Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: FLA Live Arena
Broadcast Information: TNT, CBC, TVAS, SN
Opponent SBNation Site: Litterbox Cats
After beating the Florida Panthers in Game One, the Tampa Bay Lightning took a lead in a series for the first time this playoffs. A road victory allows them to feel more confident with two home games ahead of them. Historically, the Lightning are 12-2 after taking a 1-0 lead in the playoffs and have never lost a second round series under Jon Cooper.
The Lightning took advantage over the Panthers’ special units in the first game, which have been quite atrocious the whole playoffs. The Panthers are 0-21 on the power play this playoffs — a very strange record for a team, which was top-5 in point percentage over the regular season. Their penalty kill isn’t much better either as they’ve allowed at least one goal on penalty kill in every game this playoff season. This is a big disadvantage against such a lethal power play as the Lightning’s.
At 5-on-5, however, the Lightning weren’t that dominant and was outplayed by the opponent. Most of the Lightning’s lines finished the game under water in both CF% and xGF%. Especially dominant was the Barkov’s line, which had an impressive 82.35 xGF% at 5-on-5 in this game. The 5-on-5 performance was an issue against the Toronto Maple Leafs too, but the Lightning managed to elevate their game by the end of the series. The Lightning was also left without much choice with Brayden Point’s absence, who has proven to be very effective against Auston Matthews at 5-on-5 in the first round.
Meanwhile Jon Cooper already confirmed that Point will miss tonight’s game too. He hasn’t played since the first period of Game 7 in Toronto and is officially in day-to-day category. Erik Cernak, who left the previous game early after blocking a shot, participated in yesterday’s practice and according to Cooper should be ready for the next game. As well as Zach Bogosian, who missed yesterday’s practice. Riley Nash skated on the wing with Patrick Maroon and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, but the Lightning very likely will keep a 11/7 combination for this game too.
Florida Panthers Potential Lines
Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Claude Giroux
Jonathan Huberdeau - Sam Bennett - Anthony Duclair
Noel Acciari - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart
Ryan Lomberg - Eetu Luostarinen - Patric Hornqvist
Ben Chiarot - Aaron Ekblad
Gus Forsling - MacKenzie Weegar
Brandon Montour - Radko Gudas
Based on practices.
Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines
Steven Stamkos - Anthony Cirelli - Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Nick Paul - Alex Killorn
Brandon Hagel - Ross Colton - Corey Perry
Patrick Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh - Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote