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Lightning Recall Bochenski

According to Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson, the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled veteran forward Brandon Bochenski from the Norfolk Admirals in response to the Matt Smaby and Paul Szczechura being unable to play tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

Bochenski, 6 foot 1, 187 pounds, has played in 69 games with the Admirals this season, recording 27 goals, 11 power-play goals and 53 points. He leads Norfolk in goals, power-play goals and is second in points.

A native of Blaine, Minnesota, Bochenski has played in 121 career NHL games with Nashville, Anaheim, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa. He has amassed 24 goals, 54 points, six power-play goals and two game-winning goals. In 2006-07 he established career highs for games played (41), goals (13), assists (11), points (24), power-play goals (3) and game-winning goals (2) with Boston and Chicago. Bochenski also represented the United States in the 2007 IIHF World Championships, recording two goals and five points in seven games.

Bochenski has played in 214 career AHL games with Norfolk and the Binghamton Senators., scoring 117 goals and recording 236 points. He has also appeared in nine Calder Cup Playoff games, netting two goals and registering three points.

Drafted in the seventh round, 223rd overall, by the Ottawa Senators at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, he was signed by the Lightning as a free agent on July 8, 2008.

Tokarski, Fadden, Barberio Advance

N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 3/28

Three prospects move on - two to face fellow prospects in Round 2 ... Victoria forces a Game 7 ... Fargo winning on the "road."

NCAA Game Night: 3/28

NCAA Tournament - East Regional Final
Vermont Catamounts 3 vs Air Force Falcons 2 2OT
F Matt Marshall Ver: 0-0-0, Even

Vermont sophomore Dan Lawson scored his second goal of the game with 5 minutes to go in the second overtime of the East Regional Final to send Vermont to the Frozen Four for the first time in 13 years.

Miami ended Minnesota-Duluth's cinderella run, beating the Bulldogs 2-1 in the West Regional Final to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time. Sunday, BU plays New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional Final and Bemidji State meets Cornell in the Midwest Regional Final.

Frolunda Eliminated in Elitserien Playoffs

After successfully eliminating top flight Lightning prospect Johan Harju and Lulea, Elitserien power moved on to face HV 71 in the semifinals in a clash of league titans. Unfortunately, Janne Niskala and Frolunda weren't quite up to the task...

NCAA Game Night: 3/27

NCAA Tournament - East Regional Semifinal
Yale Bulldogs 1 vs Vermont Catamounts 4
F Matt Marshall Ver: 0-0-0, 1 SOG, +2

Marshall returned to the lineup after missing the Hockey East Tournament with an ankle injury, as Vermont knocked off Yale to move onto the regional final tonight against Air Force. Air Force (28-10-2) upset No. 1 seed Michigan 2-0 in the other regional semifinal. The winner of tonights game earns a bid in the Frozen Four.

Courtnall, Victoria Still Alive

N.A. Juniors Playoff Game Night: 3/27

Len Barrie's Grizzlies stave off elimination at home ... Witkowski hits 20 points for the year ... Fadden a star again leading TC to a 3-1 series lead ... Draft Watch ... and your obscure ex-Bolt reference: Kaspars Astashenko.

NHL Game Night 3/27: Lightning at Capitals

A valiant comeback comes up short.

TB-3
WSH-5

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 38 shots in the loss. He held the team in once the Caps got to three and gave them a chance to get back even. No complaints from me.

First Period
06:49 WSH Ovechkin (52), (Backstrom, Laich)(PP)
11:17 WSH Backstrom (20), (Ovechkin, Green)(PP)
15:48 TB St. Louis (29), (Pettinger, Lashoff)
19:38 WSH Backstrom (21), (Green, Ovechkin)(PP)

Second Period
19:06 TB Stamkos (19), (Malone, St. Louis)

Third Period
02:59 TB Prospal (19), (St. Louis)
04:30 WSH Pothier (1), (Laich, Aucoin)
19:53 WSH Ovechkin (53), (Laich)(EN)

The Lightning's penalty kill has been absolutely attrocious in the second half of the season. I suppose it's a combination of losing their most mobile defensemen on the backline and losing Smitty. Still, one thing I'd like to see next season is Tocchet giving Stamkos some PK time. He skates so well, I think he'll quite a bit of pressure on the opposing point men.

Noah Welch was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:44. His ice time in a game where one of the other d-men went out injured speaks volumes about what the coaching staff thinks of him. I think that of him too.

