It felt like Cirelli played a lot more than the 11:44 TOI he had in Wednesday’s game. With Cedric Paquette in the box for 17 minutes serving his instigator misconduct penalty, Cirelli took extra shifts in the third period with the fourth line in Paquette’s place. Cirelli averaged 14:51 TOI in five games against the New Jersey Devils, but since this series started he’s only averaged 12:10.
Alex Killorn talking about adapting to playing w/ rookie Tony Cirelli: "It's easy when you have a guy who's so defensively responsible. You don't have to worry about him on the ice. And he's a great skater. He can always put himself in good spots." #TBLvsBOS #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 3, 2018
Here’s how the Lightning have been able to improve their defense with “layered defense strategies.” [Raw Charge]
Should the Lightning be worried that Steven Stamkos isn’t scoring? [Tampa Bay Times]
Two goals in these playoffs. Both on the power play. One into an empty net. Go back further. It gets uglier. In his past 17 postseason games, he has two goals — those two that we just talked about. He has now gone 18 consecutive playoff games — and nearly three years — since he scored an even-strength goal. Few goals. Few really good chances. Too many shifts where he isn’t even noticed.
.@TBLightning captain Steven Stamkos examines the production of his line through three games in the series against the Boston Bruins as Friday's Game 4 awaits. #GoBolts #NHL pic.twitter.com/djYozbYJGu— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 3, 2018
The Bolts have always been known for their relentless forecheck, and this series is only affirming that sentiment. [NHL dot com]
Credit the Tampa Bay Lightning forecheck for frustrating Cassidy and his team and influencing a shift in momentum in the Second Round playoff series. The Lightning won Games 2 and 3, including a victory Wednesday in Boston, a city where they have just 10 wins total in 57 tries, after starting the series with a loss at home. The Bolts turned up the aggressiveness of their forecheck, causing the Bruins to spend too much time in their own zone and turn the puck over.
Jon Cooper: “The big thing is we can’t exhale because we picked up one here. This is the point in the series now where do you want to make it a best 2-of-3 or do you want to make it where you have 3 chances to knock them out?... When you have this chance, can’t let it slide.”— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 3, 2018
The Syracuse Crunch dropped game 1 against the Toronto Marlies by a score of 6-4. It was a close match the entire way, but the Marlies going 2/4 on the power play really hamstrung the Crunch. [Raw Charge]
The Syracuse Crunch kicked off the second round of the playoffs against the Toronto Marlies on Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Crunch were missing two of its biggest offensive weapons as Matthew Peca and Gabriel Dumont were both scratched with injuries. Toronto took the lead early and never gave it up in route to a 6-4 victory.
Otto Somppi made his professional hockey debut... In the playoffs, against the best regular season team in the league. Under all that pressure, he did surprisingly well, all things considered.
A trio of Lightning prospects are playing for their respective league championships over the next two weeks. May the Fourth be with you. [Raw Charge]
In the OHL Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk are looking to help the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to finally get the elusive J. Ross Robertson Trophy that has been kept out of their reach by powerhouse teams from recent years like the Mitch Marner London Knights and Connor McDavid Erie Otters.
The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (featuring Alex Barré-Boulet) begin their playoffs today, but the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (featuring Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh) played game 1 last night. Back to back goals by Raddysh and Katchouk brought the Greyhounds to overtime, but in the end, the Hamilton Bulldogs took game 1 on the road. [Bolt Prospects]
Here’s a quick recap of all the prospects who are still playing games. [NHL dot com]
The Crunch scored 18 goals in three games to sweep Rochester in the First Round … Matthew Peca leads the team with eight points in three games, tied for first overall in AHL scoring … Gabriel Dumont and Alexander Volkov share the team lead in goals with three … Peca leads with six assists … Eddie Pasquale is 2-0 with a 3.50 goals against and a .873 save percentage … Connor Ingram is 1-0 with a 3.00 goals against and a .917 save percentage
The Pittsburgh Penguins have tied their series with the Washington Capitals at two wins apiece after a 3-1 victory. Jake Guentzel scored twice, and Evgeni Malkinpotted home the game-winning goal for the win. [Pensburgh]
One guy who did have shots on goal tonight was Guentzel. 7 of em. 2 in the back of the net. Kid is just an unstoppable force of nature right now and his playoff performance when taken into context with last year is incredible. Last year he had 21 points in the playoffs, awesome for a rookie. His 13 goals lead the NHL. Well after tonight he’s matched those 21 points and has a current league-high 10 goals. The Pens are only halfway through the second round. The best of superlatives aren’t enough.
The Nashville Predators stole game 4 on the road from the Winnipeg Jets in the first game that didn’t end 7-6 OT in the series. I might be exaggerating, but this 2-1 regulation win does seem out of place, no? [On The Forecheck]
The Predators, playing a mediocre game offensively and a poor one defensively, were bailed out by their large Finnish netminder numerous times as the Predators held on to win 2-1 over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Rinne saved 32 of 33 shots, the lone goal coming in as the game died out on a 6-on-4.
Pekka Rinne is back.
So is every series going to be tied 2-2 through 4 games? *prays bolts bucks that trend*— ⚡️ ♀️Lauren Kelly ♀️⚡️ (@laurkelly24) May 4, 2018
Highlight of the Night: This goal got Marlies fans really mad, haha.