Dotchin, Jake

NHL Game Night: 12-14-17 Lightning at Coyotes

Halfway to the playoffs.

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AZ-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 33 shots for the victory. Fairly typical Vasilevskiy game. Made the odd situational save early to allow his team to run out to a lead and then handled his business through garbage time to the finish line.

First Period
11:30 TB Namestnikov (13), (Stamkos, Kucherov)(PP)
12:11 TB Point (14), (Palat, Johnson)

Second Period
6:11 TB Kucherov (22), (Hedman)
11:28 AZ Keller (12), (Stepan, Perlini)(PP)

Third Period
0:31 TB Johnson (8), (Point, Stralman)

Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

That was men against boys. It was a 4-1 game, and that's with Antti Raanta playing a pretty darned good game. It could've been a lot worse for Arizona. The Lightning got 46 shots on goal and a slew of scoring chances. Arizona just doesn't have the level of organization and confidence to deal with the speed, skill, and precision of this Lightning team. They had no chance. None. It's a far cry from the Lightning's trip to the desert a year ago that seemed to all but bury the team's playoff hopes about 50 games into the campaign or so.

The win tonight kicks off the fourth 10-game segment of the season with a win. Good start. And, it happens to give the Lightning 48 points, which puts them halfway to the minimum 96 points you target to make it to the postseason comfortably. Again, it's a remarkable contract to where this team was the last time they were in Arizona a year ago.

Slater Koekkoek was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:21.

Yanni Gourde had 3 shots and was 40% on 10 draws in 16:26. He's traded spots with Johnson moving down to third line center.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 21:48 of big time ice time. That's a nice number. Dotchin being able to eat minutes just makes the Lightning so incredibly good.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 17:37.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-12-17 Lightning at Blues

Vasilevskiy spooks Blues, then releases the kittens.

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STL-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 32 shots he faced for the shutout victory. Pure Vasilarceny. Tampa Bay got loose at times in the final 40 minutes of the game giving up way too many odd man rushes, but you saw the Vasilevskiy phenomenon in effect. World class snipers like Tarasenko trying to cut it too fine pulling shots wide of the net left and right because Vasiy had crawled up into their heads and built a condo. The really great goaltenders do that. Vasiy is on his way.

First Period
19:15 TB Point (13), (Johnson, Killorn)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
13:37 TB Kucherov (21), (Sergachev)
19:38 TB Johnson (7), (Point, Hedman)(EN)

Vasilevskiy and Brayden Point were the game's first and second stars.

I'm not going to tell you that was the Lightning's most picturesque win. But, it's illustrative of how a really good team with skill and goaltending manufactures a road win even when they're not all the way on their A game.

The Lightning's win tonight completes the team's third 10-game segment of the campaign, which was another success. Now sitting at 46 points this year, the Lightning have banked a staggering 10 insurance points heading into segment four of the season, and they're just two points away from hitting the halfway mark of the minimum they need to comfortably make the postseason. It's all lovely and impressive, and they'll get until the next morning skate to enjoy it, because after that the mantra is clear: flush it and move on. Twelve in ten? Now do it again.

Slater Koekkoek had 1 blocked shot in 10:36. Not surprising that in a close game the staff curtailed his ice time.

Yanni Gourde had 1 hit and was 56% on 9 draws in 15:07. He's one of the guys who didn't have his most effective night tonight.

Jake Dotchin had 3 shots and 6 hits in 18:32 in a heavy game that favored his style of play. The ice time numbers are trending in a good direction.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 2 blocked shots in a pretty hefty 21:30. He had some turnover issues tonight, so it wasn't a clean game, but his possession numbers have been pretty strong the past few games. Tonight, although he only got 2 shots through, he had 10 total attempts to lead the team. That's some fancy stat-age for you all.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-9-17 Jets at Lightning

Lightning play really well and eventually get the payoff.

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TB-4 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the win. He had long stretches of inactivity so it was hard to stay sharp, but I'm sure he's thanking his stars his guys bailed him out after that soft third goal.

First Period
1:21 WPG Copp (4), (Lowry, Tanev)
18:57 TB Gourde (9), (Point, Johnson)(PP)

Second Period
16:39 TB Sergachev (7), (Johnson, Palat)
18:02 Connor (10), (Morrissey, Wheeler)

Third Period
7:02 WPH Ehlers (13), (Trouba, Laine)
8:51 TB Kucherov (20), (Dotchin, Stamkos)

Overtime
0:36 TB Point (12), (Stralman)

Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev were the game's first and third stars.

