NHL Game Night: 4-10-10 Panthers at Lightning

Stamkos. Steven Stamkos.

TB-4 (SO)

Antero Niittymaki allowed 3 goals on 32 shots and stopped all 3 shooters he faced for the shootout win.

First Period
TB 4:11, Stamkos 49 (Foster, St. Louis)(PP)
FLA 18:39, Weiss 28 (Horton, McCabe)(PP)

Second Period
TB 5:28, Stamkos 50 (Meszaros, Konopka)(PP)
TB 10:24, St. Louis 29 (Stamkos, Foster)
FLA 11:46, Frolik 21 (Horton, Kulikov)

Third Period
FLA 8:08, Horton 20 (Weiss, Ballard)(SH)


TB- Stamkos

With a pair of goals, Steven Stamkos tied Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 1 game left to play. Sid Crosby sits 1 goal behind them. All three players will be in action tomorrow with the Richard Trophy on the line. Stamkos took 20 shots tonight. 10 were on goal, 8 were blocked, and 2 missed the net. Hmmmm. I'm thinking Stammer wants the hardware. Martin St. Louis is now 1 goal shy of 30 for the season. That's somewhat remarkable considering how slowly he started the year in the goal scoring department.

There could be some callups for tomorrow's game in Sunrise with the Norfolk Admirals completing their season tonight. So, watch the transactions wire. Either way, I could see Tocchet playing Stamkos 25-30 minutes tomorrow as Steven tries to get the 1 or 2 more goals he'll need to win the Richard Trophy.

The Lightning have dropped down to the 4th most ping pong balls in the draft lottery with the victory.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-10-10 Bears at Admirals

With their boots on and their heads held high...


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the win. He finishes his rookie campaign with a 27-25-3 mark, 4 shutouts, a 2.51 GAA, and a .915 sv%. That's a very respectable starting point for a young career.

First Period
HER Bouchard, (21) (Perreault, Bourque), 8:43
NOR Fornataro, (11) (Dehner), 13:11

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (8) (Parrish, Craig), 2:36 (PP)
HER Giroux, (50) (Aucoin, Bourque), 15:43 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Simek, (20) (Jones, Mihalik), 1:49
NOR Simek, (21) (Hall, Jackson), 5:41
NOR Hall, (16) , 19:51 (EN/SH)

Juraj Simek, Matt Fornataro, and Paul Szczechura were the game's three stars. Simek, after seeing his playing time dwindle in the past month or two, finally topped 20 goals in the season finale.

Unfortunately, there will be no postseason for the Admirals as both Lowell and Bridgeport won tonight, meaning the crossover rule will go in effect. The propriety of the crossover rule is dubious at best considering the unbalanced schedules that are played, which meant Norfolk had to play world beaters Hershey 10 times while clubs like Bridgeport and Lowell got to feast off the worst team in the league, Springfield. Still, it is what it is, and Norfolk will cede its playoff spot to the 5th place team in the Atlantic Division. Norfolk finishes the regular season with 84 points (39-35-3-3).

In the short term, I suspect there might be a recall or two for tomorrow's Lightning season finale in Sunrise against the Panthers. Specifically, I feel like Dana Tyrell deserves a reward for his hard work, and the Lightning may want to take a look at Carter Ashton, who has spent his time on Norfolk's second line since Mark Parrish and Paul Szczechura were sent back down to Norfolk.

In the long term, this offseason will be a challenging one for the Admirals. The Lightning have a lot of decisions to make with veteran players like Ryan Craig and Adam Hall and 3rd and 4th year pros like Blair Jones, Simek, and Vladimir Mihalik. The only knowns I think Admirals fans can count on for next season are that the team will probably be younger and the team will probably still have fantastic goaltending between Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus, who actually has been practicing with the team this week and might've been ready to come back had the Admirals made the post season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-10-10

KHL Eastern Conference Finals
(3)Kazan 2 @ (1)Yulaev 1
Kazan Wins the Series 4-2
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +8, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 8 PIM

Ex-Thrashers draft pick Ilya Nikulin scored a power play goal with 4:53 left in regulation to lift Kazan to a 2-1 Game Six, series clinching win at Yulaev. Kazan wins the series 4-2 and will face the winner of Game Seven between KHK MVD and Yaroslavl tomorrow in the Western Conference Finals. Lighntning prospect Dmitri Kazionov played 18:47 in the match.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-9-10


