The teams that are successful in the playoffs are those that learn from their mistakes and make the necessary adjustments to not repeat them. In the series opener, they lost because they didn't utilize their team speed effectively, they didn't forecheck aggressively, they committed too many turnovers and Vezina candidate Ben Bishop didn't play well enough to compensate for all the breakdowns in front of him. Check, check, check and check.
"I thought we played really well. We are going to have to continue like this. We saw what we did wrong in Game 1 and I thought we did a better job possessing the puck, getting the puck deep, not really feeding their transitions with turnovers. Obviously, when we don't do all those things, we play pretty well." - Ben Bishop
The Lightning scored first on a goal from Tyler Johnson at 6:03 of the opening period. He was assisted by Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman.
They doubled the lead at 11:55 on Jonathan Drouin's first postseason goal. Valtteri Filppula was credited with the lone assist on the play.
"Oh, it is a great feeling, definitely. In a game like this where you need the win, with your back against the wall, it was a great goal." - Drouin
Despite getting those two goals, the Lightning actually were hindered in their attempts to get things going by taking three penalties in the first 14 minutes.
The third of those finally cost them when Nikolay Kulemin scored a power play goal at 15:15, getting helpers from Thomas Hickey and Alan Quine.
The Lightning also had to survive an absolutely furious assault by the Islanders over the final minute of the period to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
The Lightning got a power play goal of their own at 11:59 of the second, when Victor Hedman was assisted by Johnson and Drouin to bring the lead back to two.
That was the only goal scored during the period and the Lightning were up 3-1 to start the third.
The Lightning applied a relentless attack and dominated the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Islanders 12-3. This, after holding New York to just five in the second period.
The Islanders pulled goalie Thomas Greiss with just under four minutes left and Johnson added an empty netter with 2:18 remaining. Jason Garrison picked up an assist on the play.
As far as recovering from an uncharacteristic bad game on Wednesday, Ben Bishop didn't see a lot of action, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he saw, but was solid throughout and came up big during the first period when New York got off 12 shots, many at close range.
Now it's the Islanders turn to try to make adjustments...
"You know, they are a good hockey team. They're going to make pushes. It is how we handle that momentum and find a way to grab it back. It's part of the playoff series so no question, I think we have to be a little better at slowing it down and better on our forecheck." - New York's John Tavares
The Lightning will now play Games 3 and 4 on the road and will be in action again on Tuesday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. .
- The Lightning are 6-0 in Game 2's since the start of the 2014-15 postseason. They're 13-6 all-time in Game 2's.
- They're 6-1 all-time in Game 2's under head coach Jon Cooper
- The Bolts cut their giveaways down from 12 in Game 1 to eight in Game 2.
- As is seemingly standard in these situations, the game ended with hard feelings and pushing and shoving, resukting in 12 minutes in penalties handed out over the final two minutes.
- The Lightning have scored the first goal in six of the seven games they've played so far this postseason. They're 16-2 since the beginning of last season's playoffs when scoring first.
- Hedman's goal was the first for a Lightning defenseman this postseason.
- Johnson's two goals tie him with Brad Richards for third on the Lightning's all-time playoff goal leaders.
- Bishop is now 9-2 with one no-decision in postseason starts after a loss.
- The Lightning honored Bob Martinez as the 46th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of today's game. Martinez, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the University of Tampa, Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa Bay History Center and Hillsborough Education Foundation. Tampa native Bob Martinez has championed environmental and educational progress in the Greater Tampa Bay area for over 50 years. In 1986, the former Tampa Mayor and educator was elected as the state's first governor of Spanish descent. As Governor, he initiated America's largest environmental land acquisition program and advocated for legislation to protect manatees and dolphins. Martinez also co-chaired a campaign to rebuild Nature's Classroom, a program that serves as an environmental center for sixth grade students. Today, Martinez continues his philanthropic commitment to Hillsborough County as an advisor and board member to numerous non-profits including Lowry Park Zoo and the Tampa Bay History Center. His limitless passion to community and environmental advancement has increased the living standards for Hillsborough County and Florida residents. Martinez becomes the 225th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $11.4 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.