TORONTO — It might not have been the “borderline violent” display that Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe predicted for the Lightning’s first-round playoff series against the Maple Leafs, but Game 1 provided its share of physicality and fighting.
On Tuesday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety made a few players’ pockets lighter for their roles in some post-whistle fisticuffs.
Lightning center Corey Perry was fined $2,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct after accumulating 16 penalty minutes, including a 10–minute misconduct, in the third period of the Lightning’s 5-0 loss Monday in Toronto.
Linemate Pat Maroon was fined $2,250 for unsportsmanlike conduct, as was Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds. Both players received 10-minute misconduct penalties in the third period.
All three fines were the most allowed by the collective bargaining agreement.
Toronto forward Kyle Clifford was suspended for one game for boarding Lightning forward Ross Colton in the first period, drawing a major penalty and game misconduct.
Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta got the worst of the skirmishes, dripping blood from his forehead after a fight with Morgan Rielly in the third. Rutta practiced when the team returned to the ice Tuesday.
Maroon wouldn’t comment when asked what started the scrum midway through the third period but said the Lightning have to continue to play physical in the series.
“Playing a heavy hockey game is about playing fast, playing getting into the D zone, closing quick, breaking off fast, finishing your checks when you have the opportunity,” Maroon said. “Play heavy on the forecheck. Finish when you can every shift you can and just play the right way. And I think those hits come into play. Those hits get lined up, and we’re a heavy team and we have to play like it.”
Paul on the power play
After an 0-for-5 showing, the Lightning made a change to the power-play group Tuesday, inserting Nick Paul in place of Maroon on the second-team unit.
Paul, who has shown to be a valuable addition to the Lightning penalty kill, saw some power-play time when he played with the Senators and was productive in his few moments there.
“Not too much in Ottawa, but enough where I know what’s going on,” Paul said. “I’m sitting in all the PP meetings, taking practice. So if that’s where I am on the sheet and that’s where I need to play, that’s what I’m going to do. So we’ll see what happens.”
As the Lightning look to regroup following a night in which they failed to score a power-play goal in 12:51 of man-advantage time, Paul can provide a big body down low. He also can get around for a big man and possesses a good stick.
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Quote of the day
“No other guy I want back there but him. If we don’t have him in net, it was probably going to be a lot worse last night.”
Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Andrei Vasilevskiy, who kept Tampa Bay in Game 1 despite several odd-man rushes and breakaways
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