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Lightning Round: Adjustments Tampa Bay needs to make after Game 1

Three blowouts and the Oilers just being themselves to open the playoffs

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game One
TORONTO, ON - MAY 2: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game One of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 2, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Forgetting what last night’s blowout loss turned into, the Tampa Bay Lightning have some very specific and important areas of their game that they need to fix if they’re going to win this first round series.

First things first is the power play. The Leafs penalty kill is highly lauded, but it’s not perfect. There are ways to beat it and the Lightning need to both find them as well as find the urgency needed to capitalize on as many chances as possible. The Bolts had a lot of time on the power play last night and they did little to nothing with it.

The second thing is to go back to what’s made them successful over the years: take care of things in their own zone and work out from there. The Leafs got a few freebies to help pad their lead, namely the goals from Matthews and Marner.

Finally, the line has been drawn with penalties and the Lightning are losing the special teams battle badly. Allowing 5v3s and shorthanded goals are just asking for trouble and are easy to fix with a little more self-control and discipline.

No more behind the play cross-checks either. Dumb penalties on the whole just cannot happen.

This team isn’t what they showed in Game 1. It would’ve been nice to see some of that pushback (not with fists) in the first game, but coming out on Wednesday with that effort will have to do.

Last Night’s Results

Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0 over Tampa Bay Lightning - TOR up 1-0
Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 over Boston Bruins — CAR up 1-0
St. Louis Blues 4-0 over Minnesota Wild — STL up 1-0
Los Angeles Kings 4-3 over Edmonton Oilers — LAK up 1-0

Tonight’s Games

Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers
Series tied 0-0, 7:00pm, ESPN, CBC
Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers
Series tied 0-0, 7:30pm, ESPN2, SN360
Nashville Predators @ Colorado Avalanche
Series tied 0-0, 9:30pm, ESPN, SN360
Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames
Series tied 0-0, 10:00pm, ESPN2, CBC

Here are some high/low lights from each game. First, Marner’s goal.

This was a clever goal from behind the net by Vincent Trocheck.

The Minnesota Wild also got blown out in their first game against St. Louis. Wild captain, Jared Spurgeon, did this in the third period.

The Edmonton Oilers out-played the LA Kings but lost Game 1 by a score of 4-3 because of huge gaffs and weak goals against by Mike Smith in the Oilers net.

The Oilers couldn’t win despite Connor McDavid doing this, and Leon Draisaitl scoring too.