No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 4 (2OT)
Quarterfinals, Game 4. Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-2-2, +1, 4 PIM, 2 SOG
Series Totals: 4 GP, 2-4-6, +3, 6 PIM
Playoff Totals: 9 GP, 3-8-11, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats had a chance to finish a sweep of the Huskies, but former Rimouski Oceanic Phillipe Cornet (Oilers 5/08) scored in the second overtime to extend the series for Rouyn-Noranda. Moncton outshot the Huskies 20-14 in the extra sessions and 50-47 overall, but were unable to complete the sweep. Barberio had two primary assists on the night, including one with under 30 seconds to play that forced overtime on a goal by Kelsey Tessier (Avalanche 4/08). Barberio has six points in the series so far (two goals), which will see it's next game Saturday in Moncton. No.1 St. John, No.2 Drummondville, and No.6 Victoriaville (swept No.3 Quebec) have already advanced to the semifinals.

Draft Watch
Moncton’s Brandon Gormley, a defenseman expected to go in the 3-8 range this summer, was scoreless and minus-2 in the game. He has nine assists in nine playoff games, to go with a plus-6 rating. Gormley had 43 points (nine goals) in 58 regular season games for the Wildcats and was plus-31.


Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 5
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 3-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Series Totals: 4 GP, 6-3-9, +2, 2 PIM
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 6-5-11, +4, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Wright (pictured) had two goals for the second straight game, giving him six goals this series, as the Giants took a … well … giant step forward toward eliminating the Winterhawks with a 5-3 win Friday. They now lead the series 3-1 and can close it out Saturday night at home.

Draft Watch
Portland winger Nino Niederreiter, expected to go in the top-10 this summer, scored Portland’s third goal to cut Vancouver’s lead to 5-3 late in the third. El Nino is 5-7-12 in 11 playoff games.

AHL Game Night: 4-9-10 Bears at Admirals

The playoffs are now a very remote possibility for the Admirals.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 6 goals on 29 shots for the loss. Other than the 4th Hershey goal, Tokarski was just hung out to dry. The Admirals gave up way too many odd-man rushes and just didn't do much to disrupt the Hershey power play.

First Period
HER Giroux, (47) (Bourque, Alzner), 9:40 (PP)
NOR Fritz, (2) (Marks, St. Pierre), 10:56

Second Period
HER Giroux, (48) (Helmer, Aucoin), 4:44
HER Giroux, (49) (Aucoin), 8:35
HER Rome, (6) (Alzner, Bouchard), 9:19
HER Joudrey, (15) (Pinizzotto, Kane), 11:27

Third Period
HER Gordon, (37) (Aucoin, Bourque), 6:18 (PP)

The night went about as badly for the Admirals as it could have. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton knocked off Albany 4-3, so the Penguins have clinched 3rd place in the East Division. Meanwhile, in the crossover, Bridgeport defeated Lowell 6-3 in Lowell. So, both Lowell and Bridgeport are 2 points ahead of the Admirals and each team has 1 game in hand. That means to make the playoffs the Admirals would have to beat the Bears tomorrow night and either Bridgeport or Lowell would have to lose both of their remaining games in regulation, because the Admirals would hold the tiebreaker for more regulation wins. A loss tomorrow night or a single point for both Bridgeport and Lowell and the postseason hopes are done.

Considering where the Admirals have been the past couple of years, I think it's progress that they can honestly say that all 80 games this season were meaningful. That said, this still feels rotten.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 4-8-10 Senators at Lightning

Stammer stays right in the Kid's rearview in the Richard Trophy race.

TB-4 (SO)

Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 38 shots and stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout for the win.

First Period
TB 8:01, St. Louis 28 (Stamkos, Lundin)
TB 19:32, Purcell 6 (Lundin, Malone)(PP)

Second Period
TB 3:33, Stamkos 48 (St. Louis, Foster)(PP)
OTT 12:44, Foligno 9 (Ruutu, Cullen)(PP)
OTT 18:42, Spezza 23 (Alfredsson, Karlsson)(PP)

Third Period
OTT 4:16, Fisher 25 (Alfredsson, Spezza)(PP)


TB- Purcell

Steven Stamkos got his 48th goal of the season with 2 games left to play. That's 1 behind Sid Crosby, who scored one goal tonight and was nearly credited with his 50th goal too. But, for now, Stammer's just 1 off the pace.

