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Lightning Round: Reactions from Tampa Bay’s 8-2 win over New York

It was a jaw on the floor and hands in the air kind of night.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 07: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders allows a goal to Yanni Gourde (not pictured) of the Tampa Bay Lightning as Scott Mayfield #24 gets tripped up during the third period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on September 07, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Well that was one heck of a way to start the Conference Final! The Tampa Bay Lightning are up 1-0 in their ECF series with the New York Islanders after an unbelievable 8-2 win in Game 1. Only three more wins to go. There was a lot to digest after the blowout win. I broke it down into a series of tweets. Enjoy!

Shots! Shots! Shots Shots Shots! ... EVERYBODY!

Let’s start here. In case you missed it on the broadcast, the Tampa Bay Lightning hit the net on every single shot attempt that wasn’t blocked in this game — except for one by Cedric Paquette with 1:07 left in the game when the two sides were just throwing pucks around to kill time. An incredible stat: 47 shot attempts, 34 on goal, 12 blocked, one miss.

You can pretty much watch the whole game here in this six minute video produced at Sportsnet by our amazing writer, Lauren Kelly. It has every shot by the Bolts — except one!

Goals! Goals! Goals Goals Goals! ... EVERYBODY!

In the playoffs, the Islanders have averaged fewer than two goals against per game. They gave up four times that tonight. In their first round series against the Washington Capitals, the Islanders allowed only eight goals total to the former Stanley Cup Champions. Guess how many goals the Lightning scored today?

Brayden Point (Conn Smythe Winner Elect)

What can we say about Brayden Point that hasn’t already been said?

Never been prouder of a home grown Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick.

There has been no one in the same ballpark as Point in these playoffs. Apart from maybe is linemates Nikita Kucherov.

Nikita Kucherov

And for the Kuch? You gotta be kidding me.

Dropping Records

Here are all the records the Lightning destroyed in this game:

  • Brayden Point: Tied Franchise Record for Most Points in Single Playoffs (23, tied with Tyler Johnson in 2015) ... and counting!
  • Nikita Kucherov: Franchise Record for Assists in a Playoff Game (4)
  • Nikita Kucherov: All-Time Franchise Playoffs Goals Leader (34)
  • Ondrej Palat: Longest Franchise Playoffs Goal Streak (5)
  • Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov: Franchise Record for Points in a Playoff Game (5)
  • Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov: Sixth set of teammates to each have 15+ assists through 14 playoff games in NHL history.

Personal Highlights

Even though he didn’t really need to do much, Andrei Vasilevskiy maintained his incredible standard of goalkeeping in this game, stopping 97.1% of the shots he faced, including this beauty split save.

The game already looked over at this point, but the combination of the lifeless Islanders looking like they had finally caught a break, getting close to scoring themselves, only for the buzzer to go off late for the other guys was completely hilarious. The Bolts jumping around and hi-fiving was great as well. The Islanders don’t deserve our pity. If they didn’t want to get embarrassed, they should’ve played better and maybe kept John Tavares.

Yesterday’s Game

Tampa Bay Lightning 8, New York Islanders 2 — TBL leads 1-0
Oh, I never get tired of that. [Recap]

Tampa Bay’s aggression and speed were apparent from puck drop as the Gourde line pinned the Islanders in the offensive zone immediately. Then, right as New York thought the pressure was lessening on a line change Brayden Point decided to remind New York that they haven’t dealt with a player like him before.

Today’s Game

Dallas Stars “@” Vegas Golden Knights — DAL leads 1-0
8pm ET — NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS

Lightning Links

If you missed Point’s game-opening goal, you can find it in our highlight article! [Raw Charge]

“Point shields him off (despite giving up about 50 lbs.) and uses his momentum to spin the defender off of him. Now he has a choice, jam a pass to Ondrej Palat in front of the net or try and slide between Griess and defender Adam Pelech. He chooses the latter option and is able to beat Greiss to the far post and poke the puck into the back of the net.”

Here is our full recap, written by Matthew. I have a feeling he had a lot of fun writing it. [Raw Charge]

“As much as the NBCSN made excuses for the Islanders being “tired”, Tampa Bay was just the better team through and through tonight. New York hasn’t played a team as talented or deep as Tampa Bay this postseason and it was apparent in this game. Still, the Islanders did make it to the conference final for a reason and they’re bound to bounce back stronger in Game 2. It’s just a matter of how the Lightning will approach Wednesday’s game when the Islanders come roaring back.”

“Well Rested, Not Rusty” as Bryan Burns described the Bolts demolishing of the Islanders in his 3 Things. [NHL dot com]

“There was plenty to like about Tampa Bay’s game in the ECF opener. Brayden Point (2 goals, 3 assists) and Nikita Kucherov (goal, 4 assists) each tallied five points to share a new Lightning benchmark for most points in a playoff game. Their linemate Ondrej Palat kept his goal streak going, extending it to five games and setting another Lightning record for longest postseason goal run.”

Chris Johnston wrote about Pointer, laying the case for his Conn Smythe bid. [Sportsnet]

“Point now sits second on the NHL’s playoff scoring charts with 23 points in 14 games this summer — a ridiculous rate of 1.64 per night. He had a massive performance during Tampa’s 2018 run to the conference final but has taken it to another level in the summer of 2020.

In many ways, he was built for a moment like this.”