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NHL Game Night: 3-11-17 Panthers at Lightning

No centers? No problem.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the victory. The good ones respond to giving up a couple of early goals by shutting the door the rest of the way. This is about the 3rd or 4th time I can recall this season that Vasiy showed that kind of resiliency and mettle.

First Period
16:32 FLA Jagr (14), (Barkov, Marchessault)
19:13 FLA Pysyk (4), (Smith, Barkov)

Second Period
3:43 TB Kucherov (31), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
10:11 TB Gourde (1), (unassisted)(SH)

Third Period
17:37 TB Palat (14), (Sustr)

Ondrej Palay, Vasilevskiy, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars.

Tampa Bay responded to bad luck and adversity with gutty brilliance tonight in a fashion that should make every Lightning fan proud of their team. They played a great First Period but found themselves on the unlucky end of a couple of greasy goals by the Panthers and some hot goaltending by Reimer (who actually played a whale of a game despite the loss). The Lightning didn't sag in the Second Period, as a lesser team would, and quickly cut the lead in half with the ubiquitous Nikita Kucherov power play goal. about 6 minutes later Gourde made one of the more fantastic individual plays you'll ever see to get the shorthanded goal with a defender draped all over him. Things got hairy almost immediately thereafter, though, when Andrey Sustr took a high sticking call that put the Lightning down 2 men and in danger of immediately surrendering the momentum. Remember, this is a team that dealt off two of its supposedly best PK'ers in Boyle and Filppula and has others like Paquette sitting on the shelf injured at the moment. To not allow a goal there set the tone for the rest of the game, and the Espo Rule victory pre-saged the eventual Lightning win in the Third Period, which was partially made possible by an amazing post to post save by Vasilevskiy on Sceviour late in the frame.

Tampa Bay sits at 73 points with 15 games left to go in the campaign. To reach a magic 96 points, they'll need 23 of a remaining 30 points or a .767 winning percentage. It may take a few less points than that to actually make the postseason, but you get the point about how steep the hill is. They've still got to play about .750 hockey the rest of the way to give themselves a chance.

Luke Witkowski had 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 7:40.

Gregg McKegg was 63% on 8 draws in 7:38.

Jake Dotchin had 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots, and 2 hits in 19:30.

Gabriel Dumont had 5 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 9:24. He and Stralman lowered the boom to knock a couple of Panthers out of the game and set a physical tone tonight.

Matthew Peca was 0% on 7 draws in 10:39. Yikes.

Gourde had his first NHL goal and 2 shots in 17:09. He's been a completely different player in this callup. You wouldn't have known he was even in the lineup in his previous cups of coffee, but he's been a difference maker the past couple of outings.

Adam Erne had a clean sheet in 13:01. Might be hitting a wall in terms of his effectiveness on this recall.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Liiga Game Day: 3-11-17

SaiPa 2 vs. TPS 4
Saku Salminen, SaiPa, DNP
Season totals: 39 GP, 3-4-7, -9, 41 PIM

Saku Salminen is still hurt, and SaiPa's awful season now has wound within 1 game of its conclusion. The club clinched its spot in the Liiga basement with today's 4-2 loss to TPS.

MHL Playoff Game Day: 3-11-17

MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(3)Yaroslavl Jr. 0 vs. (6)Cherepovets Jr. 1 (OT)
Cherepovets Jr. Leads the Series 1-0
Oleg Sosunov, Yaroslavl Jr., DNP
Playoff totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Regular season totals: 32 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 79 PIM

Goaltender Alexei Artamkin made 31 saves for Cherepovets Jr. in their 1-0 OT shutout win over Loko Jr.

AHL Game Night: 3-10-17 Thunderbirds at Crunch

Wilcox's revenge.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss.

First Period
18:49 SPR Thompson (12), (Hunt, Balisy)

Second Period
4:13 SYR McGinn (4), (Froese, Thomas)

Third Period
0:45 SYR Froese (25), (Taormina, Conacher)(PP)
10:04 SPR Greco (8), (McCann, Hawryluk)
18:15 SPR Greco (9), (Thompson)

Newcomer Byron Froese was the game's second star after finally getting into the lineup following his acquisition in the Brian Boyle trade. Ex-Crunch netminder Adam Wilcox was the game's third star after posting 29 saves.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

CHL Game Night: 3-10-17

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Charlottetown Islanders 1 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 5

W Bokondji Imama, SJ: 0-0-0, +1, 5 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit
Season Totals: 62 GP, 38-14-52, +11, 94 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 48 GP, 7-12-19, -5, 86 PIM

W Mathieu Joseph, SJ: 1-3-4, +2, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit, *First Star*
Season Totals: 52 GP, 35-43-78, +36, 57 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 58 GP, 33-40-73, +35, 57 PIM

Mathieu Joseph had a four-point game against his brother, Pierre-Olivier (2017), though the younger Joseph did have an assist. Mathieu has new career highs in goals, assists, points, and plus/minus so far. He tied his high for PIM in a season.

