Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Showing up at the start boosts Lightning to clinching win (w/video)

TAMPA — Watching the Lightning struggle in the first period in back-to-back games against the Islanders in New York, coach Jon Cooper quipped that his team needed to realize the games started at 7 p.m., not 8.

Sunday, Tampa Bay flipped the script with an impressive opening 20 minutes, taking a two-goal lead that set the tone for a clinching 4-0 win in Game 5 of its second-round playoff series. After D Victor Hedman opened the scoring six minutes in, C Brian Boyle added a dagger with just more than a minute left in the first, roofing a shot from near the right post.

"It was big," Boyle said of the Lightning's first. "We were playing well early. It was big to get the goal, and to get another one was big.

"You see how (G Ben Bishop) stood on his head when they got goals and they got leads (in New York), but we kept (the Islanders' leads) at one, and that was important in our comebacks (to win both games) because we didn't have many opportunities. It's important to try and build on your lead, and (we) continued to push."

After allowing 32 combined shots in the first periods of Games 3 and 4, the Lightning surrendered just six in Sunday's first period.

REST UP: The Lightning played 26 of 28 possible games in last year's playoffs, which likely took its toll by the end in the Stanley Cup final.

But after winning its first two series this year in five games apiece, Tampa Bay is looking at nearly another week off before the Eastern Conference final begins, likely next weekend, against either the Penguins or Capitals. The Lightning had about a week off between its first-round series with Detroit and the Islanders series. It is off today, with a potential for another off day this week, too. The Penguins-Capitals series continues Tuesday with Game 6. Pittsburgh is up 3-2.

"Not a bad time to have some time off," Bishop said. "We'll wait and see who we play. Both of those teams are great opponents, so we'll just watch and relax for a couple days."

LINING UP: D Slater Koekkoek played in his fourth straight game and D Luke Witkowski his second as the Lightning went with seven defensemen again. Koekkoek, who has seemed to supplant in the lineup Nikita Nesterov (scratched for the second straight game), logged 9:49 of ice time. Witkowski played 4:17, two minutes more than he did in Friday's playoff debut.

RW Jonathan Marchessault returned to the lineup, replacing scratched RW Mike Blunden. RW Erik Condra and D Matt Taormina were also scratched.

NUTS AND BOLTS: C Valtteri Filppula had another unsung performance, winning 11 of 13 faceoffs and playing 19:32. … The Lightning penalty kill was 2-for-2, including killing off a power play in the first two minutes of the game. "It's not necessarily how many, but timely (penalty kills)," Bishop said. … C Tyler Johnson's second-period assist gave him a league-high-matching nine this postseason. RW Jonathan Drouin got his eighth.

Times correspondent Roger Mooney contributed to this report.

Brian Boyle, right, is ready to share the joy of his first-period goal with Cedric Paquette. Boyle scores with 1:19 left in the first for a 2-0 Lightning lead.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Brian Boyle, right, is ready to share the joy of his first-period goal with Cedric Paquette. Boyle scores with 1:19 left in the first for a 2-0 Lightning lead.

Showing up at the start boosts Lightning to clinching win (w/video) 05/08/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2016 8:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams

    Bucs

    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  2. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  3. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)