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Playoff Game Night 4/21: Lightning at Senators

Opportunity lost. Ottawa leads the series 1-0. TB-1 OTT-4 John Grahame, who played well, stopped 34 of 37 before Ottawa tacked on an empty net goal. Grahame held Ottawa scoreless through 40 minutes before allowing three in the third period, only one of which by Spezza he could really be faulted for. The good news is that the Lightning got 36 shots on goal on Ray Emery. The shame is that they seemingly could not finish to save their lives. The team hit a couple of crossbars that could've meant a critical 2-0 or even 3-0 lead and had multiple other chances that they squandered. They have to bury those chances and get another good goaltending performance from John Grahame to even the series in game two. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] was even in 16:00 in his first career playoff game. He had 2 shots and 1 hit. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] played 15:38 of even hockey with 1 shot, 2 hits and 2 blocked shots. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] had 2 hits in 3:22. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS030111.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Keller Nominated for WHL Player of the Year

Lightning prospect winger [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] has been [url=http://whl.ca/news/?id=4304]nominated out of the Western Conference for WHL player of the year.[/url] Keller finished the WHL regular season 1st in goals and 5th in overall scoring before his Kelowna Rockets lost to Everett in the second round of the playoffs. Out of the Eastern Conference, goaltender Justin Pogge of Calgary may be the favorite to win the award.

CSS Final Rankings Completed

I haven't seen them officially released anywhere yet, but Bolt Prospects does have access to the CSS's password protected site and they have complete their Final Rankings for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Bolt Prospects will go into more detail on some of these players later in the summer, but for now, here's a sampler: [b]North American Skaters[/b] 1. D Erik Johnson, 6'4" 222 lbs, USNTDP (US) 2. C Jordan Staal, 6'4" 215 lbs, Peterborough (OHL) 3. C/W Jonathan Toews, 6'1.5" 195 lbs, North Dakota (WCHA) 4. C Derick Brassard, 6'0.5" 172 lbs, Drummondville (QMJHL) 5. C Phil Kessel, 6'0" 189 lbs, Minnesota (WCHA)

HPK/Assat Game Three

HPK is now just win away from claiming the SM-liiga championship as they defeated Assat in game three today 5-3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Miika Wiikman was again in net and stopped 30 of 33 shots faced en route to being named the game's third star. [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] again served as backup.

CHL Playoffs Tonight: 4/19

[b]WHL[/b] There was no tomorrow for either Moose Jaw or Calgary in game seven of their second round WHL playoff series where Moose Jaw triumphed over the Hitmen 3-1 to win their second round WHL playoff series. The Warriors took the lead for good in the game on the strength of a Steven Gillen shorthanded goal off an assist from [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones.[/url] Jones, already tabbed by the Calgary Sun as the clear cut MVP of this series, was +1 in the game.
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