Despite yet another power play goal by Johan Harju, Lulea fell apart in the third period in a 5-1 Game Three loss to Frolunda. Lulea is now down 2-1 in the opening round playoff series. Harju also set up a breakaway in the third period with his club down 3-1, but former NHLer Lubos Bartecko was unable to convert for Lulea. Defenseman Janne Niskala took a third period interference penalty in the match for Frolunda.
Harju is tied for the lead in playoff scoring with 5 points in 3 games, and tied for the league best in playoff goals with 4. All of Harju's goals have come with the man advantage.
Witkowski a plus/minus machine ... Rimouski's streak ends at 17 ... Barberio hits 40 points ... Jung beats a former team to put Edmonton up for 8 spot ... Wright scores his 20th ... Stan Drulia reference ... New OHL record set by future member of the Lightning?
Tired Admirals get stomped on the road.
Riku Helenius allowed 3 goals on 12 shots for the loss before being pulled for Craig Kowalski who allowed 1 goal on 21 shots the rest of the way.
WBS Letestu, (17) (James, Taffe), 8:36 (PP)
WBS Letestu, (18) (Jeffrey, Taffe), 12:37 (PP)
WBS Minard, (29) (James, Goligoski), 17:17 (PP)
WBS Jeffrey, (8) (Bissonnette), 12:09
NOR Bochenski, (25) (Keller, Konopka), 19:59 (PP)
Blair Jones' goal scoring streak is snapped at three games.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Grizzlies even series ... Tokarski back in the W column ... Vancouver loses a close one ... Tri-City loses a not-so-close one.
Harvard can't score against last place team in conference, season done ... Vermont sees No. 3 seed slip away in OT ... Wessbecker scores 1st in UMASS rout
The worst 40 minutes of hockey in Lightning history.
Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 7 shots before being pulled for Karri Ramo. Ramo was then the beneficiary of some of the worst defense in the NHL and allowed 6 goals on 22 shots (and took the back door loss to boot) before being pulled at the end of the Second Period. McKenna stopped all 8 shots he faced the rest of the way. Honestly, there was only 1 questionable goal in the lot (by Ramo, on a shot that deflected off Stamkos' stick and through his five hole). Other than that, all of the other eight goals were quality goals that were either odd man rushes or terrible defensive zone breakdowns.
07:01 CAR Staal (29), (Brind'Amour)(SH)
09:40 CAR Staal (30), (Cole, Ruutu)
10:09 CAR Babchuk (9), (Pitkanen)
12:43 TB St. Louis (24), (Stamkos, Szczechura)
02:41 CAR Corvo (12), (Cole, Staal)
03:48 CAR Brind'Amour (9), (Samsonov (25), Cullen)(PP)
06:03 CAR Ruutu (18), (Samsonov, Corvo)(PP)
12:48 CAR Staal (31), (Larose, Ruutu)
16:45 CAR Staal (32), (Ruutu, Cole)
3:30 TB Lecavalier (28), (Malone, Prospal)
9:12 TB Malone (23), (Prospal, Lecavalier)
Here's an FYI to Len Barrie and Oren Koules: Lightning Nation is pissed off. They're more than a bit peeved by the fact that they have to watch a defense comprised of two cast offs who couldn't even get regular ice time for the Florida Panthers, a cast off who couldn't even get out of the minors for the Carolina Hurricanes, a goon who shouldn't even be playing defense in the NHL, Charminy soft Lukas Krajicek, and Matt Smaby, who is the one guy in the bunch who doesn't deserve to be shot, stuffed, and mounted on the wall at the Bear Mountain Resort. This defense is a disgrace, and it's patently obvious that the season is being tanked from the blueline out. When the lone silver lining is, "Oh, well we picked up two points on the Isles in the Tavares/Hedman derby," that's just not acceptable. Honest to goodness, if you're going to ice a corps that bad, why not just call up Vladimir Mihalik and Ty Wishart? I'd rather give minutes to the kids than a has-been and some never-will-bes.
Noah Welch was -2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in an obscene 27:22 of ice time tonight. He and Cory Murphy's first period should be a warning to pregnant women of what happens if you drink while you're carrying your child. How does a guy who couldn't even get in the lineup for Florida end up here playing 27:22 two games later? I can't figure out if this movie is a comedy or a tragedy, boys and girls.
Smaby was +1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 16:49. I'm kind of surprised that his ice time was so low because he was very visible in the physical game. That said, even he made his fair share of mildly stupid plays tonight.
David Koci was -2 with 4 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 11:59. If David Koci is an NHL defenseman then I'm an international playboy.
Paul Szczechura had an assist and 2 penalty minutes with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 11:30. I haven't really been impressed with Paul since he came back from his injury, but he showed flashes again tonight, especially in garbage time in the third period.
Martins Karsums was -1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:27. Chad made the point on the message boards that, athletically, he's reminiscent of Ruslan Fedotenko. That's true, but unlike Fedotenko, Karsums is terrible along the wall. I don't think it's lack of want to and he seems sturdy on his skates. He just seems clueless about his body position. Oh, and he made a nice fat turnover that ended up in the back of the net on Anton Babchuk's goal. From Latvia to Russia with love.
Ahhhh, so that's what a team playing like it has some pride looks like.
Riku Helenius allowed just 1 goal on 27 shots for the win to even his season record at 7-7-0. His .934 save percentage is gaudy.
NOR Jones, (16) (Konopka, Lundin), 2:23 (PP)
LOW Bergfors, (16) (Magnan), 12:18
NOR Keller, (14) (Jones, Potulny), 17:06 (PP)
Jones has 5 goals and 6 points over the past 3 games and over the past 10 games he has 6 goals and 12 points. Keller is now 1 goal shy of his AHL career best and over the past 18 games he has 9 goals and 18 points. Both players are in the final years of their entry level deals and are playing to prove they have some sort of future in the organization. Lately, they've played well enough that, in my mind, they've earned a few games at the NHL level to show management what they can do against the big boys. Jones, in particular, is a guy who I think can compete at the next level if he approaches the game the right way.
The Admirals move back to 4 games under .500 for the season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
ECAC Tournament underway...Vermont picks up big win...UMASS drops a close one in OT
Victoria drops Game 1 ... Unlikely First Star in the Q ... Luca scores to help Rimouski to win No.17 in a row ... Tokarski and Chiefs fall in the standings ... Oil Kings hanging on.