first taste of NHL action after signing as a free agent in the summer of 2012. Prior to joining the Lightning organization, the Belarusian Korobov gained a significant amount of experience playing for Dinamo Minsk in Russia's KHL. Last year, Korobov played on the top-two pairings for Syracuse for much of the season, and with Syracuse's youth movement along the blueline he's taken on an even greater role this year with the Crunch. Standing at 6'3" 230 lbs, Korobov's most obvious assets are his size and strength. He does not shy away from the physical game and does enjoy pursuing the big hit. He also has underrated puck-moving skills as demonstrated by the 22 points he put up with Syracuse last year to go along with a very solid +20 rating. Like Radko Gudas, Korobov is a fan of the hip-check. Korobov's weaknesses are that his skating, while adequate, sometimes suffers from sloppy footwork in his stop-starts and pivots and like any young defenseman, his decision-making sometimes isn't 100% spot-on. With the Lightning's lack of depth at this particular position, and Mark Barberio and Keith Aulie already struggling to begin with, Korobov has a golden opportunity right now to move up the depth chart quickly and make his case to stay in the NHL.

AHL Game Night: 10-30-13 Crunch at Devils

Tonight's win is brought to you by the letter V.

SYR-4
ALB-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory.

First Period
SYR Kucherov, (7) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 13:51 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (8) , 15:00 (PP)

Second Period
ALB Boucher, (3) (Timmins, Whitney), 9:23

Third Period
SYR Brown, (2) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 6:44
SYR Brown, (3) (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 10:14

Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown were the game's first and second stars. Kucherov now leads the AHL in PP goals. Vladislav Namestnikov had assists in triplicate.

As great as the top line has played, there is reason for concern. The team was outshot 25-19 in tonight's game and reigning AHL Second Team All-Star Brett Connolly has just 1 helper in 6 games this year. So, the second line has yet to get loose this year.

The Crunch get Rochester next on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-12-13 Americans at Crunch

Syracuse's home opener takes on a distinctly Russian (and Belarusian) flavor.

RCH-1
SYR-5

Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots for the victory. Life is good when your team gives you 5 goals of support and only allows a paltry 8 shots the first 40 minutes of the game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Brown, (1) (Nesterov, Namestnikov), 4:31 (PP)
SYR Sergeev, (1) (Connolly), 6:18 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (1) (Namestnikov, Taormina), 16:48 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Kucherov, (2) (Nesterov, Taormina), 0:24 (PP)
RCH Tardif, (1) (Varone, McNabb), 5:30 (PP)
SYR Kucherov, (3) (Nesterov, Brown), 12:56

Nikita Nesterov, J.T. Brown, and Dmitry Korobov were the game's three stars. Bold choice by the Syracuse media not giving a nod to Nikita Kucherov, who introduced himself to the home fans with a hat trick.

For their part, the Russian/Belarussian trio of Nesterov, Sergeev, and Korobov (AKA the mythical 70's R&B cover band known as Eastern European Soul) got huge marks in the game. Nesterov had assists in triplicate and was +1 while Artem Sergeev scored his first professional goal, and Dmitry Korobov got himself involved in one of the big physical dust ups late in the game and earned the third star selection. That's a heck of a positive sign for the Crunch as these guys need to step up this year for Syracuse to continue the momentum they had last season as an elite level AHL club.

Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett got 16 penalty minutes in the game, including a roughing call, diving call, and unsportsmanlike call (all minors) in three separate incidents in the Second Period that he chased down with a 10 Misconduct and a Game Misconduct late in the Third Period. You don't often see an unglued mess like that between the pipes. Treasure the memory, Crunch fans.

Syracuse gets Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow at home.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Lightning Re-Sign J.T. Brown to 1-Year Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward J.T. Brown to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Brown, 23, skated in 51 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, recording 10 goals and 28 points to go along with 27 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 177-pound forward ranked ninth on the Crunch for points and was 10th for goals. He also skated in 18 Calder Cup playoff games with Syracuse, registering four goals and nine points to go along with 18 penalty minutes.

