Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars: ROUND 4, GAME 3
Time: 8:00pm Eastern Time
Location: Rogers Place
Broadcast/Streaming: NBC, SN, TVA-S, CBC
Opponent SBNation Site: Defending Big D
Good things finally came the Lightning’s way in Game 2, as their power play broke through for two goals and they scored three goals total in a period for the first time since blowing out the New York Islanders six games ago. Hopefully that carries over for the rest of the series, because the Lightning are going to have to take advantage of every opportunity they do get.
A lineup shake-up ahead of Game 2 proved to be a wise decision for Jon Cooper, who went back to the 12-6 lineup for the first time since Game 1 of the second round. Jan Rutta, who has apparently been healthy for weeks, finally got back into the lineup as the team sat Zach Bogosian and Luke Schenn (one of which was due to health reasons). Unless something changes, I’d expect Rutta to remain in the lineup tonight.
The biggest problem with Game 2 was the Lightning continued to take unnecessary penalties (oh, how I haven’t missed you), which allowed the Stars to claw their way back into it. Yanni Gourde’s retaliatory crosscheck for a hit on Blake Coleman was a prime example of what not to do for the rest of the playoffs.
The top line continued its strong play and it remains the one bright spot for a forward group that has otherwise been neutralized by the Stars defense. The Lightning need to find a way to get scoring from their other lines, because they shouldn’t have to rely on their big guns for production.
As for Steven Stamkos, I guess we’ll have to tune in tonight to find out. A fan can hope, though. Plus, Blake Comeau left the game after a hit from Ryan McDonagh and was declared ‘unfit’ for the rest of the game, so his status is also questionable for tonight. Regardless, now that the series is tied again, the Lightning have a big opportunity to build off the last win and take control.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon - Carter Verhaeghe
Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph, Mitchell Stephens
Injured: Steven Stamkos
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark – Joe Pavelski – Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano – Jason Dickinson – Blake Comeau
Joel Kiviranta – Justin Dowling – Corey Perry
Esa Lindell – John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak – Miro Heiskanen
Joel Hanley – Andrej Sekera