Tampa Bay Lightning: Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins Coming Up Big In AHL Playoffs

By Jonathan Katje
Syracuse Crunch Desjardins
Bruce Fedyck – USA TODAY Sports

While there doesn’t seem to be a place for him next season, goaltender Cedrick Desjardins is turning in an excellent postseason performance with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, where he has helped the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top affiliate take a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. With Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback both in Tampa Bay next season, it seems unlikely the Lightning would re-sign Desjardins for anything more than depth at the AHL level. Now in his second stint with the Lightning, Desjardins appeared in three NHL games this season, finishing with an 0-3-0 record and a 3.00 goals-against average.

The Crunch only had Desjardins in 14 regular season games, but he has grabbed the reins in the playoffs, and has a 9-1 record with a 2.02 goals-against average. He shut out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) on Wednesday to help the Crunch to a 2-1 series lead, and it was his second postseason shutout. He has appeared in five NHL games in his career, spending most of his time in the AHL. The Lightning sent Dustin Tokarski to the Montreal Canadiens to get Desjardins back, and they also have Riku Helenius and Pat Nagle in their minor league system.

While Desjardins’ play has been stellar, the Crunch have also gotten a boost from some offensive players who saw time with the Lightning this season. Ondrej Palat has four goals and 17 points in the playoffs, while Tyler Johnson has eight goals and 15 points. The pair rank second and third in the AHL in playoff scoring.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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