During regulation, it was all about the dueling power plays.
Both Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored a pair of power play goals in the first two periods, but the Penguins pushed past the Crunch in a shootout, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.
Although it's late for a playoff push, Syracuse has points in seven of its last eight games.
"I've been pretty happy with our game overall," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "We're finding a little more offense lately. We're getting some more pucks to the net, and we've got some more finishers on our team now too, which is a good thing."
One more to go.
Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 36 of 38 for the victory in his first NHL shot. He was impressive. His quickness and athleticism are striking, and he showed a competitiveness and unwillingness to give up on plays that is also the hallmark of great netminders.
3:55 TB Palat (23), (Killorn)(PP)
13:46 CBJ Jenner (16), (Johnson, Johansen)(PP)
14:54 TB Brewer (3), (Paquette)
18:06 TB Brewer (4), (Kostka, Panik)
16:37 CBJ Savard (5), (Jenner, Comeau)
Gudlevskis, Eric Brewer, and Ryan Callahan were the game's three stars. It wasn't the best effort the Lightning have put forward, but Gudlevskis played well and the team capitalized on some shaky netminding by Columbus' McElhinney at the other end of the rink. It wasn't without a price, as Victor Hedman left the game early with a lower body injury and Ondrej Palat left after getting his bell rung on an open ice hit, but at this hour their absence seems more precautionary than anything else (although that's always subject to change).
The Lightning now have 99 points with 1 game to go. Win and they get home ice against Montreal in the opening round of the playoffs. Win and they break the 100 point barrier. Win, and they'll cap off one of the best regular seasons in team history.
Mike Kostka had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 20:35. He was forced into extra ice time with Hedman out of the game early, and he handled it reasonably well, even getting his 3rd point in 2 games since returning. Win if you can, survive if Mike Kostka lets you.
Cedric Paquette had a helper and was +1 with 1 hit and 2 blocked shots in 12:46. He was also 64% on 14 draws, including several wins while the Lightning were trying to stave off Columbus with their goaltender pulled at the end of the game. Good debut by Dump Truck, and I thought the scorekeepers cheated him out of a few hits because I counted 2-3 more. The young man's got a future on the team's fourth line.
Playing out the string, Crunch still sorting out themselves for next season.
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 31 shots before allowing 2 of 5 to convert in the penalty shot session for the Shootout loss.
WBS Kobasew, (9) (Ebbett, Dumoulin), 4:46 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (19) (Korobov, Connolly), 8:18 (PP)
SYR DiSalvatore, (11) (Marchessault, Mormina), 16:09 (PP)
WBS Kobasew, (10) (Machacek, Dumoulin), 7:28 (PP)
WBS- Zlobin, Machachek
Syracuse remains stuck at 1 game under .500 with 5 games left in their season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
KHL Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Magnitogorsk 1 vs. (4)Ufa 0 (OT)
Magnitogorsk Wins the Series 4-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, SO, 24/24, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 12-2-0, 2 SO, 1.66 GAA, .944 sv%
Andrey Vasilevskiy, UFA, OT Loss, 37/38, 0.98 GAA, .974 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 18 GP, 9-9-0, 1 SO, 1.99 GAA, .934 sv%
Yaroslav Khabarov's goal 1:14 into Overtime broke a scoreless tie and sent Magnitogorsk to the Gagarin Cup Finals by virtue of their 1-0, Game Five win over Ufa. Vasily Koshechkin stopped all 24 shots he faced in the match for his second shutout of the series. At the other end, Andrey Vasilevskiy sparkled making 37 saves in the hard luck loss. You simply cannot ask for more from a 19 year old goaltender. You can't.
Ontario Hockey League
North Bay Battalion 4 @ Barrie Colts 7
Best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals tied, 2-2
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 11 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 12 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, -2, 7 PIM
Playoff totals: 9 GP: 3-2-5, +1, 13 PIM
Season totals: 63 GP, 11-25-36, +22, 121 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Barrie evened the series with a big, 7-4 win on Thursday night. North Bay lost two three-goal leads early in the game as the Colts came storming back. Barrie scored the game’s final six goals. The game got ugly late in the third period with a line brawl. Dotchin was on the ice and received a five-minute fighting penalty and a game misconduct for being in a “second fight.” Game 5 is Friday in North Bay.