(4)Florida Everblades 5 @ (5)Elmira Jackals 4
Quarterfinals: Florida leads the best-of-seven series 3-1
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-1-1, E, 0 SOG, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 4-12-16, +7, 33 PIM
Florida, after squandering a two-goal lead built up nearing the midpoint of the middle period and falling behind minutes later, scored twice in the final frame to narrowly edge Elmira and take a commanding series lead. Both teams mustered 37 shots on goal for the game, though the Everblades again won the special teams battle, burying two of its five sequences with the man-advantage while foiling the Jackals on all but one of their power play opportunities. Everblades netminder Jesse Deckert, who has played in all four matches so far, stopped 33 of 37 shots against. Charles Landry, the lone Tampa Bay Lightning prospect to appear in the series, notched his first point of the playoffs when he was credited with a secondary helper Florida's first goal, though it was largely the result of a tremendous individual effort by Brandon MacLean. Both clubs will square off one last time in New York on Saturday night.
After getting off to a quick start, the Syracuse Crunch offense fizzled.
The Crunch lost a pair of one-goal leads, and fell in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. Syracuse, reeling after two straight overtime losses, clings to a two point lead in the East Division.
"Always when you lose, it's tough," said Crunch forward Ondrej Palat. "We just need to focus for the playoffs. (We have to) be better, finish the season strong."
Clinging to the division lead as the finish line nears.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the overtime loss.
SYR Sexton, (9) (Richard, Palat), 2:09
BRI Campbell, (6) (Donovan), 7:25
SYR Palat, (13) (Sexton, Taormina), 12:45
BRI Niederreiter, (27) (Nilsson, DeFazio), 7:27 (PP)
BRI Nelson, (24) (Donovan, Wishart), 2:42
Providence, Springfield, and Binghamton all won tonight, meaning Syracuse lost 1 point worth of ground on the entire field. So, Syracuse is now 4 points back of Providence, 2 back of Springfield, and 2 ahead of Binghamton with all three of those clubs holding a game in hand. Tyler Johnson and Brett Connolly did not play for Syracuse tonight after being sent down to the club today. Their arrival may be critical to the Crunch hanging onto the division title. Rochester is up next tomorrow night.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
KHL Playoffs (Russia):
Gagarin Cup Finals
Chelyabinsk 0 vs. Dynamo Moscow 1
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 3-1
Nikia Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Playoff totals: 17 GP, 0-3-3, -3, 6 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 35 GP, 0-1-1, +6, 14 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Ex-Lightning draft pick Marek Kvapil assisted on the game's only goal in Dynamo Moscow's 1-0, Game Four win over Traktor Chelyabinsk. Nikita Nesterov played 6:27 in the match for Traktor, which now rests on the edge of elimination. Game Five is Monday.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
(5)Quebec Remparts 1 @ (8)Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6
Rouyn-Noranda wins Best-of-7 second round series, 4-1
W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 3-3-6, +3, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 0 Hits, *First Star*
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 7-11-18, +10, 10 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 29-34-63, +17, 14 PIM
With R-N: 27 GP, 26-27-53, +18, 12 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM
Coming into Game 5, Bolt prospect Nikita Kucherov had three points in his series against the Remparts, but he broke out in a huge way on Friday night. The Russian had a hat trick and three assists for six points and first star honors, helping the Huskies to a 6-1 win. He could have had another goal, but missed on a penalty shot.
Rouyn-Noranda advances to play top-seeded Halifax and top-5 picks Jonathan Druin and Nathan MacKinnon in the league semifinals. Kucherov had the last laugh against Remparts GM and coach, Patrick Roy. The NHL Hall-of-Famer had Kucherov on his roster in the fall but chose to keep two other import players instead of Kucherov. The Lightning’s 2011 second round pick requested to be traded if he wasn’t going to play, and Roy moved him to the Huskies. Like his statue of liberty pose for the Avs against the Red Wings in the playoffs, this probably wasn’t Roy’s best decision.