I think both teams treated this one like a measuring stick, and if that's what it was then I'd say the Lightning have to feel pretty good about it. That's not just because of the result, but because this was a game where the Lightning were able to nullify Winnipeg's size and speed and really controlled the balance of the play. The Lightning held Winnipeg to just 11 shots through 40 minutes and just 20 shots on the entire evening. That's a pretty astonishing stat given Winnipeg's firepower and lends credence to the view that Amalie Arena has become one of the real fortresses in the NHL this season. Still, the Lightning had some adversity in this game falling behind on a bad early shift, giving up a goal late in the Second Period on a pretty wicked deflection, and then giving up the lead in the Third Period on a pretty soft goal. And, again, this team showed its resiliency.

What a novel concept winning an offensive zone faceoff to manufacture Kucherov's tying goal in the Third Period. Lather, rinse, repeat. Please.

Tampa Bay's win gives them 12 points in this 10-game segment, making it 3 for 3 successful segments on the year. The Lightning get one more game in this segment to try to build up their cache of bonus points from 8 points to a possible 10.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 shot and 2 blocked shots in 11:36. It was a mixed bag. I thought he made some decent plays in the offensive zone but got caught flat footed once or twice defensively. He can fly, but I don't think he adjusted to Winnipeg's speed as quickly as his teammates did.

Yanni Gourde had the power play goal and was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot. He was also 50% on 10 draws. He played a really strong game. He's arguably the team's best forechecker and when he can get some shots on goal like he did tonight, I think he's such a valuable player.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 18:05. Coming off the injury you might've expected them to bring him into the lineup slowly, but 18 minutes is a fairly big number. He makes a difference for the Lightning because when he can fill this much time he helps regulate Girardi and Stralman's ice time and gives them a chance to play roles they can help the team the most in.

Sergachev had a goal, 3 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 19:23. He obviously scored a filthy turnaround goal. Just to go on a skate like that in the offensive zone and try that took some chutzpah for a rookie. But, on top of that, 19:23 of ice time is a really nice number. If he and Dotchin are giving this team 18+ quality minutes moving forward, it makes Yzerman's deadline shopping list a lot less pricey.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-29-17 Lightning at Bruins

Tampa Bay's most putrid effort of the campaign.

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BOS-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the loss. Wasn't his fault. Other than maybe Paquette, there's no one else on the team I can honestly claim played like anything more than hot runny garbage.

First Period
7:27 BOS McAvoy (3), (Pastrnak, Marchand)
17:13 BOS Nash (2), (Heinen, Marchand)

Second Period
5:59 BOS Krug (4), (Spooner, McAvoy)
10:53 TB Sustr (1), (Coburn, Kunitz)

Third Period
2:10 TB Stamkos (11), (Kucherov, Sergachev)(PP)

It's a totally justifiable thing to point out this was Tampa Bay's 4th game in 6 nights as an explanation of why the team didn't seem to really have it's legs. The problem I had tonight is the Lightning seemed to have internalized that excuse and used it as a rationale for a pretty heartless exercise in going through the motions. The first 40 minutes of that game was awful. Shiftless. Lethargic. Unthinking. Unfeeling. Uncaring. And, really, that's a shame because they managed to sleepwalk to a 3-2 decision and may have been able to steal a point or two with an honest effort. And, that would've been a really sweet way to break up the pro-Bruins pep rally that NBCSN decided to throw on their airwaves tonight. Opportunity lost.

Halfway through segment three of the season the Lightning have only secured 4 points in 5 games. That means they'll have to win 4 of their next 5 just to have a successful 10 game segment to not dip into their insurance point stash. The team's struggles seem to have hit right about when Jake Dotchin went on IR, and my goodness did Dan Girardi stink out loud tonight, especially on the eventual GWG. Get well soon, young Jake.

Yanni Gourde had 2 hits in 10:23. I'm going to speculate his ice time got slashed because he's one of the ones who had a subpar effort level tonight.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and 2 penalty minutes with 2 hits in 16:30.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-18-17 Islanders at Lightning

Lightning rally gives false hope after flat start.