Halifax Mooseheads 1 @ Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3

C/W Otto Somppi, HAL: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 15/23 FO
Season Totals: 58 GP, 15-24-39, -8, 26 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 59 GP, 13-33-46, -15, 25 PIM

Halifax has lost six in a row. They have three goals in their last three games.

Shawinigan Cataractes 0 @ Gatineau Olympiques 2

W Dennis Yan, SHAW: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 0 Hits
Season Totals: 61 GP, 43-28-71, +23, 52 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 32-37-69, +8, 86 PIM

5-8 goaltender Mathieu Bellemare (undrafted) stopped 22 shots for Gatineau against his hometown team.

Ontario Hockey League

Kitchener Rangers 1 @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 6

W Boris Katchouk, SSM: 2-0-2, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, *Second Star*
Season: 62 GP, 32-27-59, +16, 46 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 63 GP, 24-27-51, +7, 61 PIM

Katchouk added two more goals to his season totals.

Erie Otters 4 @ London Knights 1

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 47 GP, 3-16-19, +29, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 7/14 FO
Season Totals: 48 GP, 22-36-58, +32, 12 PIM
With Erie: 21 GP, 9-13-22, +12, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 55 GP, 39-65-104, +67, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season Totals: 47 GP, 22-30-52, +21, 24 PIM
With London: 25 GP, 11-12-23, +8, 10 PIM
With Saginaw: 22 GP, 11-17-28, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

Erie extended its lead in the Western Conference and Midwest Division to six over London. The Knights still have a game in hand.

Western Hockey League

Swift Current Broncos 5 @ Saskatoon Blades 3

D Libor Hajek, SAS: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 57 GP: 4-21-25, -14, 68 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 69 GP, 3-23-26, -19, 76 PIM

Tyler Steenbergen (undrafted) had two goals for Swift Current to give him 49 for the year. He had 20 last season. He’ll likely get taken in the 2017 draft.

Moose Jaw Warriors 0 @ Regina Pats 5

C Brett Howden, MJ: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM
Season Totals: 53 GP, 34-40-74, +12, 58 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 68 GP, 24-40-64, -7, 61 PIM

Ducks first rounder Sam Steel had two goals and two assists for Regina.

Victoria Royals 2 @ Kamloops Blazers 6

G Connor Ingram, KAM: Win, 29 saves on 32 shots
Season Totals: 43 GP, 26-13-2-2, 2.43 GAA, .927 sv%, 5 SO
2015-2016 Season: 61 GP, 34-15-5-4, 2.61 GAA, .922 sv%, 4 SO

Ingram beat Victoria for the second time this week. He allowed two goals each time.

NCAA Game Night: 3-10-17

No. 13 Vermont Catamounts 0 @ No. 17 Boston College Eagles 7

C Ross Colton, UVM: Did not play (injured – wrist)
Season Totals: 32 GP, 11-15-26, +1, 22 PIM

BC took Game 1 of its Hockey East quarterfinal match-up with Vermont. By a lot. The Eagles can advance with a win tomorrow against UVM.

New Hampshire Wildcats 3 @ No. 4 UMass-Lowell River Hawks 1

C Ryan Lohin, UML: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 35 GP, 9-13-22, +4, 14 PIM

New Hampshire won by scoring three times on just 12 shots against Rangers prospect Tyler Wall. They can complete the Hockey East quarterfinal upset with a win Saturday.

Northeastern Huskies 2 @ No. 8 Boston University Terriers 3 (OT)

D John MacLeod, BU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 33 GP, 2-5-7, +9, 28 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 26 GP, 1-1-2, -4, 26 PIM

Jordan Greenway (Wild) scored at 3:11 of overtime to lift BU to a Hockey East quarterfinal win over Northeastern. The Terriers can sweep the series with a win Saturday.

Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 2 @ No. 7 Western Michigan Broncos 1 (OT)

D Kristian Oldham, UNO: Did not play (backup)
Season Totals: 10 GP, 5-3-1, 3.38 GAA, .895 sv%, 0 SO

Omaha took Game 1 of its NCHC quarterfinal series with Luke Witkowski’s alma mater. The two play again Saturday.

Michigan State Spartans 0 @ No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers 5

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, UMN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 34 GP, 2-3-5, +12, 35 PIM

Adam Wilcox’s former backup, Eric Schierhorn, posted a 24-save shutout for the Gophers over Sparty, clinching the Big 10 title. That’s the fourth conference championship in a row for Minnesota.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Crunch Let Lead Slip Away in Loss to Wilcox, Thunderbirds


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A few third-period mistakes proved costly for the Syracuse Crunch.

The Crunch took the lead 45 seconds into the third period but the Thunderbirds tied the score midway through the frame and netted the game-winner with 1:45 remaining, as Syracuse lost to Springfield, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“It’s very disappointing,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “We’re up 2-1, missed assignment on the second goal down low. With two minutes left, you have a defenseman diving down. It’s unacceptable.

“I don’t think we did enough tonight to win. That’s it.”