Teddy Purcell done really nicely since coming over from the Kings. In 17 games he has 3 goals and 9 points. That pro-rates to 14 goals and 43 points over an 82 game season. That's not world beating numbers, but it give you hope he gets his butt in gear and trains hard this offseason and comes back next year ready for a 20 goal and 50 point type campaign.

The win doesn't cost the Lightning a draft position because Florida beat New Jersey tonight. Unfortunately, the Lightning have no chance of having the second most ping-pong balls after Toronto lost last night, so barring a minor miracle they'll be picking somewhere between the 3rd and 5th spots. That's no-man's land in this draft, and definitely the kind of pick position that makes scouts sweat.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

European Game Day: 4-8-10

KHL (Russia) Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Yulaev 2 @ (3)Kazan 1
Kazan Leads the Series 3-2
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +8, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 8 PIM

Things are getting interesting in the KHL Eastern Conference Finals. After sprinting out to a 3-0 series lead, Kazan has allowed top seeded Yulaev back into the series with 2 straight wins. Today, Yulaev got 1 goal and 1 assist in the third period from ex-Predator Alexander Radulov in a come-from-behind Game Five victory. Lightning prospect Dmitri Kazionov played 20:40 in the match and has been playing on Kazan's top line for much of the playoffs.

In the Western Conference Finals, Yaroslavl leads KHK MVD 3 games to 2. Kazan will try to finish off the Eastern Conference Finals again on Saturday.

Kval till Elitserien (Sweden)
Sodertalje 1 @ AIK 2 (OT)
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Loss, 35/37, 1.99 GAA, .946 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 6-3-0, 1 SO, 2.74 GAA, .911 sv%

AIK forward Richard Gynge scored a game winning power play goal for AIK just 17 seconds in overtime to defeat Riku Helenius and Sodertalje. For Helenius, it was his 3rd defeat in his past 4 starts after beginning the promotion/relegation tournament with 5 straight victories. Sodertalje's offense has been hamstrung without ex-Avs draft pick Linus Videll, who has not played in Sodertalje's past three games.

Despite the loss, Sodertalje has secured its spot in the Elitserien for next season with AIK earning just 1 point in the standings for the victory and Leksands and Rogle also losing. The more intriguing situation is occuring in the battle for 2nd place on the Kval till Elitserien table, which will yield the final Elitserien spot for next season. AIK holds 1 point lead now over Rogle and a 2 point lead over Leksands and Almtuna with just 1 game left to go and each regulation victory in Sweden being worth 3 points. As an interesting subplot, AIK, which has been on the brink of financial ruin the past few seasons despite being based in the population center of Stockholm, signed a letter-of-intent earlier this season to join the KHL next year but was denied the right to join the Russian league by the Swedish ice hockey federation. Now the team, which has been toiling in the Allsvenskan for the past few seasons, controls its own destiny and is one game away from joining Sweden's top league.

The Kval till Elitserien closes on Sunday with Sodertalje playing Rogle, AIK playing Vaxjo, and Leksands squaring off with Almtuna.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-7-10


East-1 Barrie Colts 5 @ East-5 Brampton Battalion 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Barrie wins Best of 7 Series 4-0
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: Did not play.
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 1-5-6, +6, 8 PIM
Season Totals: 68 GP, 47-34-81, +44, 58 PIM

Barrie swept their second straight series after easily handling Brampton 5-2 in Game 4. Hutchings, who is reportedly back practicing with the team, missed his fourth consecutive game with a groin injury. Barrie will now face either Ottawa or Mississauga in the East Finals. That series is tied at two games apiece. The loss by Brampton means the junior career of Canucks super-prospect Cody Hodgson comes to an end. Hodgson missed most of the season with a back injury. He’ll likely push for a Canucks job next season if he’s healthy. As for Hutchings, one would think with extended time off before the East Finals, he’ll be back healthy the next time the Colts take the ice.

Draft Watch
Windsor Spitfires 3 @ Plymouth Whalers 2 (OT)
Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4. Windsor wins series 4-0

The defending Memorial Cup champs disposed of the Whalers in four games, thus ending the head-to-head match-up between CSS No.1 Tyler Seguin (Plymouth) and CSS No.2 Taylor Hall (Windsor). Hall finished the series at 3-3-6, +6; Seguin, who doesn’t have a lot of help around him, was scoreless and -6 in the four games. For the playoffs, Hall is 9-7-16, +12 in 8 games; Seguin is still over a point-per-game at 5-5-10 in 9 games. Both tied for the OHL lead with 106 regular season points. With the Maple Leafs’ loss Wednesday night, the Lightning would have to win next Tuesday’s draft lottery to have a chance at one of these two prospects. The Lightning will likely end up picking third or fourth, which means Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler (CSS No.5) will be on their short list of choices. Fowler had an assist in Game 4 against Plymouth, giving him three for the series. He has six assists and no goals in eight playoff games this year. The Michigan native had 55 points (eight goals) in 55 regular season games.


