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Quick Strikes: Will Tyler Johnson play today?

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The biggest question going into tonight’s playoff match is TyJo’s health.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) skates to the bench after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of game one of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning stud Andrei Vasilevskiy has been named one of the three finalists for the George Vezina trophy, awarded to the top goaltender in the league that season. Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets have also bee voted as finalists. [Raw Charge]

The offseason saw countless articles wondering whether Vasy could backstop what was poised to be a top-tier team in the league for an entire season (not us). Some questioned whether he had the ability to step into Ben Bishop’s enormous shoes, especially to replicate play that Bishop earned by experience, and to sustain what he’s been able to do for a full season.

Tyler Johnson took a “maintenance” day at practice according to the Lightning. Coach Jon Cooper later said that he hopes Johnson will be ready to play and that Ryan Callahan is “Probably. Probably not.” going to play in game 4. [Tampa Bay Times]

Miller needed one stitch to close a cut on his lip and six on the inside of his check and six on the outside. They were administered between periods, and finished, Miller said, with two minutes remaining in the intermission. He returned to the ice and resume his shift on the power play, which is what he was doing when he was injured.

Heading into game 4, the Lightning need to shake off their poor performance in game 3 and rebound in order to come home with a chance at finishing off the New Jersey Devils. [NHL dot com]

“We still feel like we’re in a good spot in the series,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said following the Bolts’ practice Tuesday at Prudential Center. “What happened in the third period is stuff that we can control. They made some plays ultimately in those situations, but we keep ourselves within our system and playing the right way, we feel we’ve got a good chance.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena are hosting a part-time job fair TODAY (Wednesday) from 3pm to 6pm! [WFLA]

The Lightning and Amalie Arena will be hiring for a number of positions, including parking attendants, event security, the community hockey street team, housekeeping, guest services, conversion, concessions, retail and more.

All candidates are asked to dress professionally and bring five copies of their resume, along with written references.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch played a lot of call-ups during the last few games of the season, resting the regulars in preparation for a back-to-back playoff run. Read more in Justin’s Crunch Corner. [Raw Charge]

Coach Groulx took the prudent route by resting the bulk of his everyday starters. It was an exhausting run down the stretch for the Crunch, and with a young team it was a good call to give them a long period of rest before they start the grind of the playoffs. Playing two more games wouldn’t have benefited them, and could only have held the potential for injury.

Alex Barré-Boulet’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada are heading to round three with their 4-1 series victory over the Moncton Wildcats. [NHL dot com]

Barré-Boulet did not play in the final game of their series vs. Moncton. Despite being held to just six games through two series, he is still third on the team in scoring with 13 points and is second in goals with eight.

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are on their way to the third round of the OHL playoffs after an insane 9-7 victory over the Owen Sound Attack. Boris Katchouk scored a hat-trick!! [boxscore]

Erik Condra didn’t think his Syracuse Crunch would be in the playoffs. But here they are. [Syracuse]

“I’ll be honest with you. When I was sitting in the stands for the first 25 games, I didn’t think we’d be sitting here today heading into the first round of the playoffs, let alone a second seed and setting the record for Crunch (points) percentage,’’ Condra said Tuesday.

The Game

The Calgary Flames have fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistants Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard. [Sportsnet]

“Accountability lies with all of us,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said at a hastily-called news conference at Scotiabank Saddledome. “As a manager I lead that charge. Our hockey staff leads that charge and also our players. When you make a decision (like) I made today, there is lots of blame to go around.”

“I think having experience in this league is critical,” Treliving said.

On the back of Marc-Andre Fleury’s 31-save shutout, the Vegas Golden Knights are the first NHL expansion team to ever sweep another team in the first round of playoffs. What a Cinderella story for Vegas’s hometown boys. But how do you have a sophomore season that beats this one? [NHL.com]

”It’s been incredible,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s two good teams, and I guess basically we got a little bit more puck luck than they did and we cashed in at the right times.”

The Washington Capitals gutted out their first win of the series, a 3-2 double overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in order to stave off elimination in the next game. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

The Washington freaking Capitals done did it again. Honestly. This stupid team. They got the lead, they lost the lead, they got the lead, they lost the lead, then overtime, then double overtime, then – in a twist – they won!

Connor Hellebuyck gets his first NHL playoff shutout in the Jets’ 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild in game 4 of their series. Winnipeg now flies home to try and end the Wild’s season in game 5 in Manitoba. [Sportsnet]

“It definitely added a little more hop to my step,” he said of the nomination, alongside Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. “It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it, but I have to dial it back in. We’re here to do a job. We’re here to win a Stanley Cup. I have to worry about that first.”

Highlight of the Night: one of many for Hellebuyck.