Eight to two. EIGHT TO TWO. The Tampa Bay Lightning laid the smack down on the New York Islanders last night in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final. It started from the second shift of the game with Brayden Point making an absolute power forward move across the front of the net to tuck the puck in. The Islanders answered pretty quickly with a power play goal to tie the game, but it was all Lightning the rest of the way.
With such a dominating win, I don’t have a whole lot to talk about in this game. It almost feels like a game where you should take it and throw it away. Forget about it. Go into the next game and treat it like it never happened. The biggest thing the Lightning need to do is to continue to play with a chip on their shoulder. Forget that they were dominating. But go out there and do it again and again and again.
What I will talk about is the dominating performance by the first line. Along the way, they broke some Lightning franchise records and approached a couple others. It was amazing to watch, and it was clear that the Islanders were pretty demoralized by how the first line was seemingly able to do whatever they wanted and score at will.
So, here’s the different franchise records that they broke last night.
- With five points, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point both set a new franchise record for points in a playoff game. The previous record was four, and was held by Vincent Lecavalier (2011), Tyler Johnson (2016), Brayden Point (2018), and Nikita Kucherov (2020).
- With four assists, Nikita Kucherov set a new franchise record for assists in a playoff game. Three assists had been accomplished 12 times previously. Kucherov had done it four times, Martin St. Louis twice. Brayden Point, Freddy Modin, Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne, and Jonathan Drouin had each done it once.
- With three assists, Kevin Shattenkirk set a new franchise record for assists by a defenseman in a playoff game. Two assists had been recorded by a defenseman 17 times previously, including by Shattenkirk on August 31st against the Boston Bruins. Victor Hedman has had two assists in eight games (including last night). Nikita Nesterov and Paul Ranger both had two such games, while Dan Boyle, Eric Brewer, Filip Kuba, Ryan McDonagh, and Mikhail Sergachev have had two assists once each.
- With his goal, Nikita Kucherov broke his tie with Martin St. Louis for the Lightning career playoff goals record. He now has 34 in his career.
- With his two power play assists, Nikita Kucherov has tied Steven Stamkos for the franchise career playoffs lead for power play points with 28.
- With his four assists, Nikita Kucherov has passed Victor Hedman for the franchise career assists lead. He now has 48 assists to Hedman’s 47.
- With his four assists, Nikita Kucherov has broken the Lightning franchise record for assists in a single playoffs. The previous record was 15, held by Martin St. Louis set in 2004.
Records (and milestones) Being Approached
The Lightning have already had some other records broken earlier in the postseason. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have any more records, or milestones, being approached.
- With his five points, Point has moved into a tie for 3rd most by a Lightning player in a single playoffs. He ties Tyler Johnson’s 23 points accomplished in 2015. With his five points, Nikita Kucherov moves into a tie with himself for fifth with 22 points. Both are chasing down Brad Richards (26 points in 2004) and Martin St. Louis (24 points in 2004) for the single season playoff record for the franchise.
- Victor Hedman is just two games away from being the first Lightning player to reach 100 games played in the playoffs with the franchise.
- Brayden Point has tied Freddy Modin and Ondrej Palat for 11th most goals in a single playoffs by a Lightning player with eight goals. The franchise record is 13, set by Tyler Johnson in 2015.
- Brayden Point’s even strength goal moved him into a tie for 5th with Tyler Johnson (2016), Nikita Kucherov (2015), Vincent Lecavalier (2004), and Ruslan Fedotenko (2004) for most even strength goals in a single playoffs. The record is 10 set by Tyler Johnson in 2015.
- Kucherov’s two power play points moves him into a tie for 12th with six other players for most power play points in a single playoffs with six points. The record is 12, held by Brad Richards (2004) and Steven Stamkos (2018).
TB went 58:53 without missing the net. First (and only) miss with 67 seconds to go (Paquette).— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 8, 2020
Yup. You heard that right. The Lightning missed the net exactly one time all game and it came right at the end!
Look at that little blue number next to Brayden Point’s name under the column that says game score... 6.19. Now, look below and see how close that was to being in the top 10 for the season.
It was a record-setting night all around for the Lightning. Now they need to move on from it and focus on winning Game Two.