SUNRISE, Florida (AFP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning won the first two games of the playoff series with the Florida Panthers on the road last year.
They are halfway to iterating the performance.
Pierre Edouard Bellemare He scored the green goal early in the third half, Andrei Vasilevsky She stayed buoyant with 34 saves and led the Lightning Panthers 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night.
In the estimation of Tampa Bay coach John Cooper, Vasilevsky was the story.
“Look at the saves he makes at the times when we need them. For me, that’s what great goalkeepers do and they give you a chance to win a hockey game and that’s what our man did again tonight,” Cooper said.
Nikita Kucherov And Corey Berry Each of them had a goal and help, and Ross Colton He also scored for the two-time Stanley Cup champion, who advanced 1–0 against his in-state rival for the second consecutive season.
Time and time again, Vasilevsky closed the door to Florida. Over his last three games – all won, including Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday – he has stopped 94 of his 99 shots.
“He’s giving 100 per cent effort in every game and everyone is just trying to put his energy into your game,” Kucherov said. “He’s a leader…He’s our best player.”
Anthony Dockler It was the Florida Presidents Cup winning goal, from which 32 were saved Sergey Bobrovsky. Including the qualifying round held when the NHL restarted during the pandemic in 2020, Florida has lost seven straight 1s games — a streak going back to 1997.
The second game is Thursday night.
“They’re so good on a team, a veteran team, they’re not going to open the door for you,” said Florida interim coach Andrew Brunot. “We had our chances. To the next match.”
Doclear, with 31 goals, was scratched by Florida for his back-to-back win over Washington, but came back on Tuesday and gave his side the lead by scoring from a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau The time is 14:01 from the first.
Duclair’s goal came after the Panthers killed a pair of early penalty shootouts – one of them Mackenzie and jealous The other is from Duclair – where special teams become a factor in the game.
Florida went 0-for-18 in the power game in the winning series over the Capitals and was goalless in three more attempts on Tuesday. But Tampa Bay took advantage of three of its six chances.
“Part of our plan to play was to stay outside the box,” Doclear said. “Playing their power was deadly.”
After Kucherov was hooked up by Weegar, he went straight around the Florida Defender Aaron Ekblad And Perry fed to score at 16:22 of the second half.
Bellemare’s goal came in 3:35 of the third inning, giving Tampa Bay their first lead of the game – and the Lightning maintained the rest of the way. Lightning won a confrontation in the Florida area and Berry took a quick shot from the hole that Bobrovsky stopped, but the rebound moved to Belmar.
He beat Bobrovsky to the side of the gauntlet to take a 2-1 lead.
It seemed, for a moment, that Florida ended their long game drought in strength and tied the score when Dockler scored a puck ball. He challenged Tampa Bay, saying that the disc was out of the net and was therefore out of play. A video review confirmed this and Lightning continued to lead 2-1.
“We knew, right away, that our coaching staff had told us this was not going to be a target,” Doclear said. “So you turn the page, and you’re right back at it.”
But it was the last respite for Florida. Tampa Bay left no doubt of hindsight, with both Kucherov and Colton earning play-power numbers in the final 4:06 to put the match away.
Notes: It was Cooper’s 124th match with Lightning. That tie broke with Mike Babcock (Detroit) for fifth with one team, behind Al Arbor (198, New York Islanders), Scotty Bowman (134, Detroit), Joel Quinville (128, Chicago) and Glenn Suther (127, Edmonton). … Florida fell to 4-8 in the 1s, including the qualifying round two years ago. …Tampa Bay improved to 15-19 in the first game.