Without reinging AHL MVP Cory Conacher and several other players called early to South Florida to participate in the Tampa Bay Lightning training camp, the Crunch struggled to generate sustained offense, managing only one score in the game from Brett Connolly that didn't come until the third period.
Amerks netminder David Leggio, who has played well in previous contests against the Crunch this year, continued his hot streak while struggling Crunch netminder Riku Helenius, who had not appeared in a game since December 29, looked rusty in allowing four Amerks' goals.
Helenius didn't get much help from the guys in front of him, who took more undisciplined penalties and surrendered two power play goals on nine power play chances.
Crunch forward Richard Panik was thrown from the game due to an illegal hit on Amerks' forward (and Buffalo Sabres 1st round draft pick) Zemgus Girgensons. He has also received a 3-game suspension from the league. Girgensons is reportedly experiencing concussion symptoms as a result of the hit.
While clearly a "bang-bang" sort of play, it is understandable why both Crunch and Amerks fans are upset. When viewing the play in full-speed it doesn't seem like a particularly "late" hit, though Panik could have certainly aimed a bit lower rather than making contact above the chest.
In any case, Panik will miss the next three games and Girgensons could miss much more if his concussion symptoms persist.
Tags: AHL, Hockey, NHL, Richard Panik, Rochester Americans, Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning, Zemgus Girgensons
— Bolt Prospects(@BoltProspects) January 13, 2013