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Game Night 4/14: Lightning at Hurricanes

The magic number is 3. TB-4 CAR-5 (SO) Sean Burke stopped 17 of 21 before losing in the shootout. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] had 2 assists in the game including one on a beautiful Martin St. Louis shorthanded goal from Vincent Lecavalier. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] led all rookies in ice time at 16:55 with 1 shot on goal. Ranger was +2 in 15:38 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was an undisciplined mess taking two minor penalties in 3:31 with 4 hits. The Lightning still control their destiny with 2 games left to play. They hold a 3 point lead over 9th place Atlanta and a 4 point lead over 10th place Toronto going into tomorrow night's rematch with Carolina. Both Atlanta and Toronto now hold a game in hand. A win tomorrow night and an Atlanta *tie* or loss would seal a playoff berth. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021196.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Omsk/Kazan Game Two

Kazan defeated Omsk today 2-0 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best of 5 championship series. Nikita Alexeev was scoreless in the game.

Game Night 4/13: River Rats at Falcons

Shame. ALB-5 SPR-3 [url=gerald-coleman]Gerald Coleman[/url] stopped 22 of 27 shots faced in the loss. The shame of this game is that the Falcons actually outplayed Albany and got nothing for their efforts. I watched the final two periods on B2 Networks. Read my thoughts after the flip. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002083]TheAHL.com[/url]

HPK/HIFK Game Five

Miika Wiikman intensified his stranglehold on HPK's starting job today throwing a materful 30 save shutout to usher HPK into the championship game with a 1-0 win over HIFK. Wiikman was named the game's first star. HPK will advance to play Pori Assat, who upset #1 seed and defending champion Karpat, in the championship round. Assat was the #5 seed entering the playoffs while HPK was the #3. That means [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] could add an SM-liiga championship to his resume within the next couple of weeks.

Lightning Sign Smaby

The University of North Dakota (UND) Athletics web site is reporting Matt Smaby has been signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Smaby told UND that he will forgo his senior year at the university to join the Lightning this summer. He plans to finish the spring semester at UND, thus ending speculation that he would join Johnstown for the ECHL playoffs. Smaby, a second round pick in 2003, played in 129 games over three seasons for UND, scoring six goals and recording 23 assists for 29 points. The defenseman had a career-best 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) this past season. The UND captain is the first prospect signed by the Lightning during the spring signing period.
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