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TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the rare loss. I think he might want the second goal back, which appeared to go through him, but in fairness to him the defense was pretty rancid tonight.

First Period
0:51 NYI Ladd (4), (Tavares, Ho-Sang)
10:25 NYI Lee (10), (Tavares, Bailey)

Second Period
7:09 NYI Nelson (6), (Chimera, Pelech)

Third Period
1:05 NYI Lee (11), (Bailey, Barzal)(PP)
3:13 TB Gourde (5), (Point, Koekkoek)
3:26 TB Palat (5), (Point, Vasilevskiy)
16:24 TB Gourde (6), (Palat, Girardi)
19:38 NYI Tavares (14), (Cizikas, Bailey)(EN)

Yanni Gourde was the game's second star.

The Lightning were flat and looked unprepared for the game and the Islanders jumped on them and got the goal on the opening shift. The Lightning responded by opening up too much to try to get goals and ended up surrendering too many odd man rushes and found themselves behind the eight ball. They eventually got down 3 goals after 40 minutes, and as I've said many a time, it feels like 99 times out of 100 that's a death sentence for the team trailing in pro hockey. You may get within one, but you eventually lose and it happened again tonight.

The Lightning finish the second 10-game segment of the season 8 points ahead of playoff pace. Good news is, ending on a loss, I don't think anyone's got to warn the Lightning to get complacent. Segment three starts tomorrow with a record of 0-0-0. Twelve in ten: do it again.

Slater Koekkoek had a helper and was +2 with 1 hit in 9:01.

Gourde had a pair of goals and was +1 with 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 17:23.

Jake Dotchin was -3 with 2 shots in 12:18. Not going to sugar coat it: he stunk tonight. Getting beat like a dog out of the corner by Nelson on the third goal ultimately was the kill shot goal for the Islanders. He didn't cloak himself in glory with his play in this one.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:37. Had a lot of scoring chances in this game and was dynamic offensively.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-16-17 Stars at Lightning

Lightning pummel ex-mate Bishop in his return to Tampa.

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TB-6

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. The typical formula applied. He made a handful of important situational saves early in the game, allowing the Lightning the time to start pulling away in the Second Period.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:47 TB Stamkos (9), (Hedman, Kucherov)(PP)
3:34 DAL Faksa (4), (unassisted)
4:51 TB Sergachev (5), (Killorn, Johnson)
11:20 TB Point (8), (unassisted)(SH)

Third Period
3:57 TB Stamkos (10), (Kucherov, Namestnikov)
8:18 TB Dotchin (2), (Sergachev, Stamkos)
13:52 TB Kucherov (17), (Hedman, Stamkos)

Steven Stamkos, Mikhail Sergachev, and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

Impressive showing by the Lightning. They showed no rust at all in the first game from a road trip, outskating and outpossessing Dallas by a significant margin in the First Period. The game got a lot more even in the Second Period as the Lightning took a few penalties, but the Lightning's special teams paid off with a PP and SH goal in the frame, and that allowed them to start to pull away. At 5 on 5, there's few teams that seem to be able to touch this team. On the power play, they're lethal. And, on the penalty kill, the injection of players like Point and Gourde have added a lethal element that gives teams very little respite. Some team or two is going to get their act together over the course of the season and lay down their marker as a potential contender, but right now the league is looking like the Tampa Bay Lightning and then everyone else so far this year.

With the victory, the Lightning stand at 32 points through 19 games, meaning with 1 game to go in the second 10-game segment of the year the Lightning have already banked 8 insurance points. Remarkable.

Yanni Gourde was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 21:33. He was also 40% on 5 draws.

Jake Dotchin had his second NHL goal and was +1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 16:21. Thought his goal was maybe a touch on the soft side, but he had a scoring chance earlier in the game where I thought he might've been a little luckier on the outcome, so these things even out.

Sergachev had a goal and an assist and was +3 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 14:16. His goal was kind of a lucky shot that deflected on a long point shot off a Dallas defender and went straight into the top corner. This is why Cooper preaches shooting the puck. The helper on Dotchin's goal was nothing fancy, but kind of epitomized how he played all night, using his mobility to support the play in all three zones.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-12-17 Lightning at Ducks

Dominant Lightning need some Vasilarceny to complete California sweep.

