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Quick Strikes: Let’s look at the Brian Boyle Mikhail Sergachev altercation

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Moose Jaw Warriors eliminated, Soo heading to Game 7

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) lands a left hand on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) during the third period of game three of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped their first game in this series, losing the first meeting in New Jersey. Taylor Hall tallied three points. [Raw Charge]

With Cory Schneider getting his first start of the playoffs, the New Jersey Devils were looking to put forth a better effort than the previous two games in this series. They did just that and they got a great performance from the veteran netminder as they managed to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2 (the game was far closer than that score indicates—two EN goals)

Mikhail Sergachev didn’t have the most positive end to his day last night when he hit Blake Coleman with an elbow. Could he face a fine or a suspension? [Tampa Bay Times]

But, Sergachev’s elbow to the head of Blake Coleman minutes earlier was seen by some as incidental contact and but others as an illegal hit to the head, which was the call on the ice. It will be interesting to see how the league views it today. A fine? A suspension?

On the other side of the ice, our beloved (?) Brian Boyle had a few choice words to say to the teenage defenseman. [USA Today]

New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle used to be loved in Tampa Bay. But he probably isn’t now after he appeared to make threatening comments toward Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in the closing moments of their playoff game. Video of the end of the game seems to show Boyle mouthing the words, “I’m going to kill you,” as an official was leading him off the ice.

Question for the comments: What do you think of Boyler three games into this series?

Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson are both near the top of the franchises all-time playoff scoring race and are fighting each other for fourth best behind Vinny, Marty, and Brad. [Raw Charge]

St. Louis sits as the current leader for the Lightning with 33 goals, 35 assists. and 68 points over his 63 career playoff games for the Lightning. While he is in reach if the Lightning have a long playoff run, his mark likely will have to wait for another season. Richards and Lecavalier, however, are within easy striking distance.

The Prospects

The Calder Cup playoffs are on the horizon and the Rochester Americans are the first opponents standing in the way of the Syracuse Crunch. They sound very excited to play the Crunch. Will the Crunch be ready? Will they have a full roster? [Syracuse]

“Obviously there will be a lot of emotion. But I think as a team, for us, I think we’re looking forward to the challenge,’’ said Amerks forward Justin Bailey.

”I’d love to knock them out. Obviously, coming back to this barn and playing a team that I used to play for, knowing a group of guys, it’s exciting,’’ said Rochester goalie Adam Wilcox, who played for the Crunch last season.

Erik Cernak joined CBS5’s live TV broadcast to talk Crunch. Check out the video! [CNY Central]

The Syracuse Crunch playoff journey begins Friday. The Crunch is making its 3rd playoff appearance in the last four years and in the postseason for the 4th time since 2013. This year’s trip is special, on the heels of a Calder Cup Final appearance, the Crunch was a team full of rookies expected to be rebuilding.

Nobody bothered to tell them that.

With the Calder Cup set to begin, the Kelly Cup is already underway! The Adirondack Thunder began their first-round series with the Worcester Railers by taking both games at home and on the road. [Raw Charge]

With the new look lineup, the Thunder were a much different team than the squad on ice in Game 2. Not only did they surpass their shot output in one period—18, compared to 14 for all of Saturday—they managed to get on the board first. Just minutes after a potential goal was disallowed, Ward scored his second goal on the Thunder’s first power play of the day for a 1-0 lead.

It’s game 7 tonight for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (aka. the Tampa Bay Lightning OHL affiliate). Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk lost game 6 7-1 to the Owen Sound Attack but are heading home to hopefully keep their championship dreams alive. [Bolt Prospects]

Katchouk and Raddysh set up top prospect Barrett Hayton (2018 draft eligible) for the game-opening goal at 14:41 of the 1st period, but the Attack responded 38 seconds later to knot the score 1-1 at the end of the 1st period, with the Soo also holding an 11-8 advantage on shots. But Owen Sound turned on the afterburners in front of 3000+ fans at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, peppering Soo netminders Matthew Villalta (LAK, 2017 3rd round pick) and Tyler Johnson (undrafted) with 38 shots in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Unfortunately, the Moose Jaw Warriors didn’t fare as well, losing their game 7 by a score of 6-0 to the Swift Current Broncos. [Bolt Prospects]

For Bolt prospect Oleg Sosunov, he could join the Syracuse Crunch for their Calder Cup Playoff run, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization allows him to close out his season. After scoring 7 goals and 26 points in a breakout campaign in his first year in North America, Sosunov hit a wall down the stretch statistically for the Warriors. He was never scratched, even on a loaded Moose Jaw blueline, but the offense dried up in the last 15-20 games of the regular season and the playoffs.

The Game

Like the Devils, the Toronto Maple Leafs returned home and beat up on the Boston Bruins, bringing their series beck to 2-1 in favour of the Bruins after a 4-2 win by the Leafs. Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal. [Sportsnet]

Nearly 30 seconds of whirring around the Boston Bruins top players, tightening the gears and building anticipation with some sharp keep-ins from Jake Gardiner and the net-front positioning of Zach Hyman. Then the release – first off the blade of Matthews’s stick and then inside Air Canada Centre, where the peach-fuzzed Toronto Maple Leafs signalled they still have some life left with a reaffirming 4-2 win over the Bruins.

The Colorado avalanche beat the Nashville Predators. No, this is real life, it happened. The Avs bring the series back to 2-1 in favour of the Preds with a 5-3 win at home. [Mile High Hockey]

The Avalanche have grown well together as a team but ultimately Nathan MacKinnon was the deciding factor in this game and most likely in the series. He continues his blistering pace at home with the two goals scored in this contest. Hopefully he has a few more goals in his bag of tricks for the next game.

Why haven’t the Anaheim Ducks tapped out yet? They got destroyed 8-1 by the San Jose Sharks and are now in a 3-0 hole heading into game 4 in San Jose. This looks done. [Fear the Fin]

Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry had a combined six penalties, including a 10 minute misconduct penalty for Getzlaf. Ryan Kesler also took a penalty, making this the second game in this series where every Ducks player wearing a letter sat in the sin bin.

Conversely...

Thirteen players had at least one point, including all twelve forwards. Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi each picked up one goal and two assists.

Highlight of the Night: We need to have another look at that Freddy Andersen save.