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KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-26-16

KHL Western Conference Finals
(6)St. Petersburg 0 vs. (1)CSKA 1 (OT)
CSKA Leads the Series 3-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 5-9-14, -1, 0 PIM
Regular season totals: 56 GP, 20-29-49, +15, 14 PIM

Ex-Syracuse Crunch Geoff Platt scored 11:12 into Triple OT to deliver CSKA a tremendous 1-0 Game Three win that puts them on the brink of advancing to the Gagarin Cup Final. Islanders third rounder Ilya Sorokin stopped all 52 shots he faced for the shutout victory while ex-Isles second rounder Mikko Koskinen allowed 1 goal on 52 shots for the hard luck loss. Nikita Gusev was scoreless in a sizable 35:18 in the match, which was third among SKA forwards in ice time.

Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 3-25-16

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Acadie-Bathurst Titan 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4
QMJHL First Round
Saint John leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 3 Hits
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 47 GP, 7-12-19, -3, 84 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Joseph returned after missing a handful of games and scored a goal, and Boko Imama returned after a 1-game suspension, helping the Sea Dogs to a Game 1 win over the Titan. Game 2 is Saturday.

Sherbrooke Phoenix 3 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 2
QMJHL First Round
Sherbrooke leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

Sherbrooke stole home ice advantage away from the second-seeded Cataractes with a 3-2 win in Game 1. Shawinigan outshot the Phoenix, 32-31. Game 2 is Saturday.

Ontario Hockey League

Oshawa Generals 0 @ Kingston Frontenacs 6
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Kingston leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

C Anthony Cirelli, OSH: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 61 GP, 21-36-57, -16, 27 PIM

The young Generals were outmatched by the top-seeded Fronts, losing 6-0. Canes prospect Roland McKeown had two goals for Kingston. Game 2 is Saturday.

Peterborough Petes 1 @ North Bay Battalion 2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
North Bay leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

D Dominik Masin, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 57 GP, 8-32-40, +24, 50 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals: 60 GP, 5-19-24, +1, 46 PIM

The teams traded first period goals with the Petes opening the series scoring. North Bay was outshot in the third period, 8-6, but scored the only goal. Masin was playing his first OHL playoff game after missing last year’s postseason. Spencer played the 17th postseason game of his career. Game 2 of the series is Sunday.

Saginaw Spirit 1 @ Erie Otters 5
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Erie leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Mitchell Stephens, SAG: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 39 GP, 20-19-39, -3, 14 PIM

Erie had a 5-0 lead before the midway point of the game and coasted to a convincing Game 1 win. Stephens was held without a shot. Erie outshot the Spirit 36-16 despite only registering three shots in the third period. They outshot Saginaw 19-3 in the opening period. Game 2 is Sunday.

Western Hockey League

Moose Jaw Warriors 3 @ Prince Albert Raiders 2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Moose Jaw leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

C Brayden Point, MJ: 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM, *First Star*
Season totals: 48 GP, 35-53-88, +24, 36 PIM

Moose Jaw won in its first playoff appearance since 2012, and Brayden Point was first star with a goal and two assists Friday against Prince Albert in Game 1. Noah Gregor (2016) had two goals for the Warriors. Game 2 is Saturday. (Moose Jaw Warriors photo)

USHL Game Night: 3-25-16

United States Hockey League

Omaha Lancers 4 @ Fargo Force 2

G Kris Oldham, OMA: Did not play
Season totals: 30 GP, 12-14-4, 2.81 GAA, .906 sv%, 1 SO
2014-15 totals: 33 GP, 21-6-4, 2.49 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO
(University of Nebraska-Omaha signee)

Omaha won its second game in a 3-game set with Fargo. Goaltender Zackarias Skog (undrafted) started all three games for the Lancers.

Bloomington Thunder 5 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 3

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, DBQ: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 40 GP, 0-25-25, -7, 53 PIM
With Dubuque: 10 GP, 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM
With Sioux City: 30 GP, 0-23-23, -7, 51 PIM
2014-15 totals: 56 GP, 3-19-22, +25, 58 PIM
(University of Minnesota signee)

Bloomington tied the Saints for second in the conference with a road win Friday.

Crunch Top Devils for Fourth-Straight Win


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch have found a way to string together wins when they need them the most.

The Crunch took the lead over the Devils in the first period and hung on through the final 40-plus minutes, as Syracuse topped Albany, 3-1, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. The Crunch have won four straight and have points in five consecutive games to move up to fourth place in the North Division.

“It’s not only crucial, it’s necessary,” Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said of earning standings points. “We are where we are, and I think we got some help tonight. … I just thought our guys played really well tonight. They played hard and (goalie Kristers Gudlevskis) was there when we needed him. For the most part, they played the game the right way.”

NHL Game Night: 3-25-16 Islanders at Lightning

Victory... at a price.

NYI-4
TB-7

Ben Bishop allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the win. He was not at his best, but thankfully the team in front of him, more or less, was, as he drank again from the cool waters of sweet, sweet goal support.

First Period
8:54 NYI Nelson(25), (Strome, Bailey)
13:42 TB Kucherov(29), (Killorn, Sustr)
13:51 TB Namestnikov(14), (unassisted)

Second Period
5:02 TB Stamkos(35), (Garrison, Kucherov)
5:25 NYI Prince(5), (unassisted)
16:18 NYI Boychuk(8), (Tavares, Bailey)

Third Period
6:03 TB Sustr(3), (Garrison)
6:22 NYI Kulemin(7), (Nielsen, Hamonic)
10:09 TB Johnson(13), (Palat, Marchessault)
10:32 TB Garrison(5), (Palat, Marchessault)
18:35 TB Hedman(7), (Carle, Palat)(EN)

Jason Garrison, Ondrej Palat, and Brian Boyle were the game's three stars.