Portland Winterhawks 3 @ Vancouver Giants 2
Conference Semifinals, Game 3. Vancouver leads Best of 7 Series 2-1
C/W/D James Wright, VAN: 2-0-2, E, 0 PIM, *Third Star*
Playoff Totals: 7 GP, 4-5-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 21 GP, 6-13-19, -3, 17 PIM
With Tampa Bay: 43 GP, 2-3-5, -9, 18 PIM

Luca Sbisa, who began the season with the Philadelphia Flyers, scored on the power play at 2:20 of the third period to give the Winterhawks a 3-1 lead and helped them hang on for the win despite the other former NHLer in this series – former Bolt James Wright – scoring his second goal of the game with three minutes remaining. Portland is now firmly back into the series, which sees its next two games played in Vancouver this week. Wright has seven points (four goals) in the three games against Portland so far. Game 4 is Friday.

AHL Game Night: 4-7-10 Penguins at Admirals

Hope lives in Norfolk.


Dustin Tokarski shut out the Penguins on 29 shots for the win. It was his 4th shutout of this rookie campaign. Heading into the final two games of the regular season, he has a 26-24-3-3 record on the year with a 2.46 GAA and a nice .917 sv%.

First Period
NOR Parrish, (17) (Wishart, Szczechura), 13:47 (PP)

Second Period

Third Period

Tokarski and Mark Parrish were the game's first and second stars.

Ty Wishart returned from injury after missing the recent road trip, and chipped in a helper for his 32nd point of the season. It was just in a nick of time.

The victory temporarily puts Norfolk back in the playoffs. They are one point back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for 3rd in the East Division, they are two points behind Lowell, which is 4th in the Atlantic Division, and they're tied in points with Bridgeport, which is 5th in the Atlantic Division. Norfolk would get in on the tiebreaker for having more regulation wins. That's the good news. The bad news is that all three teams hold a game in hand on the Admirals, so Norfolk still doesn't control its own destiny.

With the win tonight, Norfolk moved it's overall record to 38-34-3-3 with 2 games left to play, meaning the Admirals have clinched a winning record for the season. They finish up with a pair of games against Hershey at The Scope this weekend. At a minimum, they'll probably need at least 2 points out of those games to advance to the playoffs. Getting all 4 points would not mathematically guarantee the playoffs, but the odds would be in Norfolk's favor.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finishes up with Albany and then with back-to-back games against Binghamton. 2 of those 3 games are at home for the Penguins. The Pens have lost 2 games in a row.

Lowell has Bridgeport and Providence at home and the Portland Pirates on the road. Lowell won their last game but are 3-5-0-2 in their last 10.

Bridgeport may have the toughest schedule of the three clubs. They have Lowell on the road and then home games against Manchester and Hartford. Manchester has won 7 straight games since I declared them the bubble team likely to fall off. Shows what I know. Bridgeport has lost 2 games in a row.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Playoffs Game Night: 4-6-10


No.4 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2 @ No.5 Moncton Wildcats 7
Quarterfinals, Game 3 Moncton leads Best of 7 Series 3-0
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 1-1-2, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 8 GP, 3-6-9, +5, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 65 GP, 17-43-60, +39, 72 PIM

The Wildcats put a strangle-hold on the Huskies in the series by crushing them in Moncton in Game 3, 7-2. Barberio scored Moncton’s second goal and later added a power play assist. He has four points in the series so far. Gabriel Bourque (Predators 5/09) had four goals for Moncton to tie the team record for goals in a playoff game. He had 16 goals in 55 regular season games split between Baie-Comeau and Moncton. Meanwhile, Brandon Gormley, a defenseman for Moncton who’s likely to go in the top-5 or so of this summer’s draft (right where the Lightning will be picking), picked up Second Star honors for his three-assist night. The PEI native had 54 points (nine goals) in 58 regular season games and has nine assists after eight playoff games. Game 4 of the series is Friday.

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