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NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-16-19 Lightning at Blue Jackets

The day after...

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Columbus Wins the Series 4-0

::deep breath::

OK, I've allowed some 20 hours to pass. The anger has slowed to a simmer. What to make of a record-tying 62-win regular season that ends in the unbelievable embarrassment of a 4-0 sweep in which the team looked, frankly, overwhelmed and uncompetitive? I've seen fans on the Twitter machine start staking out who they believe is the guilty and which individuals need to be burned at the stake, tarred and feathered, and made to walk the plank. And, I've been prodded to take sides in that exercise. Here's my verdict on all that: there's no angels in this tale of woe and heartache. None. This was a failure of the entire organization from top to bottom with seeds that go all the way back to last summer and the whimpering exit against the Washington Capitals. And because the lessons of that defeat were neglected for a full calendar year, let's be clear: there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to what's wrong with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-14-19 Lightning at Blue Jackets

Historic choke job is nearly complete.

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Columbus Leads the Series 3-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the loss. He hasn't been his sharpest in these playoffs, but he's also gotten a whopping two goals of support over the last eight periods of hockey.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
1:44 CBJ Duchene (2), (Atkinson, Werenski)
8:25 CBJ Bjorkstrand (1), (Jones, Texier)(PP)

Third Period
4:40 TB Palat (1), (Cernak, Johnson)
19:00 CBJ Atkinson (2), (Panarin, Harrington)(EN)

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-14-19 Crunch at Comets

Crunch end regular season with a little rest.

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UTI-4 (SO)

Atte Tolvanen started for the scratched Eddie Pasquale and allowed 3 goals on 42 shots before conceding to two of three shooters for the SO defeat.

First Period
3:49 SYR Volkov (23), (Stephens, Verhaeghe)(PP)

Second Period
4:09 SYR Somppi (2), (unassisted)
7:50 UTI Woods (7), (Jasek, Graham)(PP)
15:22 SYR Valleau (3), (Volkov)
17:34 UTI Arseneau (9), (Woods, Jasek)

Third Period
0:32 UTI MacEwen (22), (Kero, Graham)(PP)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Bligh
UTI- Jasek, Lind

Syracuse rested roughly a half dozen of its regulars and was subsequently outshot 42-18 in the contest. Kudos to Tolvanen for still giving his team a shot.

Syracuse will draw the Cleveland Monsters in the opening round of the playoffs. Pray they fare better against an Ohio-based team than the big club.

Box score from THeAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-13-19 Americans at Crunch

Kings of the North.

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Eddie Pasquale allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the victory.

First Period
9:39 ROC Olofsson (29), (O'Regan)(PP)
10:26 SYR Raddysh (18), (Stephens, Masin)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
2:30 SYR Stephens (11), (Raddysh, Labrie)
2:47 ROC Olofsson (30), (Asplund, Gosselin)
16:39 SYR Verhaeghe (34), (Barre-Boulet)
18:06 SYR Dumont (15), (Gaunce)(EN)
19:43 ROC Smith (2), (Veilleux, Cornel)

Carter Verhaeghe and Pasquale were the game's first and second stars.

How wonderful was it for the Crunch to get a total team win to kick down the door to the division title and seize crown? The kids, Taylor Raddysh and Mitchell Stephens, got Syracuse into the winning time, and the veterans like Verhaeghe and Gabriel Dumont took the team over the finish line.

Now with 101 points going into their final regular season tilt tomorrow, Syracuse will finish with the second best regular season record in the entire league. The Crunch will wait to see who their first round playoff opponent will be: either the Belleville Senators or the Cleveland Monsters. Both clubs are tied at 82 points with the Sens holding a decisive ROW advantage as the tiebreaker. However, both teams have tough finales tomorrow against Rochester and Toronto, respectively.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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