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Lightning Round: So it’ll be Carolina

The ‘Canes held off the upstart Predators and will meet the Lightning in the second round.

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Nashville put a little scare into the Carolina Hurricanes in their first round series, but thanks to Sebastian Aho’s offense, the ‘Canes moved on. They will be the opponents for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. The former Southeast Division foes have never met in the playoffs.

During the 2020-21 regular season the two teams met 8 times with the Lightning posting a 4-3-0-1 record. The Bolts scored 17 goals while conceding 18 to the ‘Canes. Expect a close, low-scoring series. One thing that’s unlikely to happen is a goalie controversy. Alex Nedeljkovic played every minute of the team’s opening round.

We’ll have more details about the match-up later this week.

Lightning Links

Clutch Performances were the key to the win

It was the core of the team that propelled the Lightning to a Game Six win, and a series victory over the Florida Panthers. Matt shares his thoughts about the series overall.

Lightning raise attendance capacity for Round Two

After having 9,000 fans at each of the three home games in the first round, the Bolts announced that they will allow 13,500, or roughly 70% of the maximum capacity. It should be a raucous crowd for Games 3 and 4. Tickets should go on sale around noon today for the general public.

Synergy. Kucherov and Point have it

When Kucherov is in the line-up there just seems to be an extra jump in Brayden Point’s step. They just seem to click when they’re on the ice together.

Want to feel old?

Lucas, son of Marty, St. Louis was drafted by Dubuque in the USHL draft. Lucas’ older brother, Ryan, is currently playing for the USNT and is committed to Northeastern University.

NHL News

The Columbus Blue Jackets coaching vacancy

Some familiar names are popping up in the search for the next Blue Jackets coach. Gerard Gallant, David Quinn, Brad Larsen, and Rick Tocchet have all been confirmed by The Athletic as having an initial interview for the open spot.

Owen Power tops the list

The Lightning don’t have a pick in the first round so it’s unlikely they’re paying too much attention to these rankings, but it’s still nice to see who they could have drafted if they had a horrible season. Michigan defenseman Owen Power tops the latest North American skater rankings.

NHL announces schedule of the first games of the second round

The leagues isn’t waiting around for actual opponents. Whoever wins the Vegas/Minnesota game tonight will be right back on the ice on Sunday. Colorado will host them at 8:00pm EST.

The Bruins and the Islanders will kick off the second round on Saturday at 8:00pm EST. Expect the league to announce the Lightning’s first game sometime today. I’m betting on Monday.

Yesterday’s Games

Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

Toronto leads series 3-2

Joel Armia scored twice in the first period to give Montreal the early lead while Jake Muzzin scored twice in the third period to tie it up. Nick Suzuki (with an assist to Cole Caufield) ended it in overtime just 51 seconds into the bonus period. Toronto has two more shots to win their first playoff series since 2004.

Hurricanes 4, Predators 3 (OT)

Carolina wins series 4-2

Carolina wins the series thanks to Sebastian Aho’s tip-in just a minute into overtime. Guess nobody wanted an all night hockey extravaganza. It was Aho’s second goal of the game and fifth of the series. Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves for the win.

Today’s Games

Wild at Golden Knights, 9:00pm EST, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN, ATTSN-RM, BSN

Series tied at 3.

The first Game Seven of the playoffs should be pretty exciting. No one really expected the series to go this far, and the Golden Knights will be relying on Marc-Andre Fleury to bail them out and avoid the upset.