Hey look, it's a Caps fan, appropriately dressed as a clown no less.
Gritty, gutty effort by John Grahame and the whole Lightning team. Grahame stopped 27 of 30 shots faced for a critical win to keep the Lightning in 6th in the conference. Rookies Paul Ranger and Ryan Craig each had primary assists in the game. Ranger got back on the plus side of the ledger for the first time in a few games going +1 in 21:24 with 3 shots on goal, 1 hit and 2 blocked shots. Craig played 13:46 of even hockey with 3 shots on goal. Evgeny Artyukhin played a sparing 5:01 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
Omsk defeated CSKA 6-1 to take a 2-0 series lead. Nikita Alexeev did not dress for Avangard.
Vasily Koshechkin allowed 6 goals in 40 minutes of play before being lifted for the third period in Lada's 7-0 loss to Magnitogorsk. The series is now tied 1-1.
Ramo/Rask IV will have to wait. Miika Wiikman got the start today in HPK's opening game of the SM-liiga playoffs beating Tuukka Rask and Ilves 4-2. Rask stopped 35 of 39 shots faced in the game.
I think Wheeling might've been a little mad after losing two straight to the Chiefs.
Gabe Winer stopped 27 of 31 shots faced before being pulled for the third period for Mike Betz who stopped all 9 shots faced. The teams played a physical first period that saw fights by Adam Henrich and Andre Deveaux as well as double minor for roughing to Brandon Elliot. Elliot would later have a fight of his own in the second period where Adam Henrich collected his 8th through 21st penalty minutes of the night (slash, fighting, roughing, rough and ten minute misconduct).
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Blues snuck past JYP in overtime yesterday in the final match of the play-in round to set the field for the SM-liiga quarterfinals. Third seeded HPK will face off with sixth seeded Ilves. That means we could see Karri Ramo once again square off with countryman Tuukka Rask in a battle between the two brightest star goaltending prospects in Finland.
Omsk defeated CSKA 3-0 in the opening match of their quarterfinal series. Nikita Alexeev did not dress for Avangard.
Lada Togliatti drew first blood against Goliath Magnitogorsk behind Vasily Koshechkin's 4th win of the postseason.
The Western Hockey League released their first and second team conference all-stars yesterday and two Lightning forwards received honors. In the Western Conference, Kelowna LW Justin Keller was named a First Team All Star after leading the league in goals. In the East, center Blair Jones was selected as a Second Team All Star after finishing in the top 10 in the WHL in scoring. Keller and Jones aren't the only Lightning players who will be holding hardware at the end of the day, as it is expected Stanislav Lascek will also be receiving honors in the QMJHL.
Linkopings defeated Lulea handily today 7-2 to win their opening round playoff series 4-2. Fredrik Norrena and Shane Willis returned to the lineup today as all three Lightning properties figured into the win. Norrena stopped 18 of 20 shots faced in the game to secure his third victory of the postseason. Willis, meanwhile, may have had his best game in a Linkopings jersey to date scoring a goal and adding a shorthanded assist. Also, defenseman Andreas Holmqvist scored his first career Elitserien playoff goal on the power play. Third seeded Linkopings must now face second seeded Vastra Frolunda in the Swedish league's semifinal round.
Ethan Blough of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that the club has signed a third goaltender to help shore up their situation between the pipes. With Morgan Cey recalled to Springfield and Mike Betz injured last weekend the club was forced to sign rookie Gabe Winer of UMASS and play him three straight nights. To solve the problem, the team signed goaltender Josh Disher from the Erie Otters of the OHL. Disher, a 2004 6th round pick of the Devils whose rights are still held by New Jersey, was elligible for signing because his club failed to make the OHL postseason. He was 21-25-3-3 this year for the Otters with a 3.75 GAA and a .891 save percentage. Standing at 6'1" 177 lbs, the backstop compiled a 72-65-11-3 record with 8 shutouts in three seasons with Erie. His career best season came in 2004-2005 when he had a 25-18-6 record with a 2.73 GAA and .913 save percentage. Disher will be available for recall to Albany or New Jersey at the Devils' discretion.
Bolt Prospects' Chad Schnarr has learned that left wing Mark Tobin, whose season with the Rimouski Oceanic just ended, will not be signed early by the Lightning. In addition, there is considerable doubt as to whether or not Tobin will be signed at all this summer. If he is not, the Newfoundland native will re-enter the draft in June.