Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
QMJHL-8 Sherbrooke Phoenix 2 @ QMJHL-9 Charlottetown Islanders 5
Charlottetown leads best-of-7 series, 2-1
C Cameron Darcy, SHR: 2-0-2, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 9/19 FO, 1 Hit
Playoff totals: 3 GP: 5-2-7, +3, 4 PIM
With Sherbrooke: 37 GP, 20-25-45, -7, 34 PIM
With Cape Breton: 19 GP, 1-13-14, -6, 14 PIM
Season totals: 56 GP, 21-38-59, -12, 50 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 65 GP, 35-47-82, +3, 51 PIM
The most dangerous animal is a wounded animal.
Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory. The percentage wasn't nice, but the degree of difficulty was high on many of Bishop's denials. Considering he was playing behind Anton Stralman and some road cones by the end of the night, it was a masterful performance.
1:24 TB Namestnikov (8), (Stamkos, Bishop)
4:24 MTL Pacioretty (37), (Plekanec, Markov)(SH)
4:57 TB Drouin (3), (Stralman, Bishop)(PP)
18:07 TB Kucherov (28), (Namestnikov, Palat)
0:23 MTL Petry (5), (Eller)
6:21 TB Namestnikov (9), (Palat)
16:10 MTL Subban (14), (Beaulieu, Desharnais)(PP)
19:03 TB Stralman (9), (Boyle)(EN)
Let's recap, shall we? The Lightning entered this game down 3 regular defensemen (Coburn, Garrison, and Sustr) and an all-star centerman (Johnson). By the end of the game, they lost Victor Hedman to an undisclosed injury that led him to skate just 1 shift in the Third Period. By all rights, the Lightning could have just folded. Montreal, having not won against Tampa Bay all season and seeing an opportunity to jump out to a potential 3 point lead in the division at home with precious few games left to go, had everything to play for. Everything in the stew was against the Lightning. Right?
Wrong. The Lightning just rolled over Montreal like a conquering, unstoppable army to complete a 5-0-0 sweep against the Habs this season. They outshot them 44-28 and outplayed them so badly the Canadiens were booed off their home ice at the end of the Second Period. That wasn't a game. That was the Lightning reaching into Montreal's chest cavity, pulling their heart out, and then feeding it to them. That was a team that outworked Montreal by such a wide margin that it was irrelevant who was back on defense, because for much of the night Montreal simply could not get the puck long enough to put any pressure on the precocious children wearing white Tampa Bay jerseys for it to matter an iota. I've never seen a team that unbelievably undermanned outplay a playoff caliber team by such an unbelievably wide margin. It was majestic. I have no clue who the Lightning will have left to play defense by the time they roll into Toronto tomorrow night. They might have to pull the first kid out of the stands with a Stamkos jersey on and give him a pair of skates at this rate. It doesn't matter, though. I just want to spend the next 18 hours or so basking in the unmistakable power of what this Lightning team is capable of when it truly decides it wants to do something. The last time I felt this good was one of the Lightning's ECF wins in the 7 game series against Boston.
Also, I'd like to say Cedric Paquette is the baddest man on the planet. Dump Truck truly is made of steel. 1 shot, 7 hits, and 1 blocked shot. He had an axle bent at an unnatural angle against the goal post in Detroit and looked absolutely done for the season. And yet, there he is, taking the first shifts and the last shifts of a win in his home province against Montreal. That's a tough man. That's the living embodiment of Lightning want-to.
The Lightning closed back to within 1 point of Montreal for the division lead with both teams having 5 games left to play on the schedule. The Lightning win clinches a playoff spot (foregone conclusion) and puts them at triple-digit points for the season at 101. I have no clue if the Lightning, given how many guys are injured, can finish off this division title run and grab hold of the banner. I do know, unequivocally though, the Lightning are a better team than Montreal. The tape of these 5 games doesn't lie.
Luke Witkowski was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 13:09. He did what we've come to expect of Witkowski. Move it quickly and don't put yourself in peril. Show snarl when called for. Simple. Efficient.
Nikita Nesterov was +2 with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:03. He showed a lot of hustle and jam in his own third of the rink tonight to go along with the usual acumen he has in the offensive third. This was a really good rebound game after the rust he showed against Detroit.
Namestnikov had 2 goals, 3 points, and was +3 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:57. He was also 64% on 11 draws. He stepped into Tyler Johnson's spot alongside Kucherov and Palat and played every bit like an all star. Close your eyes and imagine the Lightning lineup with Namestnikov and Drouin with 1 more year of seasoning at this time next season. Glorious, isn't it? Baby Faced Killer is now 3 games away from graduation from prospect status on the website.
Western Hockey League
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
East-6 Kootenay Ice 2 @ East-3 Calgary Hitmen 3
Best-of-7 series tied, 1-1
D Ben Thomas, CAL: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 7-24-31, +16, 28 PIM
2013-14 totals: 72 GP, 7-24-31, +11, 39 PIM
Calgary’s Adam Tambellini (New York Rangers) scored at 16:36 of the first overtime to save the Hitmen from going down 0-2 in the series despite having home-ice advantage. Ben Thomas has had an assist in both games.
(1)Trinec 5 vs. (4)Sparta Praha 4 (OT)
Trinec Leads the Series 2-0
Jaroslav Janus, Sparta Praha, DNP
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 5.71 GAA, .846 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%
24 year old undrafted defenseman Vladimir Roth scored at 15:06 of the First OT to lift Trinec to a 5-4 Game Two victory over Sparta Praha. The win gives the top seed a 2-0 lead in the series. Ex-Sens first rounder Jakub Klepis also had 1 goal and 1 assist in the win for Trinec. Ex-Leafs pick Karel Pilar had 1 goal and 1 assist in defeat for Sparta. Game Three is Wednesday.
Midwest-4 Harvard Crimson 1 vs Midwest-1 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4
Midwest Regional Semifinals
F Brian Hart, HAR: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 36 GP, 7-9-16, +4, 19 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 30 GP, 7-8-15, -8, 20 PIM
No. 10 Harvard couldn’t build on its ECAC tournament championship, falling to Andrej Sustr’s alma mater, No. 9 Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1. This ends the season for Lightning prospect Brian Hart, a junior for the Crimson. All signs point to him returning to Harvard for his senior season.
Northeast-2 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 2 vs Northeast-1 Boston University Terriers 3
Northeast Regional Finals
D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 2-7-9, +18, 48 PIM
2013-2014 totals (USHL): 19 GP, 1-4-5, +1, 36 PIM
The No. 2 Terriers punched their ticket to the Frozen Four in Boston with a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. Free agent Evan Rodrigues scored his second goal of the game with less than three minutes remaining to beat UMD.
West-3 St. Cloud State Huskies 1 vs West-1 North Dakota 4
West Regional Finals
F Brendan O’Donnell, UND: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 13-7-20, +11, 35 PIM
2013-2014 totals: 34 GP, 7-11-18, +7, 10 PIM
No. 3 North Dakota will return to the Frozen Four after defeating conference-rival No. 13 St. Cloud State 4-1 Saturday night. O'Donnell led the team in shots on goal. UND will play Boston University in the national semifinals.