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ANH-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. He didn't have a ton of saves to make in the first 40 minutes but found himself locked in an absolute duel with John Gibson standing on his head at the other end of the rink. The sealer was an theft of thefts by Vasilevskiy pushing to his left and robbing a one timer on the PK late in the Third Period. My gosh, what a save. I though he had no chance.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
9:12 TB Nametnikov (9), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
3:48 ANH Silfverberg (5), (Wagner, Cogliano)
7:18 TB Brown (1), (Kunitz, Callahan)

Vladislav Namestnikov and Victor Hedman were the game's second and third stars. Quite the spiteful, bitter, sour grapes move by the Anaheim media to snub Vasilevskiy from a star. Truly.

Tampa Bay deserved the victory tonight. The first 40 minutes of this contest were an absolute clinic. Tampa Bay had all of the puck and a ton of scoring chances and Gibson had to play one of the best games of his life just to hold Anaheim in the game. The Third Period was more of a Ducks period with the ice titled by score effects and the Lightning got an amazing goal from J.T. Brown and a ton of great saves by Vasilevskiy to get it over the finish line.

The Lightning only won 48% of their draws tonight, but that's better than I'd have thought with this many young centermen playing against any team that has Antoine Vermette. Pleasant surprise.

Tampa Bay clinches another successful 10-game segment of the season with the win, now sitting at 13 points through 8 games of the segment. They also pot 1 insurance point giving them 6 insurance points on the season with 2 games left to rack up more in this segment.

Yanni Gourde was -1 with 2 shots in 16:16. He was also 40% on 5 draws.

Jake Dotchin had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 15:48.

Mikhail Sergachev was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:18. He's going to want to burn the tape of that Third Period. Made a poor turnover on Anaheim's only goal and another in the Ducks zone later in the period that led to a 2-on-1 where Vasilevskiy had to make a dynamite save to bail him out. Bad Sergachev makes poor decisions and/or is too light on his stick passing it. I haven't seen bad Sergachev much recently, but he snuck on the rink in the final frame tonight.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-9-17 Lightning at Kings

Lightning opens gates of hell in the First Period in Los Angeles. No Kings spared.

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LA-2

Much maligned Petr Budaj allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the win. He made a critical save on Koptar early on in the game on a bang bang play that led to Kucherov's breakaway goal. That's making the situational save you need for the W.

First Period
9:27 TB Kucherov (16), (Stamkos, Koekkoek)
10:01 TB Killorn (2), (Girardi, Johnson)
10:35 TB Hedman (2), (Gourde, Palat)
11:29 TB Stamkos (8), (Killorn, Kucherov)(PP)

Second Period
17:31 LA Toffoli (8), (Kopitar, Muzzin)

Third Period
8:39 LA Fantenberg (1), (Brown, Laich)
12:59 TB Namestnikov (8), (Hedman, Kucherov)

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars.

Petr Budaj makes a big situational save, Kucherov scores on a breakaway at the other end, and the Lightning just erupt all over the Kings in a game that was over after less than a dozen minutes. The first 37 or so minutes tonight were just one long replay of the Second Period dominance the Lightning displayed against San Jose last night. Honestly, were it not for Quick, the Kings would've easily let up 8 or 9 goals tonight as the Lightning had something like 23 scoring chances through the first two periods. Quick almost gave the Kings a chance, but a well played replay challenge by Cooper and the Gang at the end of the Second Period helped the team maintain a 3 goal advantage through 40 minutes and it was off to garbage time for the second night in a row. And, to all a good night.

Things that'll make your mind explode: Namestnikov's on a pace for about 39 goals. Not a typo.

Tonight's victory means the Lightning are within an eyelash of clinching their second successful 10-game segment of the year. After collecting a stylish 17 points in 10 games to start the year, they have 11 points in this second segment with 3 more games to play. So, with 1 more point they'll have nabbed the 12 in 10, and anything after that is just more insurance points in the bank. It's a beautiful thing.

Slater Koekkoek had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot in 6:22.

Yanni Gourde had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and he was 60% on 5 draws. As always, the Stamkos line provides the bulk of the firepower, but the Palat/Point/Gourde line sets the pace for the Lightning.

Gabriel Dumont had 3 shots and 2 hits and was 63% on 8 draws in 9:56 as he jumped in to replace an injured Ryan Callahan in the lineup.

Jake Dotchin was +1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 16:45.

