Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Jon Cooper: Game 1 worse on review

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette was of two minds after Wednesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

The Lightning rookie center wanted to forget his defensive blunder that led to the winning goal.

"I tried to think about anything else," he said Thursday.

At the same time, "it's a play you have to remember because you don't want to make it again."

What Paquette did was leave the slot in front of the Tampa Bay net and Montreal's Dale Weise uncovered. With defensemen Radko Gudas and Eric Brewer also behind the goal line, Weise had all the time in the world to zip a wrist shot past G Anders Lindback with 1:52 left in the extra period.

"I went the wrong way," Paquette said.

He wasn't alone in doing that. Coach Jon Cooper said after watching the game video that the Lightning played worse than what he first believed.

"I was extremely disappointed in the way we played," he said. "The 78 minutes we played, they were the better team."

Cooper also said some of Montreal's success came because of Tampa Bay's "colossal errors that can't happen at playoff time."

Paquette's was the most visible, but defensemen Victor Hedman and Mike Kostka, among others, were guilty as well.

"But very correctable," Cooper said. "Getting the first game out of the way is going to help the nerves of a lot of our guys. It's the old 'work smarter, not harder,' that's what we have to do."

PALAT UPDATE: Injured rookie Ondrej Palat, who had a team-best 59 regular-season points and left Game 1 early in the third period, will be a game-time decision for Game 2 tonight, Cooper said.

Palat took a knee-to-knee hit from Montreal D P.K. Subban, but Cooper said the injury was to the upper body. That made some wonder if the left wing still was feeling the effects of Friday's hit from Columbus D Jack Johnson. That included contact with Palat's head and kept him out of Sunday's regular-season finale at Washington.

"Maybe partially," Cooper said when asked if Palat's injuries were related. "He's been part of some pretty physical hits the last few games."

Palat does not have a concussion, Cooper said.

BISHOP UPDATE: G Ben Bishop (left elbow) skated on his own in full gear before Thursday's practice, but the main activity of his left hand was catching pucks tossed by assistant trainer Mike Poirier.

Cooper said he did not expect to see Bishop in a game soon but then indicated Bishop might be able to play if the series is "extended a little bit."

That is consistent with what Cooper said before the series.

KILLORN UP: If Palat can't go tonight, Alex Killorn likely will take his spot on left wing with Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson.

The line clicked in Game 1. Killorn had a goal in the third period, and his fake shot and pass set up Stamkos' third-period goal that tied the score 4-4.

The line also was together at Washington when Palat sat out.

"I feel good on that line," Killorn said. "As long as we play fast, we'll be able to create some offensive chances."

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