Matt Smaby had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 8:01. He left the game after suffering a "lower body injury." The young man's been playing on a bad wheel for quite some time. Hopefully he'll get back quickly. He's just 4 games from graduating from prospect status here on BP.

David Koci had 2 penalty minutes, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 5:35. No shots, no kills.

Martins Karsums had 2 shots and 1 hit in 8:49. He does nothing for me.

Richard Petiot managed, somehow, to land the big +3 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 21:49.

Matt Lashoff got his first even strength assist, 4 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 blocked shots in 24:01. I'd like to see him take better angles in his own end. I think it would keep him from taking so many minor penalties.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night 3/27: Griffins at Admirals

Jimmy Howard steals two points from Norfolk.

GR-2
NOR-1

Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 34 shots in the loss. He's now 8-12-0 on the season with a 2.69 GAA, 1 shutout, and a .919 save percentage.

First Period
NOR Simek, (8) (Zingoni, Henley), 10:28
GR Walsh, (3) (Stafford, Gagnon), 10:54

Second Period
GR Emmerton, (9) (Abdelkader, Haydar), 5:01

Third Period
NO SCORING

Juraj Simek was named the game's third star.

The Admirals outshot Grand Rapids 48-34, but could only solve Jimmy Howard once in the game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Picking Third (Or Fourth)?

With the Lightning going on a bit of a run, picking up points in 8 of their last 10 games, the team has played itself out of the second position for the draft lottery and now sits 1 point above Colorado in the standings. Considering the Avalanche's talented young center, Paul Stastny, just broke his foot and will probably be out for the remainder of the season, the Lightning may end up locked into the third position in the draft lottery. That would mean the odds would overwhelmingly favor the club picking third or fourth in the upcoming 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Picking in one of the first two slots in this draft would be fairly easy. London center John Tavares and MODO defenseman Victor Hedman have rightfully dominated the draft discussion. Picking third is a different animal altogether. It's a scenario not unlike the 2001 draft when the Lightning lost out on the opportunity to draft Ilya Kovalchuk or Jason Spezza when Atlanta won the draft lottery and pushed the team down to pick number three.

The good news is, I don't think the Lightning are going to get stuck with a lemon like Alex Svitov if they don't wind up in the top two picks. There are quality players on the board that should add to the core of the Lightning rebuilding project. Here's my board thus far:

1.) C John Tavares, 6'0" 198 lbs, London (OHL)
2.) D Victor Hedman, 6'6" 220 lbs, MODO (SWE)

More on the flip

NHL Game Night 3/26: Lightning at Canadiens

The Lightning stole a point they didn't deserve.

TB-2
MTL-3 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the overtime loss. The 13 save second period he put on was the kind of mind-bending play that he used to display regularly as a rookie with Springfield in the AHL a couple of seasons back. Can you critique the goals he allowed? Sure. His mechanics were awkward on Montreal's first goal and he was completely out of his sorts on the Latendresse wraparaound goal. That said, the Lightning would've lost this game 7-2 easily without Ramo's play tonight. It wasn't just the saves: it was deflection save after deflection save. The athleticism is absolutely undeniable, and if you project Karri to, say, Mike Smith's age, you start to understand why the Lightning have so much hope tied up in the young man. He has gotten points in each of his last six starts, which is somewhat phenomenal given the defensive corps (corpse may be more accurate) assembled in front of him.

First Period
11:09 MTL Kovalev (20), (Tanguay, Schneider)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
05:48 MTL Latendresse (12), (Kostopoulos, Markov)
10:26 TB Koci (1), (Hall, Craig)
14:43 TB Krajicek (2), (unassisted)

Overtime
01:45 MTL Koivu (15), (Markov, Plekanec)

The first 40 minutes of this game were, other than Ramo, an embarassment for the Lightning. Were it not for the fact that the team has to play in Washington tomorrow night, a bag skate might still be in order, whether they stole a point late or not.

Noah Welch was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 11:33.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 5 blocked shots in 23:34.

David Koci scored his first NHL goal and was +1 in 4:06. Call him the sniper: one shot one kill. He practically leapt right out of his skates when he realized what he had done.

Martins Karsums had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 8:37.

Richard Petiot was -1 with 4 penalty minutes, 4 hits, and 5 blocked shots.

Matt Lashoff was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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