Brown made his NHL debut with the Lightning on March 31, 2012 against the Winnipeg Jets at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. He recorded his first NHL point (assist) on April 7 at Winnipeg. Brown also skated in six games for the United States at the 2012 World Championships held in Finland and Sweden.

The High Point, North Carolina native skated in 81 career games with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs during the previous two seasons, collecting 40 goals and 84 points to go along with 109 penalty minutes. In 2011, Brown was a member of the Bulldogs team that captured the NCAA Frozen Four Championship, being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Brown was originally signed by the Lightning as a free agent on March 28, 2012.

Bolts Qualify Just Three Players

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will issue qualifying offers to three players vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. There were three players that did not receive offers from the team, making them unrestricted free agents on July 5.

Players receiving receiving qualifying offers include defenseman Mark Barberio and forwards J.T. Brown and Dan Sexton.

The deadline for NHL clubs to issue offers is Tuesday. By issuing qualifying offers to the aforementioned players, the Lightning are given the right of the first refusal or draft choice compensation should the player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club.

Players who will not receive qualifying offers are left wing Alex Hutchings, defenseman Brendan Mikkelson and left wing Benoit Pouliot.

AHL Calder Cup Finals Game Night: 6-12-13 Crunch at Griffins

Bleakness.

SYR-2
GR-4

Grand Rapids Leads the Series 3-0

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss. Maddeningly uneven play from Cedrick. He'll look brilliant on a breakaway one minute and allow a wraparound or bad angle goal the next.

First Period
SYR Panik, (6) (Johnson, Cote), 10:21

Second Period
GR Tatar, (13) (Paetsch), 2:09
GR Glendening, (6) (DeKeyser, Mursak), 4:53
SYR Sexton, (5) (Cote), 9:56

Third Period
GR Mursak, (10) (Hoggan), 15:11
GR Hoggan, (5) , 17:32

The bottom just fell out in the Third Period. Syracuse looked the better team through 40 minutes and had the balance of the zone time, but they looked completely outclassed in the final frame. And Grand Rapids has been far better at converting their chances. Guys like Tyler Johnson and J.T. Brown had quality chances in tonight's game, but it appears Mrazek may be in their heads because they're cutting their chances too fine rather than trying to get some greasy goals. It's a recipe for losing and going down 0-3 in a series.

Just win a game. One game. That's all Syracuse can focus on right now. They've got nothing else at this point.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Rookie Brown Playing Like A Veteran


By Jeremy Houghtaling

JT Brown may be a rookie on a line with a pair of veterans, but he certainly doesn't look out of place.

Twelve games into his first Calder Cup run, the Syracuse Crunch forward has been counted on to provide timely goals and tough defense that wears down the opposition's top line. Flanked by JT Wyman and Mike Angelidis, Brown is learning from two guys with plenty of postseason experience.

"You don't have to do too much, they're always doing what they're supposed to," Brown said after practice Tuesday. Syracuse hosts Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals Saturday. "They're vets and they know what needs to be done."

Angelidis, the Crunch's captain who hoisted the cup with the Norfolk Admirals last season, has been impressed by Brown's effort every night.

"He's a fast learner," Angelidis said. "And we're learning things from him too. He's got a good head on his shoulders and he works hard."

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-29-13 Crunch at Penguins

Grand theft in Pennsylvania.

SYR-2
WBS-0

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-1

Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 22 shots he faced for the win. He gets a lot of deserved criticism at times for his mechanics and footwork, and Julien BriseBois deserves some scrutiny for moving Dustin Tokarski to get Desjardins. But, Cedrick absolutely stole this game tonight. Stole it. Syracuse was outplayed pretty soundly, especially in the Second Period, and Desjardins just battled right through it. The Penguins have to be demoralized, because they played the game they had to and Desjardins put on his ski mask and heisted the win from them.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Namestnikov, (1) (Palat), 7:29

Third Period
SYR Brown, (3) (Angelidis), 19:55 (EN)

Desjardins and Vladislav Namestnikov were the game's first and second stars. Namestnikov scored his first pro playoff goal on a slapshot from the high slot shortly after replacing an injured Richard Panik on the team's top line. We'll see if Panik returns for Game Four.

