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The Daily: Biakabutuka Has GR Debut; What’s Up For Lombardi?



Amadeus Lombardi, Red Wings prospect

Detroit Red Wings prospect Amadeus Lombardi made a strong effort to keep his Flint Firebirds team alive in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. But his two goals were not enough to prevent the Firebirds from losing 6-3 to the Saginaw Spirit in Game 7 of their first-round series.

Lombardi scored his fifth goal of the series at 6:43 of the third period to tie the game 3-3.  Saginaw’s Matyas Sapovaliv netted the game-winner with 3:48 to play. Saginaw added two empty-netters.

The question now: What’s next for Lombardi? The Red Wings have already signed the 102-point OHL scorer. Will they send him to Grand Rapids for the team’s final two games? Or, will they wait until next season? Lombardi turns 20 in June.

Biakabatuka Makes Pro Debut

Defenseman Jeremie Biakabutuka, nephew of Michigan football great Tim Biakabutuka, made his professional debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Cleveland Monsters.

Biakabutuka, 21, had no points, but two shots on goal. The right-shot defender is playing with the Griffins on an amateur tryout offer. He scored 17 goals this season playing for Charlottetown in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Carter Mazur, a top Red Wings’ prospect, assisted on the Griffins’ lone goal. He now has six points (3-3–6) in his five games with the Griffins. Mazur has a shot to play with the Red Wings’ next season.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Red Wings desperately want to avoid ending the season on a losing note.
  • Nate Brown writes his Red Wings Stock Index about how Detroit’s youth movement is starting to bear fruit.
  • What’s going on with Ville Husso? He seems to have lost his way in the final stages of this season.

Red Wings’ Next Game

The Red Wings (35-35-10) will be at Carolina tonight to face the struggling Hurricanes. Carolina has lost three in a row, and six of its last nine. Detroit has also lost three in a row and have given up 18 goals in those losses.  With two games to play, the Red Wings are 10th in the Connor Bedard lottery. Staying in 10th would give the team a 3.5% chance of picking No. 1 overall a 3.8% shot of drafting in the No. 2 slot. The No. 2 pick will be University of Michigan big forward Adam Fantilli who recently won the Hobey Baker as college hockey’s top player.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Joe Haggerty writes about the surreal-like nature of the Bruins season. Boston Bruins.

Calgary: It’s over. A shootout loss to Nashville eliminates the Flames. The Predators now have a slim hope. Calgary Flames heartbreak.

Colorado: Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts looked at the Avalanche injury situation. Colorado Avalanche.

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Florida: Despite OT loss to Maple Leafs, Panthers still control their playoff destiny.  Florida Panthers.

Montreal: Several Canadiens should be playing for their country at the World Championships in May. Montreal Canadiens.

Philadelphia defenseman Nick Seeler has gone from out of hockey to being a Masterton Trophy nominee.

Pittsburgh: With the Islanders losing Monday, the Penguins now control their playoff fate. If they win their final two games, they are in. Pittsburgh Penguins.

San Jose: Sharks coach David Quinn says defenseman Erik Karlsson is the best player he has ever coached. He became the NHL’s first 100-point defenseman in 31 years on Monday. San Jose Sharks.