That was a wild game where the Lightning were dominant offensively, outshooting the Islanders 42-31 and probably outchancing them by an even greater margin, but never pulling away because of some defensive let downs and soft goaltending. In the end they deserved the 2 points for the night, and they got it. That's the good news.

The price was steep, however. Anton Stralman left the game in the First Period with what appeared to be a significant leg injury. Post game we've learned that Stralman has a broken leg, which barring an extremely deep playoff run may pretty much end Stralman's season. This team looked pretty bad just missing Jason Garrison from the lineup. They're ill-equipped to handle losing any of their top-4 defenseman, and losing Stralman will be an extra strain. And no, there isn't a callup from Syracuse who can help fill those shoes. That's a blow that may ultimately torpedo Cup hopes.

With the victory, the Lightning's magic number is cut to 5 points now with 6 games left to play in this segment. They've got a really tough draw tomorrow, though, having to face a rested Panthers team with first place in the division on the line in the wake of the Stralman injury. Maybe they just turn it over to Vasilevskiy tomorrow and hope the kid just does his thing and stands on his head. He's capable of it.

Jonathan Marchessault had 2 assists, 4 shots, and 1 hit in 13:24. He was, in my opinion, the key man in the Johnson goal in the Third Period that gave the Lightning the breathing room to pull away in this one. His addition to the line with Johnson and Palat has been productive, and by freeing Kucherov to go play on Stamkos' line it's given the Lightning the scoring balance they have struggled to find over the past two years. Note how well this team has played offensively the past two games despite having veterans Filppula and Callahan out of the lineup due to injury. This is important for Cooper to understand: playing 51 and 24 as much as he has costs the Lightning possession and goals, and their identity is to have possession and be a potent offensive team. So, when Filppula and Callahan come back, one has to live in hope that Cooper uses them in more targeted roles as opposed to lavishing ice time in them in all situations, because it ends up being dead minutes. Either way, Marchessault's next NHL game this regular season will graduate him from prospect status on the website, and he appears to be peaking just ahead of that milestone.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-25-16 Devils at Crunch

Crunch beginning to master the playoff push.

ALB-1
SYR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 30 shots for the victory. 4 straight wins now from Kristers, who has refound his form after scuttling through January and February.

First Period
SYR Blujus, (6) (Peca, McGinn), 8:41
ALB Johnson, (2) (Crandall), 11:59
SYR Martindale, (3) (Gourde, Koekkoek), 13:16

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Drouin, (8) (Erne, Richard), 7:42

Dylan Blujus, Gudlevskis, and Jonathan Drouin were the game's three stars. With a fourth alarm clock now acquired and in place, nothing can stop Jonathan Drouin. And yes, I'll applaud whichever BoltProspects reader cleverly Photoshops Drouin sporting the Flavor Flav clock chain.

For the moment, Syracuse moves into 4th in the North Division by virtue of their 7-2-1 record over the last 10 games. However, it's looking like to get into the dance, Syracuse will need to get all the way up to 3rd in the division because of the unbalanced divisions. They're 1 point back of Utica now, but the Comets have 2 games in hand. Bottom line: they have to stay this hot the next 9 games to make it in.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-25-16

KHL Eastern Conference Finals
(2)Magnitogorsk 6 vs. (4)Ufa 1
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 2-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 41/42, 1.01 GAA, .976 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 8-1-0, 2 SO, 1.32 GAA, .958 sv%
Regular season totals: 50 GP, 22-15-9, 4 SO, 2.12 GAA, .925 sv%

6 different goalscorers contributed for Magnitogorsk in their 6-1 Game Two steamrolling of Ufa. Magnitka's attack included 1 goal and 3 points by ex-NHL'er Alexander Semin. Vasily Koshechkin turned aside 41 shots for the win.

Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 3-24-16

Ontario Hockey League

Windsor Spitfires 5 @ Kitchener Rangers 6 (OT)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Kitchener leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

W Cristiano DiGiacinto, WSR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 16-26-42, +15, 105 PIM
2014-15 totals: 63 GP, 21-24-45, -16, 100 PIM

Windsor blew an early 3-0 lead and had to fight to force overtime, but there’s no benefit to overtime points in the playoffs. Kitchener’s Brandon Robinson (undrafted) scored his second goal of the game at 2:39 of overtime to give the Rangers Game 1.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-24-16

KHL Western Conference Finals
(1)CSKA 3 vs. (6)St. Petersburg 2
CSKA Leads the Series 2-0
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 13 GP, 5-9-14, -1, 0 PIM
Regular season totals: 56 GP, 20-29-49, +15, 14 PIM

Ex-Predators first rounder Alexander Radulov scored the game winning goal on the power play with under 4 minutes left in the Third Period to lift CSKA to a 3-2 Game Two win over SKA. Radulov also had a helper in the match. Ex-Syracuse Crunch forward Geoff Platt had CSKA's other two goals in the win. Nikita Gusev played 16:28 in the match for SKA.

The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 59

This week’s “Mike Angelidis Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Power Play, Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· No. 59
· More Drouinsanity
· Lightning roller coaster going up again
· New Lightning identity
· Thomas signed; more on the way?
· A Norwegian #BPMailbag

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