AHL Game Night: 3-20-15 Penguins at Crunch

Syracuse goes Koekkoek in Overtime.

WBS-1
SYR-2 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 28 points for the victory. That's just 1 goal allowed in the last couple of games.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (25) (Dotchin, Courtnall), 8:17

Third Period
WBS Kostopoulos, (14) (Pouliot), 11:22

Overtime
SYR Koekkoek, (4) (Marchessault), 4:52

Slater Koekkoek and Gudlevskis were the game's first and second stars. If you look at the last 11 games, Slater has 1 goal and 9 points in that span, with a +6 rating. He's definitely turned a corner in his development in the past few weeks, as he's now sprinkling in the offensive contributions with his reasonably steady defensive play.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Juniors Game Night: 3-19-15

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 7 @ Windsor Spitfires 4

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIM
Season totals: 61 GP, 21-23-44, -13, 100 PIM
2013-14 totals: 50 GP, 17-11-28, +8, 101 PIM

Likely 2015 top-5 picks Connor McDavid (3 assists) and Dylan Strome (1+3) combined for seven points in front of a sellout crowd in Windsor, leading the Otters to a 7-4 win. Windsor has been eliminated from playoff contention, which makes DiGiacinto available for AHL Syracuse or ECHL Florida should the Lightning want him to keep playing.

Juniors Game Night: 3-18-15

Western Hockey League

Red Deer Rebels 2 @ Calgary Hitmen 3 (OT)

D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 7-24-31, +15, 26 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM

Calgary is one point ahead of Medicine Hat for the division title with both teams still to play twice. Medicine Hat has last place Saskatoon for two and Calgary has seventh place Kootenay.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-19-15

Fin.

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(2)Novosibirsk 3 vs. (3)Magnitogorsk 1
Novosibirsk Wins the Series 4-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 22/24, 2.05 GAA, .917 sv%
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 5-5-0, 1 SO, 2.02 GAA, .931 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 32-10-6, 5 SO, 1.86 GAA, .934 sv%

There will not be a repeat champion in the KHL this season after Novosibirsk toppled Magnitogorsk 3-1 in Game Five to clinch a 4-1 series victory. Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin had Magnitka's only goal in the match. 24 year old Stepan Sannikov led the way for Sibir with 1 goal and 1 assist.

With Magnitogorsk's loss, Jaroslav Janus is the only remaining active prospect in a European elite league, with his club, Sparta Praha, advancing to the Czech Extraliga Semifinal round.

Prospect of the Week: 3-18-15


By Jeremy Houghtaling

We continue our Bolt Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for his recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Bolt Prospect of the Week for March 18, 2015 is … Slater Koekkoek, D, Syracuse Crunch (AHL – USA).

Slater Koekkoek made a key adjustment, and now the points are starting to flow.

A mobile defenseman used to rushing the puck himself in junior hockey, the Syracuse Crunch rookie has learned to make a quick pass and then follow the play to look for offensive opportunities. Koekkoek’s transition has begun to pay dividends, as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2012 first-rounder recorded eight points and is a plus-6 in his last 10 games.

Juniors Game Night: 3-17-15

Western Hockey League

Swift Current Broncos 2 @ Moose Jaw Warriors 6

C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 36-45-81, +8, 46 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 36-55-91, -27, 53 PIM

Moose Jaw scored a huge win in an elimination game against Swift Current, winning 6-2. Point left the game injured, but later returned and scored Moose Jaw’s third goal on an adept re-direct of a slap-pass from the point. The Warriors pulled within two points of the Broncos for the last playoff spot in the division. Both teams have two games remaining; however, while the Broncos have 11th place Lethbridge twice, Moose Jaw has first place Brandon twice. It would take a minor miracle for Moose Jaw to get in. In the event of a tie, the team with the most victories takes the spot (currently 32-31 Broncos). If that is tied, it goes to most points earned in head-to-head, which finished 6-6 in points (3-3 with no OTL or SOL). It would then go to goals-for/against differential, and Swift Current has about an eight goal lead there. The first question will be if Brandon is resting its stars or not, giving Moose Jaw a chance.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-17-15

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(4)Magnitogorsk 2 vs. (2)Novosibirsk 3 (OT)
Novosibirsk Leads the Series 3-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 27/30, 2.98 GAA, .900 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 5-4-0, 1 SO, 2.02 GAA, .933 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 32-10-6, 5 SO, 1.86 GAA, .934 sv%

Veteran defenseman Renat Mamashev, who had just 2 goals all regular season, had the OT winner 22 seconds into Overtime for Novosibirsk in their Game Five, 3-2 victory over defending champs Magnitka. Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin had a pair of helpers in defeat for Magnitogorsk.

