Monday, September 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning took advantage of Devils’ slow start in Game 1

Facing a New Jersey team making its first playoff appearance since 2012, the Lightning jumped out to a 3-0 lead Thursday night to set the tone for the opener and the first-round playoff series.

"I'm sure there's some nerves," defenseman Travis Zajac said after the 5-2 loss to the Lightning. "I think it took us a while to get our legs going … Second and third period, we did a lot of good things that we can be happy about. We just have to make sure we learn from this game and refocus and get ready for the next."

The Lightning's spark came from two players key to their 2015 playoff run in Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, who assisted on each other's goals in the final five minutes of the opening period.

But the line that perhaps stepped up most was one normally intended to neutralize an opponent's top scoring threat — Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn, who not only limited New Jersey's Taylor Hall, but came up with a key goal midway through the third period after the Devils had pulled within a 3-2 score.

RELATED: Photo gallery from Thursday's playoff opener

"They're very good players. They're fast and tenacious, they're strong on the puck and they're real smart, heady, crafty players," Devils coach John Hynes said. "They play both sides of the puck really well. The combination of the three of them, the way they compete and their hockey sense, really helps them out."

New Jersey won all three regular-season meetings against Tampa Bay, but they're starting from behind in the best-of-seven series, learning what they need to improve on for Saturday afternoon's Game 2 in Tampa.

"Obviously it's not the outcome we want, but that's why it's a series and not a game," goalie Keith Kincaid said. "Once we got to our  game in the second period, we can play with them. They made some plays, got a few goals, and I've got to come up with a big save there. … You can definitely see that once we get to our game, we can play with anyone. We just have to keep the foot on the pedal there."

Comments
Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

TAMPA – After Sunday morning, the Lightning sat five cuts away from having a 23-man roster to start the regular season.It cut its training camp roster by 27, leaving 28 players on the roster with the start of the regular season less than two we...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Published: 09/22/18
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Published: 09/22/18
Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Lightning journal: Adam Erne looks to stick in Tampa

Forward Adam Erne flicks the puck into the net, but he has no time to celebrate.He flips around. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Snow flies off his skates. Erne then squares his body as he arrives in the defensive zone, steps away from the net.Within a secon...
Published: 09/21/18
Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

The Lightning did not fare much better in its second preseason crack at the Hurricanes.In fact, it did worse.It lost 6-1 Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.Carolina put a much more veteran team on the ice than it did Tuesday in winning Tampa Bay's preseason o...
Published: 09/19/18
Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

One round of cuts down, several more to go.The Lightning cut seven players on Wednesday, five of whom were training camp invitees, the team announced. All seven players were assigned to juniors.Gabriel Fortier was the most notable cut. The Lightning'...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

Lightning journal: Can Mathieu Joseph sneak his way onto the opening-day roster?

It remains to be seen if F Mathieu Joseph will make the Lightning's roster. If he doesn't, it certainly won't be because of a lack of opportunities.Joseph saw time on the Lightning power play and penalty kill on Tuesday at Amalie Arena when Tampa Bay...
Published: 09/19/18
Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Hockey News poll: Lightning favored to win Stanley Cup, other awards

Falling just short of winning a championship the past few seasons has done nothing to erode fans' confidence in the Lightning.Not just locally, but also nationally and across Canada.The Lightning is the runaway favorite to win the Stanley C...
Published: 09/19/18
Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did after ...
Published: 09/19/18
Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

Even if it’s just preseason, it matters

TAMPA — It's a little after 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning.The NHL's intense regular season is still more than three weeks away. The uber-intense Stanley Cup playoffs are still seven months away.But, on this particular September day on a sheet o...
Published: 09/18/18