Aside from a surge in the second period that put the Lightning on their heels, the Devils were unable to maintain offensive pressure throughout the game. The first period they were outplayed and the third period they only managed to generate five shots on net. Tampa Bay’s speed and aggressive caused problems for New Jersey all night and it looked as though the Devils would be run out of the building before their second period surge.
Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, and Tyler Johnson were all great with and away from the puck and they were all rewarded with points on the scoresheet. [NHL dot com]
The Lightning received several outstanding individual performances. The line of Johnson, Palat and Brayden Point accounted for two even strength goals. Yanni Gourde was relentless in his puck pursuit - he netted an early second period power play goal and could have had a couple of other goals as well. His line, with Tony Cirelli and Killorn produced that important third period insurance goal.
for the 5-2 empty-net goal
It was a great start for the Lightning, who are starting to look like the group that nearly broke down the door three years ago. [Tampa Bay Times]
Remember when Tyler Johnson was king of the world? It was 2015, Johnson was a scoring machine and might have helped lead the Lightning to the Cup if it hadn’t been for a wrist injury in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final against Chicago. But it was like old times Thursday, vintage Johnson as he scored a goal and added an assist as his line powered the Lightning to a 2-0 lead. Added bonus: Johnson’s chest up against the glass with a female fan. Oh, those playoff moments.
In the first intermission, @PaulKennedyFOX catches up with Tyler Johnson, who had two points in the first 20 minutes. Hear what the @TBLightning forward has to say about an intense Game 1 so far. #GoBolts #TBLvsNJD pic.twitter.com/oRszPgYsW7— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 13, 2018
Before the game, Coach Jon Cooper pointed out that he wants Steven Stamkos to shoot more now. [Tampa Bay Times]
Stamkos, who finished the final three games of the regular season inactive, also finished the regular season with a 12-game goalless drought. He had three in his final 19 games, with two of those coming March 3 against Flyers.
”When you’re not 100 percent, there’s probably some other things that are on your mind when you’re playing,” coach Jon Cooper said after the morning skate.
After the game, Cooper noted that he is glad Stamkos is back in the lineup and isn’t worried about his lack of production because the process was there.
.@TBLightning coach Jon Cooper breaks down Thursday's Game 1 victory, saying he really liked what the players did in the third period to limit the New Jersey Devils. #GoBolts #TBLvsNJD pic.twitter.com/Rt9HCj0MQA— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 13, 2018
Cooper on his team’s response in the third to NJ push in the second, pulling within 1, “In a period that they needed to push, to give them just 5 SOG in their third, I liked our response.” #tblvsnjd pic.twitter.com/TgVybAJ7Tg— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) April 13, 2018
In roster news, junior prospect Otto Somppi could be on his way to the Syracuse Crunch after his team got eliminated in the QMJHL playoffs during the week. Dennis Yan, Jamie McBain, and Gabriel Dumont all remain day-to-day with injuries.
Sounds like Somppi could be Syracuse bound. Asked BriseBois about his contract status. He said in due time he'll let me know. That usually means news is coming— Syracuse Hockey (@syrhockey) April 12, 2018
Erik Cernak and Jonne Tammela spent the day at the interactive amusement park WonderWorks in Destiny USA in their jerseys!
WE HAVE A KARAOKE BATTLE CHAMPION! It’s exactly who you’d expect.
The bracket, for posterity:
Thank you to everyone who voted and participated this season!— x - Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 12, 2018
Now, what’s next…? pic.twitter.com/21Pgyuiwhu
And the Crunch put together a Twitter Moments with all the videos in one place! So considerate of them!
Nazem Kadri and Tommy Wingels get together again, and Wingels goes down hard for the second time this period. He’s slower getting up after this hit, when Kadri skated in and put Wingels through the boards after he hits Mitch Marner in the head with his shoulder. The play was as Wingels was on his knees so the hit was more butt to head than anything else.
Kadri is given a five minute major for charging and is ejected from the game for the hit with a ten minute misconduct.
Full sequence on the Wingels-Kadri incident. Wingels catches Marner up high, but no excuse for the Kadri hit. Gotta be a suspension pic.twitter.com/EEKeUd6t2z— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2018
Brad Marchand continued his....special style of play.
Brad Marchand out here licking dudes pic.twitter.com/jiJ2NxbmmZ— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2018
The Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets played to a close 4-3 final where the Blue Jackets came out on top in overtime. Once again, there was a really dirty hit in this game. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
Columbus third-line forward Josh Anderson put a bad hit on Michal Kempny in the first period. It was late (the puck was gone) and in the numbers (Kempny’s face hit the glass). It was a well-earned five-minute major, and the rulebook is not ambiguous about what happens when this kind of hit results in. Kempny did not return. We do not know his status yet.
Play opened up somewhat midway through the 2nd, with each team pouncing on loose pucks in the neutral zone and carrying with speed in the zone. For the Preds, this led to a power play chance on a slashing call. It only took 10 seconds for Craig Smith to tie the game, finding himself all alone in front and putting one high on Bernier’s glove side.
Filip Forsberg out here snatching lives pic.twitter.com/APBHTVdXNC— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 13, 2018
The San Jose Sharks came out swimmingly against the Anaheim Ducks — honestly, what else would you expect when a shark meets a duck? — chomping down on a 1-0 series lead with a 3-0 victory. [Fear the Fin]
Several individuals predicted that this series and by extension this game would look relatively even. Indeed, the Sharks and Ducks exhibit relatively similar possession values…through the first period. Immediately prior to the first Sharks goal, their corsi immediately ramps up and stays appreciably higher than the Ducks’ for the remainder of the game.
Oh, and Drew Doughty got suspended one game for this hit on William Carrier. [Dept Player Safety]
Highlight of the Night: Artemi Panarin’s overtime winner!