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AHL Game Night: 3-23-13 Devils at Crunch

Still hanging onto first place.

ALB-1
SYR-3

Riku Helenius allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He came within 54 seconds of a shutout before Albany's power play goal. Still, with the effort tonight, Helenius has finally managed to get his save percentage back to .900 for the season. He had a good February and is having a good March, which the Lightning have to hope leads to a good Option B for Syracuse come playoff time.

First Period
SYR Namestnikov, (5) (Gauthier, Jacques), 13:39
SYR Sexton, (6) (Wyman), 14:25

Second Period
SYR Brown, (10) (Wyman, Sexton), 14:00

Third Period
ALB Anderson, (13) (Whitney, Gelinas), 19:06 (PP)

Dan Sexton, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Helenius were the game's three stars. Namestnikov's strong play in March also has to have the Lightning extremely happy. We at the website can't wait to see him and Nikita Kucherov lined up together, which could happen this season depending on how the QMJHL playoffs go.

With Providence going down to Worcester, Syracuse holds a 2 point lead on Binghamton for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Springfield and Providence lag by 3 points. Syracuse gets Rochester next on Wednesday, and with just 11 games left in the regular season every point matters from here on out, as it could be the difference between being 1 seed or a 4 seed.

6 of Syracuse's remaining 11 games are at home, including a nice 5 game homestand to close out the regular season. Also, 6 of the 11 games are against teams that currently would not make the playoffs, although the team they have the most games left with, ironically Norfolk, is just 2 points out of 8th in the East.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NA Juniors Playoff Game Night: 3-23-13

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

(9)Drummondville Voltigeurs 2 @ (8)Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3
Rouyn-Noranda leads best-of-7 first round series, 2-0

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 33 GP, 29-34-63, +17, 14 PIM
With R-N: 27 GP, 26-27-53, +18, 12 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

Nikita Kucherov didn’t score, but had an assist and was plus-3 as the Huskies took a 2-0 lead in their quarterfinal series over the Volts. The Huskies overcame a 2-1 deficit to win. Game 3 is Tuesday.

(10)Val-d’Or Foreurs 8 @ (7)PEI Rocket 3
Best-of-7 first round series tied, 1-1

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-0-0, E, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 6-33-39, +20, 65 PIM

Val-d’Or tied the series at one game apiece with a blowout win on Prince Edward Island on Saturday. Fifty-goal scorer Anthony Mantha (2013) had two goals and three assists for the Foreurs. Game 3 is Tuesday.

Ontario Hockey League

(E7)Kingston Frontenacs 4 @ (W2)Barrie Colts 7
Barrie leads best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 2-0

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 6 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
With Barrie: 28 GP, 2-6-8, -1, 42 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM

Kingston put up 45 shots on Barrie goaltender Mathias Niederberger (undrafted), but the young German earned the win, 7-4. Game 3 is Monday.

NHL Game Day: 3-23-13 Lightning at Senators

Same garbage. Different day.

TB-3
OTT-5

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 11 shots before being lifted for Cedrick Desjardins, who allowed 1 on 20 shots the rest of the way to take the backdoor loss.

First Period
12:49 OTT Silfverberg (8), (Methot)
14:29 OTT Gryba (1), (Turris, Methot)
17:01 OTT Latendresse (4), (Silfverberg, Zibanejad)
19:50 OTT Alfredsson (7), (Wiercioch, Gonchar)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
11:37 TB Johnson (2), (Brewer, Panik)
13:53 TB Johnson (3), (Carle)
18:01 TB Purcell (7), (Hedman, Salo)
19:39 OTT Alfredsson (8), (Turris, Greening)(EN)

Tyler Johnson was the game's third star.

It was like a replay of the Toronto game. The Lightning came out strong. They had some chances and some zone time in Ottawa's end but couldn't cash in. Brain farts turn into goals. One or two goals become a four goal lead for the bad guys. Next thing you know the team's in garbage time where it seems like the veterans have checked out and only the Tampacuse kids are doing work. It's something that needs to be corrected. There's still 17 games left to go, and if veterans are already mentally checked out and making tee times, they need to be gone from this organization at the deadline. Period. Point blank.

Alex Killorn had 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots, and 5 hits in 18:37.

Johnson had 2 goals and was +1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 16:10. He was also 70% on draws. He's doing everything he needs to do right now to ink his name onto Tampa's roster for next season.

Richard Panik had a helper and was +2 with 1 shot, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:45. He was impactful in his return to the team, hitting a post in the First Period, being active physically, and getting a helper in the final frame. It was really fun to see Palat/Johnson/Panik getting to play together in the NHL and they looked like their chemistry definitely translated to the show.

Ondrej Palat was +1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 12:21.

Radko Gudas had 2 shots, 5 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 18:54.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-23-13

KHL Playoffs (Russia):

Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Kazan 2 vs. (3)Chelyabinsk 1 (OT)
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, DNP
Playoff totals: 8 GP, 0-2-2, E, 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 Alexei Morozov had a pair of assists, including on the game winning goal 4:16 into Overtime as Kazan defeated Chelyabinsk 2-1 in Game One of their KHL Eastern Conference Finals series. Caps first rounder Evgeny Kuznetsov scored Traktor's lone goal. Kazan outshot Chelyabinsk 47-24 in the match. Game Two is Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, Dynamo Moscow has jumped out to a 2-0 lead in their series against St. Petersburg.

In the Nadezhda Cup, Khabarovsk's Nikita Gusev finished with 1 goal and 5 points in 12 games to go with a -2 rating and 6 penalty minutes. The Nadezhda Cup is played between teams that fail to make the KHL postseason.

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