(4)Florida Everblades 6 vs. (5)Elmira Jackals 2
Quarterfinals: Florida wins the best-of-seven series 4-2
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, +1, 0 SOG, 0 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 4 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 4-12-16, +7, 33 PIM
Florida clinched an opening series victory in the comfy confines of German Arena by drawing first blood early, then adding three more goals in the opening frame to build a 4-1 lead that Elmira was unable to overcome. Unlike the previous game, the Everblades had little difficulty generating offense, managing to pump out double-digit shot totals (in sum, 37) in all three periods. Florida also won the special teams battle, going 2-for-5 with the man advantage while stonewalling Elmira on all three of its power play opportunities. Jesse Deckert stopped 19 of 21 Jackals shots in the contest. Florida advances to the semifinals where it will face Reading. The Everblades will begin the seven-game series on the road, with the first match against the Royals coming Friday night.
KHL Playoffs (Russia):
Gagarin Cup Finals:
Dynamo Moscow 3 vs. Chelyabinsk 4
Dynamo Moscow Leads the Series 3-2
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals: 18 GP, 0-4-4, -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-NHLer Andrei Kostitsyn's goal with 4:58 left in regulation lifted Traktor Chelyabinsk to a 4-3, Game Five win over Dynamo Moscow. The series is extended to Game Six. Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov again showed his flexibility by playing some forward. He played 11:21 in the match, going 17% on 7 draws and assisting on a First Period, even strength goal. Ex-Lightning draft pick Marek Kvapil continued his strong Finals by posting 1 goal and 1 assist in defeat for Dynamo. Despite previous indications he might leave Traktor to join Team Russia for the upcoming U18 World Junior Championships, potential top-10 pick Valery Nichushkin did suit up and was scoreless in 16:45 in the game. Game Six is Wednesday.
Feel the Nichushkin-mentum.
Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss including his obligatory 1 that he'd want back.
04:09 BUF Ennis (10), (Vanek, Ehrhoff)(PP)
08:00 BUF Hecht (4), (Gerbe)
12:37 BUF Porter (4), (Flynn, Ott)
13:30 TB Pouliot (8), (Brewer, Lecavalier)
The Lightning outshot Buffalo 33-22 with most of that coming once they spotted the Sabres the 3 goal lead. I have no idea what sort of weird sports psychology issue makes a team only start playing harder once they fall behind big. It's bizarre. That's something for Jon Cooper to sort out in the offseason. In the meantime, the Lightning will be looking at one of the big three draft prospects or possibly Traktor Chelyabinsk power forward Valery Nichushkin in their future.
Alex Killorn had 3 shots in 20:26.
Richard Panik was -2 with 2 shots and 1 hit. The biggest challenge for a young player isn't proving you can be brilliant as Panik was last night. The biggest challenge is proving you can do it consistently, and Panik was a non-factor tonight.
Radko Gudas was -1 with 5 hits and 2 blocked shots in 17:40.
(4)Florida Everblades 1 @ (5)Elmira Jackals 5
Quarterfinals: Florida leads the best-of-seven series 3-2
D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-0-0, -1, 0 SOG, 2 PIM (tripping)
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 4 PIM
Season totals: 51 GP, 4-12-16, +7, 33 PIM
After beating Elmira twice in its own barn to push the Jackals to the brink of elimination, Florida came up well short in its first shot at clinching a series victory, falling 4-0 before mustering its first and only goal past the midpoint of the third period. The Everblades managed 28 shots in the game but had difficulty generating offense until the game was well out of reach, as only 11 of those came through the first two frames. Both clubs ended the match 1-for-5 with the man advantage. Jesse Deckert stopped 24 of 28 Jackals shots. Both clubs will next head back to Estero for the remainder of the series, with Game 6 to be played Monday night.
(West-3) Yale Bulldogs 4 vs (East-1) Quinnipiac Bobcats 0
F Matthew Peca, QU: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 15-15-30, +14, 36 PIM
The magical ride of Quinnipiac and Matt Peca was going to end anyway on Saturday, but they would have preferred it end with a win. The top-ranked Bobcats, playing in their first national tournament, were beaten by upstart Yale, 4-0. It was the fourth time the two state and ECAC rivals met this year and the first time Yale won. It just happened to be for the national championship.
There is a chance the Lightning starts Peca on the road to the NHL by signing him and placing him in AHL Syracuse next year, but that doesn’t seem like the normally patient approach by Bolts GM Steve Yzerman. If Peca returns for his junior year he will be one of the early Hobey Baker candidates.