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NHL Game Night: 2-26-13 Sabres at Lightning

The Lightning lose one they really couldn't afford to let get away.

BUF-2
TB-1

Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 21 shots for the loss.

First Period
01:24 TB Stamkos (14), (Purcell, Conacher)
10:02 BUF Hodgson (8), (Sekera, Vanek)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
00:52 BUF Myres (3), (Vanek, Hodgson)

Steven Stamkos was the game's third star.

With so many road games on the docket over the next week, the Lightning really needed to capitalize at home against a struggling Sabres team. And, to be honest, they didn't play badly, outshooting Buffalo 31-21 and really badly outchancing them, too. Unfortunately, they have Ryan Miller, who stole them a win tonight.

Alex Killorn was -2 with 4 shots and 1 hit in 12:38.

Richard Panik had 1 hit in 8:36.

Cory Conacher had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 17:19.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-26-13 Crunch at Americans

Palat x3!

SYR-4
ROC-1

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the win. He came within 1:35 of his third straight shutout when Bolt Prospects Alumni Nick Tarnasky stuck the shiv in his former organization's farm team.

First Period
SYR Palat, (8) (Johnson, Korobov), 10:17
SYR Palat, (9) (Connolly, Oberg), 14:20 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Palat, (10) (Wyman, Johnson), 15:35
RCH Tarnasky, (12) (Rissmiller, Ellis), 18:25 (PP)
SYR Wilson, (4) (Brown, Mikkelson), 18:53 (EN)

Ondrej Palat, Desjardins, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars. Palat's hat trick moved him into the top-20 in the AHL in scoring, tied with 2 others for 16th at 43 points. Johnson's 53 points are now tops in the league and Brett Connolly is tied for 4th at 49 points.

The scoring is nice, and it makes everyone feel good, but the defense and goaltending is what really should scare every other team in the AHL. Syracuse has run their winning streak out to 8 games now, and when this organization went on the tear it did last year in Norfolk, it was just as much about stifling defense and solid goaltending as it was about glitzy scoring. Syracuse's 190 goals lead the AHL pretty comfortably, but the big thing to watch now is whether they can start to catch up to teams like Bingo and Springfield in goals against. History tells us that when Coach Cooper has it all in place, his teams are extremely stingy.

Syracuse draws Albany on Friday as they go for #9.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NA Juniors Game Night: 2-26-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Val-d’Or Foreurs 4 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 3 Hits
Season totals: 48 GP, 6-27-33, +23, 53 PIM

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 25 GP, 20-28-48, +10, 4 PIM
With R-N: 19 GP, 17-21-38, +11, 2 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

In a key division match-up, the Huskies couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead entering the third period and lost to the Foreurs, 4-3. Nikita Kucherov was scoreless for the second time in three games, though he had a four-goal game squeezed in between his 0-point performances. Fellow Russian Lightning prospect Artem Sergeev (pictured) was plus-1 with no points for Val-d’Or, who pulled within one point of Rouyn-Noranda for second in the TELUS West Division. Cedric Paquette’s Armada leads the division.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 2-26-13

KHL Playoffs (Russia):

Eastern Conference
(6)Astana 2 vs. (3)Chelyabinsk 3
Series Tied 2-2
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, E, 2 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

Nikita Nesterov had a minor for high sticking in 12:08 of ice time in Traktor's critical 3-2 Game Four win over Barys Astana. Ex-NHLer Nigel Dawes scored a goal in defeat for Astana.

(5)Ufa 2 vs. (4)Magnitogorsk 3
Series Tied 2-2
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Playoff totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Regular season totals (KHL): 8 GP, 4-1-0, 1 SO, 2.22 GAA, .924 sv%
Regular season totals (MHL): 27 GP, 20-6-1, 3 SO, 1.93 GAA, .930 sv%

Ex-Preds draft pick Cal O'Reilly had a pair of goals and former Ranger Mats Zuccarello had the game winning goal to cap Magnitogorsk's 3-2 come-from-behind win in Game Four over Ufa. Ufa had Magnitogorsk on the ropes with a 2-0 lead entering the Third Period, but could not close the deal. Ex-Lightning draft pick Alexei Glukhov was on the ice for each of Magnitogorsk's final two goals and finished -2 in the contest.

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