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Lightning Sign Dotchin to ELC

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to an entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Dotchin, 20, skated in 63 games with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2013-14 regular season, posting 11 goals and 36 points. He led the Colts for penalty minutes with 121 and was third with a plus-22 rating. He ranked second among defensemen on Barrie for power-play goals with six and first for shorthanded goals with two. The Cambridge, Ontario native has also appeared in 11 playoff games for the Colts, recording three goals and five points.

The 6-foot-3, 209-pound defenseman has played in 193 career OHL games over his three year junior career, collecting 18 goals and 77 points to go along with 279 penalty minutes. Dotchin set career-highs in 2013-14 for goals (11), assists (25) and points (36).

Dotchin was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 161st overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.

BP Commentary:

NA Juniors Playoffs Game Night: 4-18-14

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Val-d’Or Foreurs 5 @ Halifax Mooseheads 2
Foreurs lead best-of-7 semifinal series, 1-0

C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 0 Hits, 8 SOG, 12/19 FO
Playoff totals: 10 GP, 9-19-28, +7, 10 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 29-70-108, +49, 43 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM

Third-seeded Val-d’Or handed second-seeded Halifax its first home loss and second loss overall in the playoffs, winning 5-2 in Game 1 of their QMJHL semifinal series against the Mooseheads. Drouin registered a late assist when Halifax cut the Foreurs’ lead to 4-2, extending his point streak to 23 games. His multipoint game streak ended at 12 and his game-star streak ended at 11. The match-up to watch in this series is Drouin vs QMJHL MVP Anthony Mantha (Red Wings), who won the league scoring title. Mantha had the Foreurs’ empty net goal and an assist in Game 1. Game 2 is Saturday in Halifax.

Ontario Hockey League

North Bay Battalion 1 @ Oshawa Generals 0
Battalion lead best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals, 1-0

D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 3-1-4, +2, 16 PIM
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-26-30, +12, 56 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM

North Bay stole home ice advantage away from the top-seeded Gens as they shut out Oshawa in Game 1, 1-0. Blujus and the Battalion defense limited Oshawa to 24 shots on goal and North Bay peppered Gens goalie Daniel Altshuller (Hurricanes) with 54 shots. Jake Smith had his third shutout of the playoffs for North Bay. Game 2 is Sunday in Oshawa.

NHL Playoff Game Night: 4-18-14 Canadiens at Lightning

Montreal defense throws the net over the Lightning.

MTL-4
TB-1

Montreal Leads the Series 2-0

Anders Lindback allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss before giving way to Kristers Gudlevskis, who allowed 1 on 4 shots the rest of the way. If Cooper had a wild hair to put Gudlevskis in for Game Three, the wraparound goal Gudlevskis allowed might've quieted that thought down. As for Lindback, the third goal went through him on a greasy little bounce back to Gallagher off the blocked shot and he whiffed on the poke check on Bourque's goal, but on balance he played reasonably well and kept the Lightning around for most of the game. Goaltending isn't the reason the Lightning are losing this series so far.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
2:34 MTL Desharnais (1), (Subban, Pacioretty)(PP)
10:35 MTL Bourque (1), (Vanek, Subban)

Third Period
11:46 MTL Gallagher (1), (unassisted)
14:39 MTL Bourque (2), (Eller)
18:01 TB Purcell (1), (Hedman, Filppula)(PP)

The first 10 minutes of the game took on the dimension of a lot of the regular season games between Tampa Bay and Montreal with the Lightning dominating possession and the Canadiens getting a few counter attacks in. That's where the Lightning need to get this series to get back into it. If possession is even or tilted in favor of Montreal, Price is probably too good to overcome. Unfortunately, in the second half of the First Period, a 4-minute minor on Stamkos started to take the starch out of the Lightning's offensive flow and when Desharnais scored the PP goal early in the Second Period after a ticky tack call on Panik, the offensive flow completely dissipated altogether. There's just too much inconsistency moving up the ice as a unit. Passing is off. Guys aren't consistently supporting their linemates. It wasn't as lopsided as the score indicates (shots were 27-26), but the Lightning need to get better within their structure to defeat Montreal's. It's a process, and they were certainly more together and composed than in Game One, and this series is nowhere near over. I reiterate the lesson of the 2003 series against Washington, when a young, talented Lightning team really looked terrible against a veteran Caps team in Game One and Game Two. Once they figured it out in Game Three, they swept the rest of that series. I have a feeling the Lightning may be capable of a similar breakout, but getting that first win is going to be the toughest. Hopefully the Lightning realize that and also realize the worst thing they can do at this moment is panic. Just win one game. That's all they need to worry about right now.

Mike Kostka had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:13. His lack of speed and strength and decision making with the puck were a bit of an issue again tonight. At this stage, if I'm Cooper, I'm going to try to spark something by throwing Mark Barberio in against his hometown team for Game Three in lieu of Kostka, but we'll see how he plays it.

Cedric Paquette was -1 with 12 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 10:18. He certainly wasn't at fault for the minus in the first Bourque goal where Salo was turned the wrong way, and he had a pretty glorious chance on Price in tight off a nice setup by Purcell. I like what Paquette brings, and on paper he's a playoff-style performer. But, needing a spark, again, if I'm Cooper I'm going in with Pyatt in Game Three.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-18-14 Crunch at Americans

It's officially a losing season for Syracuse.

SYR-1
RCH-5

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 5 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
RCH Schaller, (9) (Gillies, Irwin), 7:44
RCH Adam, (29) , 11:04
RCH Irwin, (7) (Varone, Ruhwedel), 12:42 (PP)

Second Period
RCH Deslauriers, (19) (Sundher, Porter), 2:49

Third Period
SYR Marchessault, (22) (Connolly), 3:33
RCH Varone, (18) (Larsson, Hutchings), 15:27

Syracuse falls to 2 games under .500 with 1 game left to play. It's disappointing the team didn't finish stronger to set up what you hope is a rebound year next season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 4-18-14

KHL Gagarin Cup Finals
(1)Magnitogorsk 0 vs. (3)Praha 3
Praha Leads the Series 1-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 14/16, 2.01 GAA, .875 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 15 GP, 12-3-0, 2 SO, 1.68 GAA, .942 sv%

Petri Vehanen's 21 save shutout staked Praha to a 3-0 Game One win in the KHL Gagarin Cup Finals. Ex-Kings draft pick Justin Azevedo and ex-Devils draft pick Petr Vrana each had goals in the victory for Lev. Game Two is Sunday.

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