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Quick Strikes: Another Lightning loss, even more demoralizing than the last

But Carter Verhaeghe sets a new franchise scoring record in Syracuse.

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Scott Thomas Photography

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost another game to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets took a 3-0 lead 1:28 into the second period and, unlike their opponent couple of days ago, the Bolts couldn’t salvage the game. Mikhail Sergachev scored the only goal for the Lightning tonight. It’s 2-0 in the series and the teams are moving to the Nationwide Arena.

Matt is trying to understand why it happened and find reasons to be optimistic in his recap [Raw Charge]

There’s a reason it’s a best of seven series. The series shifts to Columbus on Sunday. The Lightning are essentially in a do or die situation. Coming back from a 2-0 deficit is much better than a 3-0 deficit. It’s the first real adversity they’ve faced this season, they better act like it come game time. Let’s remember that Columbus had Washington down 2-0 in the first round last year and the Caps managed to come back. The Lightning are more than talented enough to do it, but talent alone isn’t going to win this series—get to work.

Steven Stamkos’ words about this frustrating loss:

Jon Cooper calls this situation as a “five-alarm fire“ but shows his faith in the team.

Nikita Kucherov got a game misconduct penalty for his hit on Markus Nutivaara and will face a hearing and possible suspension tomorrow.

The Toronto Maple LeafsNazem Kadri got a three-games suspension for a similar hit one year ago. We’ll see for how long Kucherov will be punished.

The Lightning defense hasn’t been solid lately and Alan discusses what could be the best option for the team [Raw Charge]

Once Stralman returns, the coaches will have a more difficult decision. He and Girardi seem to be at similar points in their careers. Veteran players with something to offer but who need to play with a strong player and have their minutes managed. If you ask my personal opinion, I’d like to see him come in for Girardi but I can’t make a strenuous argument to that effect and Girardi is equally deserving if not more based on the evidence.

The Athletic’s Joe Smith wrote about John Tortorella’s motivational secrets which definitely have already helped the Blue Jackets to take a 2-0 lead [The Athletic, paid content]

The way Tortorella has navigated this crazy Columbus season has some thinking this might be his best coaching job yet. There’s the off-ice drama surrounding the team’s two biggest stars, winger Artemi Panarin and Bobrovsky, who will be unrestricted free agents this summer and could be playing their final games as Blue Jackets. Tortorella and his staff handled the potential drama head-on, having a meeting with the entire team at the beginning of the year.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Laval Rocket and earned their 46th win of the season.

Carter Verhaeghe established a new franchise record for the most points in a single season. He also leads the AHL with 34 goals.

The Orlando Solar Bears have tied their series with South Carolina Stingrays after a 3-2 win.

The Playoffs

The New York Islanders overcame the Pittsburgh Penguins and took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since the 1983 Stanley Cup final against the Edmonton Oilers. Jordan Eberle scored twice and Matt Barzal added two assists.

The St. Louis Blues have become the third team tonight with a 2-0 advantage over their opponent in the first round after another victory against the Winnipeg Jets. Ryan O’Reilly scored the game-winning goal in the third period.

Patrik Laine has goals in back-to-back games but it hasn’t helped so far

The Game

The Woman’s World Championship is getting closer to its final. The two semifinals games will be played on a Saturday. Team USA will face Team Russia and Team Canada is going to play against Team Finland.