Glad to see J.T. Brown get the empty netter. His line with Angelidis and Wyman was the best the Crunch had tonight my a mile. By. A. Mile. It wasn't even close. I think if Zettler could've cloned that line, he'd have thrown them out for the entire game. That line is in many ways a perfect third line because they're hard on the puck, responsible defensively, and they have just enough scoring touch to keep you honest. Nobody else was doing anything consistently and certain players like Brett Connolly had notably subpar games by their standards.

You hope this was an abberation, and now that Syracuse has stolen home ice back they play up to their usual form in Game Four on Friday. If they can, they've got a shot at the short series. If they can't, and they keep playing like they've played in the last 70 minutes of this series, they're in deep trouble.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-26-13 Penguins at Crunch

By the skin of their teeth...

WBS-2
SYR-3

Series Tied at 1-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 18 shots for the victory. If someone can explain to me what case of amnesia struck he and his defensemen on the second Penguins goal, I'd love to hear it. They forgot they were in a playoff game and they almost set in motion events that could've cost them what should've been an easy win.

First Period
SYR Sexton, (3) (Connolly, Barberio), 18:56 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Taormina, (2) (Angelidis, Sustr), 7:07
WBS Mormina, (1) (Dumoulin, Kolarik), 8:13 (PP)
SYR Korobov, (1) (Gudas, Palat), 11:40 (SH)

Third Period
WBS Holzapfel, (4) (Grant), 14:02

Ondrej Palat, Dmitry Korobov, and Dan Sexton were the game's three stars.

You'll rarely see a game as one-sided as this one was for the first 50 minutes or so. Syracuse dominated territorily and on the shot board, holding the Pens to just 1 shot in the entire First Period. They played like you expect them to play with very good efforts by J.T. Brown and Vladislav Namestnikov, among others, with Dmitry Korobov blowing the game open a bit with a shorthanded goal that he whistled by Thiessen top shelf.

And then all hell broke lose. An accidential collision had Tyler Johnson limping off the ice not to be seen again, and we don't know if he'll be available for Game Three Wednesday. A bizarre play where the D and Desjardins looked like a bunch of clueless 5 year olds led to a second Pens goal, and the next thing you know the team was holding on for dear life in the final 5 minutes.

This is what the Penguins wanted. They have to turn this series into a war of attrition to have a chance. Syracuse needs to go to their barn and steal home ice back Wednesday and take control back of the series. They have the pieces to do it, even if Johnson can't go. But, man, that's as disorganized as I've ever seen a SyraNo team protecting a lead late in the last 2 years. That was terrifying.

Side note: when his playing days are over Jared Nightingale has a future in broadcasting, having heard him on a few Syracuse games now. That's not a shot on other players who have done it for the affiliate over the past couple of years, but Nightingale's got the chops for it.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-23-13 Falcons at Crunch

Beasts of the East.

SPR-0
SYR-3

Cedrick Desjardin (pictured) raised shields for a 26 save shutout.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Barberio, (8) (Labrie, Connolly), 4:37
SYR Labrie, (10) (Cote, Wyman), 12:35
SYR Brown, (7) (Tyrell, Cote), 19:33 (EN)

Desjardins, Mark Barberio, and Pierre-Cedric Labrie were the game's three stars. J.T. Brown returned from injury and had an empty net goal in his first game back.

Syracuse came into this game 1 point ahead of Springfield for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. This was a battle of titans with a lot on the line, and ultimately Syracuse smoked the Falcons like a fine cigar. Mind you, Springfield netminder Allen York made it interesting, but Syracuse outshot Springfield 46-26 in this game, including 17-8 in the decisive final frame. That was a 1 versus 2 game. Think on that. Then think on the fact that the Crunch have won 6 in a row.

Uh oh, rest of the AHL. Jon Cooper sorted out the post-lockout madness. Jon Cooper has started to tune up the machine again. We've seen this movie before, folks, and we all remember how it ends.

Syracuse draws Connecticut next tomorrow afternoon.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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