Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

TAMPA — The Lightning so dominated the second period Saturday that the Devils had more penalties (five) than shots on goal (four), and yet Tampa Bay was unable to build on a 1-0 lead as they sought to clinch the opening-round series.

Nowhere was there more potential frustration than the power play -— they had four in a span of eight minutes, 21 seconds of the second, then a fifth as the third began. But the Lightning stayed patient, focusing on the way they were controlling the game, if not the scoreboard.

"Persistence, patience, not getting frustrated," said Ryan Callahan, who returned for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 2, and got an empty-net goal with 1.7 seconds remaining to seal the win.

The power plays came in quick succession in the second period — the second just five seconds after the first ended, the fourth just 14 seconds after the third. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said while they didn't result in any goals, they took New Jersey away from any opportunity to tie the game, tiring out their blue line in the process.

"It's not necessarily about the scoring. It's about 'Don't lose momentum for your team,' " Cooper said. "The only thing that was costing momentum was the big saves (Cory) Schneider was making. We were getting our looks … that's what I liked about what was going on. … 'Don't worry if we don't score on this. You guys have done everything we've wanted of you.' "

Get your seats

The Lightning doesn't yet know whether it will face the Bruins or Maple Leafs in the next round, or when that series will begin, but tickets will go on sale Monday at 1 p.m., with Tampa Bay hosting Games 1 and 2, and potentially Games 5 and 7 if necessary. Tickets will be available at TampaBayLightning.com/tickets  or at Ticketmaster.com.

Clamping down

When the Lightning eliminates teams in the playoffs, it does it with defense. Going back to the 2014-15 season, in Tampa Bay's last six games that clinched playoff series wins, the team has allowed a total of two goals in those six wins.

That includes four shutouts and two wins allowing only one goal — Saturday's win, and one against Montreal in 2015. Andrei Vasilevskiy took a shutout well into the third period, losing only on a 6-on-5 goal with three minutes remaining after New Jersey pulled its goalie, down 2-0.

Times columnist Tom Jones and Roger Mooney break down the Lighting’s series-clinching 3-1 victory over New Jersey Saturday at Amalie Arena. Post your questions here and they’ll answer them.

Posted by Tampa Bay Times - Sports on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Youth served

The game's first goal was an all-rookie affair, with D Mikhail Sergachev scoring on an assist from Tony Cirelli. It was the first career playoff goal for Sergachev and the first playoff assist for Cirelli.

In doing so, Sergachev became the youngest Lightning player to score in a playoff game — Sergachev is 19 years, 300 days old, breaking the mark set in 1996 by Jason Wiemer, who was 20 years, two days old.

The goal was the first in the series by a Lightning defenseman, and Sergachev is just the third Lightning rookie defenseman to score in a playoff game, following Paul Ranger (2006) and Nikita Nesterov (2015).

Some guys get handshakes, others get hugs. Former Lightning player Brian Boyle opts for the latter with Victor Hedman. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)

Bolts bits

Former Lightning star Brian Boyle, who traded words and blows with Sergachev in this series, drew a chorus of boos from the Amalie Arena crowd every time he touched the puck Saturday. Boyle played only 11 shifts. … Tampa Bay controlled the faceoffs in Saturday's game, taking 33 of 55 for 60 percent. Cedric Paquette went 8-1 on faceoffs, while Tyler Johnson went 6-3. … Bucs QB Jameis Winston was among those in attendance. "I've got to get to some Lightning games, because winning is contagious," Winston said Monday. "I want to be a part of that."

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Comments
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
Four Lightning players named to The Hockey News’ list of the top 50 in the NHL

Four Lightning players named to The Hockey News’ list of the top 50 in the NHL

The Lightning has one of the biggest collections of talent in the NHL, according to one international hockey publication.Tampa Bay placed four players — second-most in the league — on The Hockey News' list of the top 50 players in th...
Published: 09/18/18
Lightning to live stream six preseason games, starting Tuesday night

Lightning to live stream six preseason games, starting Tuesday night

TAMPA  — The Lightning will live stream six preseason games —starting with the 7:30 p.m. exhibition Tuesday against Carolina —at TampaBayLightning.com.The broadcasts are free and available only inside the Tampa Bay te...
Published: 09/17/18
Lightning’s Cal Foote may be the NHL’s most appropriately named player

Lightning’s Cal Foote may be the NHL’s most appropriately named player

TAMPA — No player on the Lightning's 61-man roster has a more fitting or appropriate name than defenseman Cal Foote.And it's not even close.Actually, good luck finding a last name on any NHL roster that fits better. Foote, Tampa Bay's first-rou...
Published: 09/17/18
Lightning journal: Center prospect Alex Barre-Boulet shows his scoring chops

Lightning journal: Center prospect Alex Barre-Boulet shows his scoring chops

BRANDON — C Alex Barre-Boulet did not want to try a complicated move. Not with Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy between him and the net.So Barre-Boulet went with old reliable as he drew close to the Lightning goalie."It is a move I use...
Published: 09/16/18