Mikhail Sergachev had 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 14:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-8-17 Lightning at Sharks

Lightning speed slays Sharks.

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SJ-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 33 shots for the victory. He conceded an unlucky goal on the first shift of the game on a puck that deflected off Callahan's stick. After that, he made two or three ridiculous saves in the First Period to allow the team to find their equilibrium, after which the rest of his night was thankfully light work.

First Period
0:25 SJ Donskoi (5), (Thornton, Pavelski)
7:17 TB Dotchin (1), (Point, Gourde)

Second Period
0:44 TB Kucherov (15), (Namestnikov, Stamkos)
9:21 TB Koekkoek (3), (Gourde, Stralman)
12:00 TB Namestnikov (6), (Stamkos, Kucherov)

Third Period
6:14 TB Namestnikov (7), (Kucherov, Stamkos)(PP)

Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

San Jose had no answer for the quickness of the Tampa Bay Lightning. None. The Lightning not only can outskate San Jose man for man, but they moved the puck so quickly and crisply, especially in the Second Period, the Sharks had no prayer. No prayer. The Lightning won pretty much every 50/50 puck and then just carved up the slower Sharks defense. Cooper will have some coachable things if he wants them because the Lightning had some bad habits creep in during garbage time in the Third Period, but other than that this was a clinic, on balance.

Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 9:14. His goal was a short side softie allowed by Martin Jones, who looked awful tonight en route to being lifted after two periods.

Yanni Gourde had 2 helpers and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 17:46. He was also 17% on 6 draws. The Stamkos and Kucherov line get all the plaudits, but I thought the line with Gourde and Point along with Palat were almost as good tonight and were crucial to helping the Lightning get their footing back after falling behind after the first shift tonight.

Jake Dotchin had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 14:01. He got it the way you'd want it: blew a slapshot through the goaltender for his first in the bigs.

Mikhail Sergachev was +1 with 1 shot and 3 hits in 15:26.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-4-17 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Vasilevskiy redeemed after regulation time.

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TB-5 (SO)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 34 shots before stopping 3 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win. He let Columbus back in the game with a soft wraparound goal in the Third Period, but made up for it with a huge save on the PK in OT and a couple of acrobatic stops in the Shootout.

First Period
2:30 CBJ Jones (3), (unassisted)
2:54 TB Point (7), (Brown, Girardi)
3:32 TB Kucherov (14), (Sergachev, Namestnikov)
10:55 CBJ Werenski (4), (Dubois, Hannikainen)

Second Period
6:20 TB Stamkos (7), (Kucherov, Hedman)(PP)
18:01 TB Gourde (4), (Killorn, Hedman)

Third Period
9:46 CBJ Hannikainen (2), (Milano, Jones)
11:45 CBJ Dubinsky (1), (Jenner, Bjorkstrand)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
CBJ- NONE
TB- Stamkos

Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars. Would love to know how Stamkos doesn't get a star in this one.

That was almost 50 minutes of tour de force Lightning hockey that almost ended in shame because of an untimely soft goal halfway through the Third Period. The Lightning did allow a couple of goals in the First Period, one on a bout of bad puck luck and one on a play where Victor Hedman failed to cover up well for a man Andrej Sustr lost in his own corner. Other than that and a couple of other breakdowns, though, the Lightning had their game going all night and seemed in complete control. If you're going to nitpick, I'd say they overpassed the first half of the Third Period while looking for the kill shot goal. Unfortunately, soft goals are poison. Vasilevskiy threw Columbus a lifeline on that one and they manufactured a greasy goal to get to Overtime. That's where the Lightning had to engineer a magnificent 4-on-3 PK after a Stamkos penalty in which they only really allowed one fantastic chance that Vasilevskiy denied off the stick of Panarin. In the Shootout, Stamkos decided not to repeat the foolish optimism of Kucherov and Point, who deked forehand on both of their attempts, and he ripped a shot high corner to send his club to the pay window. Harder than it had to be, but they eventually got the result they deserved.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and was +1 with 2 shots in 16:55. He was also 40% on 5 draws. His line, with Point and Palat, was humming tonight along with the top line. It's always a fun night when the Lightning get both scoring lines going.

Jake Dotchin had 1 blocked shot in 14:16.

Mikhail Sergachev had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 hit in 13:03.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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