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-10-17

KHL Western Conference Semifinal
(2)St. Petersburg 2 vs. (3)Dynamo Moscow 1
Series Tied 1-1
Nikita Gusev, St. Petersburg, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 3-4-7, +3, 2 PIM
Regular season totals: 57 GP, 24-47-71, +33, 8 PIM

Nikita Gusev assisted on Vadim Shipachyov's eventual game winning goal in SKA's 2-1 Game Two win over Dynamo Moscow, knotting their series at 1-1. Gusev played 16:55 in the victory. SKA outshot Dynamo 40-18 in the virtually "must-win" match.

CHL Game Night: 3-9-17

Ontario Hockey League

Erie Otters 4 @ Windsor Spitfires 2

D Erik Cernak, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 46 GP, 3-16-19, +29, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 41 GP, 4-11-15, +7, 35 PIM

C Anthony Cirelli, Erie: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 5/19 FO, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 47 GP, 22-36-58, +32, 12 PIM
With Erie: 20 GP, 9-13-22, +12, 4 PIM
With Oshawa: 26 GP, 13-21-34, +18, 8 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 62 GP, 21-38-59, -15 27 PIM

W Taylor Raddysh, Erie: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 54 GP, 38-65-103, +66, 31 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 67 GP, 24-49-73, +19, 18 PIM

Cirelli scored at the end of the second period to give Erie a 3-1 lead, and the Otters held on for a 4-2 win. Erie widened its lead in the Western Conference to three points over Sault Ste. Marie.

Ottawa 67’s 4 @ Peterborough Petes 5 (OT)

W/C Christopher Paquette, PBO: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 15/23 FO, *Third Star*
Season Totals: 61 GP, 19-28-47, +1, 28 PIM
With Petes: 23 GP, 7-11-18, +10, 14 PIM
With Niagara: 37 GP, 12-17-29, -7, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 57 GP, 5-11-16, -6, 18 PIM

D Matt Spencer, PBO: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 55 GP, 7-19-26, +11, 49 PIM
2015-2016 Season: 60 GP, 5-19-24, -4, 46 PIM

W Jonne Tammela, PBO: Did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
2015-2016 (Finland): 37 GP, 5-8-13, +10, 16 PIM

Paquette scored at 3:24 of overtime to give the Petes a win over visiting Ottawa. He collected the puck in his own zone, skated through traffic down the right wing, and fired a wrist shot from the circle into the top of the net. The Petes have a 10-point lead on Mississauga for first in the East, and are eight points up on Ottawa for the division lead (and top seed).

Guelph Storm 2 @ London Knights 8

W/C Mitchell Stephens, LDN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 46 GP, 22-30-52, +22, 24 PIM
With London: 23 GP, 11-12-23, +7, 10 PIM
With Saginaw: 22 GP, 11-17-28, +13, 14 PIM
2015-2016 Totals: 39 GP, 20-18-38, -3, 14 PIM

London kept pace with Erie in the West by adding two points to its season total. The Knights have 91 points, four behind conference-leading Erie, but they have a game in hand. Both London and Erie are in the Midwest Division.

NHL Game Night: 3-9-17 Wild at Lightning

Lightning dominance overshadowed by centerman attrition.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for a dominating victory. He gave Minnesota nothing. He was in absolute command and it took a goofy bounce for Minnesota to stave off his shutout bid. That's two straight games where Vasiy has only allowed a single goal. Hard to lose when you do that.

First Period
6:53 TB Kucherov (29), (Hedman, Palat)(PP)
11:01 TB Hedman (13), (Drouin, Dotchin)

Second Period
4:37 TB Sustr (2), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Third Period
16:02 MIN Scandella (4), (Brodin, Koivu)
18:51 TB Kucherov (30), (Gourde)(EN)

Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

That was probably the most dominant game the Lightning have played against a quality opponent all season. The end result was never really in doubt and even as the Lightning were seeing their players drop like flies, their lower liners stepped up and continued to keep the game under total control. Unfortunately, it's dubious whether that kind of "next man up" success is replicable over the rest of the course of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov was the first to go down after going skates first into the board on a play that could be anything from a broken ankle to a knee. To my eyes, that looked like a season ender. Tyler Johnson was the next to go on a knee to knee hit from Nino Niederreiter. Johnson when down like a dropped sack of potatoes, and I'm hopeful he's the one of the three that can get back faster, but it didn't look great. Third to go was Cedric Paquette, who appeared to give himself a high ankle sprain tackling a Wild forward in the slot on a defensive zone play. That may come pretty close to ending his season given the slim number of games the team has left on the schedule. So, the Lightning are going to have to scramble just to find bodies at that position. McKegg can go back into the lineup and they'll probably immediately recall Matthew Peca. Ultimately, though, it may take Steven Stamkos donning the Superman cape and coming back from IR in the next 2 weeks and playing well just to keep the team's slim playoff hopes alive. It's either that or get Brian Bradley off the buffet line.

Luke Witkowski had 4 hits in 9:11.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 16:33.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 8:21. He was also 63% on 8 draws.

Yanni Gourde had a helper in 16:35 and was on the ice defending the 6 on 5 at the end of the contest.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:20. He had a really strong First Period, drawing the penalty that led to Kucherov's opening goal, but once the carnage started in the Second Period, it seemed like the line shuffling hurt the continuity Erne was forming with his linemates.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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