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Lightning Round: GAME THREE NIGHT

High event or low event, neither has worked for New York.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Two
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 09: Luke Schenn #2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders fight during the second period at Rogers Place on September 09, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After a dominant first win and a “gutty” second victory, the Tampa Bay Lightning are apparently on the verge of falling on their face, according to New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz.

The Islanders were nowhere in Game 1. They gooned up Game 2, trying to make it a close game on luck that they’ve done for so long, but lost that way too. I really wonder what Barry thinks is going to give his team the upper hand in Game 3?

In terms of goaltending, Andrei Vasilevskiy has out-classed both Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov in the two games so far and throughout the whole playoffs. Defensively, the Lightning have prevented more shots against and blocked more shots that were heading to the goal. Even potentially without Brayden Point and Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Anthony Cirelli, and Tampa’s tenacious third line have provided the offense needed to keep the scoring going.

I’m really excited to see the Triplets Line renewed in a new form. With Kucherov becoming a superstar and Ondrej Palat having a re-hot playoffs likely flanking either Anthony Cirelli or with their original pivot in Tyler Johnson.

I don’t believe in jinxes, but I do believe this team is damn good and astonishingly well-rounded. They can play fast, they can grind you down, they can command the game, they can play whatever way you want. They’re gutsy on defense, they’re vicious on offense, and they’ve done it all without their captain in Steven Stamkos and possibly moving forward without their Conn Smythe prince, Brayden Point.

Yesterday’s Game

Dallas Stars 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (OT) — DAL leads 2-1
Alexander Radulov won the game early in overtime after a slow start turned into a flurry of goals in the third period. Robin Lehner was in the net for Vegas and took the loss with 20 saves on 23 shots, while Anton Khudobin earned the win stopping 38 of 40 shots. [Recap]

“The playoffs at this stage of the game are a war. Physically taxing, with time and space hard to come by. Nothing is given, everything must be earned. The Dallas Stars learned the hard way in Game 2 that their effort level wasn’t enough. It can be forgiven if anyone watching began to wonder if the Knights were about to assert themselves in this series.”

Today’s Game

Tampa Bay Lightning “@” New York Islanders — TBL leads 2-0
8pm ET — USA, CBC, SN, TVAS

Just a reminder that tonight’s game will be on USA. Our preview will be coming later this morning and will have updates on injuries and lineups.

Lightning Links

Alex Killorn was suspended for one game and will miss Game 3 after receiving supplemental discipline for a hit on Brock Nelson. Not that his hit was innocent, but I’m shocked (not really) how other hits in these playoffs that have been worse haven’t gotten any attention from DoPS. [Raw Charge]

“This marks two seasons in a row where a Lightning player has stepped over the boundaries of what is permissible on the ice. Last year Nikita Kucherov was suspended one game for his over-the-top boarding of Columbus Blue Jacket Markus Nutivaara.”

Yesterday’s Morning After Thoughts had Matthew talking about how the Lightning have developed a breadth of playing styles that have helped them thrive in the playoffs. [Raw Charge]

“In a season like no other in recent memory, this Tampa Bay Lightning team continues to shed the labels thrust upon them from the failures of playoffs past. They’re too soft, they’re not mean enough, they can’t win in the playoffs when adversity strikes, and they’re a mentally weak team under Jon Cooper.

This team, this organization, has grown sick of those labels and it appears as though they’re on a mission to prove everyone wrong this year.”

Sean Couturier won the regular season Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward, a worthy winner. Anthony Cirelli was fourth in points after voting, with Brayden Point in the top-10, and Blake Coleman also getting votes.

“At least 17 NHL teams have reduced pay amid COVID-19 crunch” [TSN]

“Six of the seven Canadian clubs have reduced the pay of staff members, including team presidents, general managers and coaches, team and league sources have told TSN. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the lone Canadian club to not reduce pay for staff to date. In all, at least 17 NHL clubs have reduced pay to hockey operations department staff members.”

Fenton and Son(s) is heading to Florida, sponsored by Nepotism Inc. Looking at the drafting records for both “executives” shows mediocre abilities at, with Paul serving as the worst GM in living memory. Paranoia, micromanaging, troubled analysis. Florida is surely bound for success...