NHL Game Night: 3-16-15 Canadiens at Lightning

Lightning's regular season ownership of Montreal continues unabated.

MTL-2
TB-4

Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the victory. After a so-so outing against Boston, he was sparkling against Montreal. Now, mind you, he did make it a lot harder on himself with his puckhandling gaffe to start the Third Period, but he made that 1 goal lead stand up the rest of the way, too. He seems to savor these duel opportunities against Price, and he's been getting the better end of them.

First Period
10:07 TB Filppula (12), (Hedman, Stamkos)(PP)
15:58 TB Stamkos (38), (unassisted)

Second Period
2:45 TB Hedman (10), (Killorn, Callahan)
11:10 MTL Plekanec (21), (Subban, Markov)(PP)

Third Period
0:34 MTL Parenteau (7), (Plekanec)
18:55 TB Stamkos (39), (Namestnikov, Garrison)(PP)(EN)

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman were the game's first and third stars. I've said it constantly over the course of the second half: the franchise cornerstones need to be the team's best players for the Lightning to go anywhere in the playoffs this year. Tonight, in a playoff atmosphere against a hated opponent with division title supremacy up for grabs, the Lightning got 3 goals and 2 assists out of the duo. That's great to see, especially after the Hedman turnover in his last outing against Winnipeg.

The Lightning are 3 points shy of the 96 points we target at the start of the season to comfortably make the playoffs, but the focus is starting to shift at this juncture of the season. The Lightning needed this win tonight to keep their Atlantic Division title aspirations in good shape, and they got it done. The teams are back to all square at 93 points each with the Habs holding a game in hand. But, the Lightning have a 4 game ROW lead right now, so the tie will likely go to Tampa Bay if it comes to that.

Vladislav Namestnikov was -1 with a helper and 5 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 3 hits in 11:06. After taking several cross checks in the neutral zone from Brendan Gallagher, who thought he was safe by jumping on a baby-faced Russian rookie, Namestnikov swiftly took the initiative and relieved Gallagher of any sinus congestion he might be having by beating the snot out of the veteran with 3-4 quick rights. My goodness. Peckaham dubbed him "Baby Faced Killer" on the SunSports broadcast. A legend was born. If you're wondering, he's 9 games shy of graduation from prospect status on the website, so he's got a realistic opportunity to wrap that up before the regular season expires and join Drouin and Paquette as this year's Bolt Prospects Alumni class.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Extraliga Playoff Game Day: 3-16-15

Quarterfinal Round
(5)Mountfield HK 3 vs. (4)Sparta Praha 4
Sparta Praha Wins the Series 4-0
Jaroslav Janus, Sparta Praha, DNP
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals (CZE): 5 GP, 2-3-0, 0 SO, 4.56 GAA, .849 sv%
Regular season totals (KHL): 25 GP, 6-12-5, 2 SO, 3.01 GAA, .891 sv%

Veteran Petr Kumstat scored the Third Period game winner and added a helper for Sparta as they put away Mountfield 4-3 to complete an opening round sweep. Ex-Leafs 5th rounder Juraj Mikus also chipped in a goal.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-16-15

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
(3)Magnitogorsk 5 vs. (2)Novosibirsk 2
Novosibirsk Leads the Series 2-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 27/29, 2.00 GAA, .931 sv%
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 5-3-0, 1 SO, 1.89 GAA, .937 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 32-10-6, 5 SO, 1.86 GAA, .934 sv%

Ex-Blue Jackets pick Sergei Mozyakin had 2 goals and 3 points to lead Magnitogorsk to a must-win, Game Three victory over Novosibirsk. Ex-Islanders 4th rounder David Ullstrom had a goal in defeat for Novosibirsk.

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