Tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning start play in the eighth conference final in franchise history. It’s the second time they’ll take on the Rangers in this round (and the fourth time it’s been a team from New York). It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of results for them as they’ve gone 4-3 over all and 2-1 on the road. They’ve alternated wins and losses in the last six Game Ones.
There have been close games (two 2-1 losses) and blowouts. Ondrej Palat has scored in four of the five he’s appeared in and Andrei Vasilevskiy was actually pulled from one. Here they are in order:
May 8th, 2004 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Dave Andreychuk opened the scoring early in the second period, only to see Michael Handzus tie it a few minutes later. Brad Richards scored his fifth goal of the postseason with under seven minutes to go. Chris Dingman sealed it with his first career playoff goal in the third. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 19 of 20.
May 14th, 2011 at Boston Bruins
It was an offensive explosion in the first period as the Lightning scored three times in 85 seconds. Sean Bergenheim (what a run he had that year) scored first with Brett Clark doubling the lead just 19 seconds later. Teddy Purcell completed the run with a goal 1:06 after Clark’s goal. Tyler Sequin got one for Boston at the end of the period. Marc-Andre Bergeron and Simon Gagne finished off the scoring before Johnny Boychuck scored a meaningless goal at the end of the game. Dwayne Roloson finished with 31 saves as the Lightning won their eighth playoff game in a row.
May 16th, 2015 at New York Rangers
The Lightning’s undefeated streak in ECF Game One’s game to an end thanks to a third period goal from old friend Dominic Moore (who was on the 2011 team). Derek Stephen had opened the scoring late in the first period and Ondrej Palat equalized things in the third. Ben Bishop had 28 saves on 30 shots.
May 13th, 2016 at Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Lightning while Patric Honqvist tallied a power play goal for the Penguins. However, the most notable part of this game was Ben Bishop leaving with a lower-body injury and getting relieved by a young Andrei Vasilevskiy.
May 11th, 2018 vs. Washington Capitals
It was a rough start to the series as the Caps scored the first four goals. Michal Kempny, Alex Ovechkin, Jay Beagle, and Lars Eller scored for the road team. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat recorded goals in the third period to make things interesting. Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 25 before getting the third period off. Louis Domingue came in and made 7 saves in the third period.
September 7th, 2020 vs. New York Islanders
Bubble hockey! The Lightning were the “home” team in this one and broke open a 1-1 game with 5 straight goals. Brayden Point scored the first goal. Jordan Eberle tied it shortly after, but then it was Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Yanni Gourde, Point again, and Nikita Kucherov putting the Lightning ahead. Nick Leddy scored a meaningless goal before Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde finished things off. Vasilevskiy made it all the way through this one and stopped 22 of 24.
June 13th, 2021 vs. New York Islanders
Back in front of an actual home crowd, the Lightning couldn’t duplicate the offensive effort as Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock scored for New York. Brayden Point scored with just under a minute to go in the game to give the fans a little hope. Palat’s four-game Game One scoring streak was snapped. Vasilevskiy was solid with 29 saves on 31 shots.
Lightning / NHL News
These five Rangers could be trouble for the Lightning [Tampa Bay Times]
Artemi Panarin is on this list. He’s been relatively quiet this postseason, but he just seems to be primed for a breakout, especially on the power play.
Lightning vs. Rangers Series Preview [Raw Charge]
Two teams, both alike in statistics, in fair New York, where we lay our scene
Old friend McDonagh stands in the Rangers way [NY Post]
He was a Ranger the last time these two teams met in the playoffs. Now he’s on the other side, looking to block their advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Athletic’s Series Preview [The Athletic]
They actually favor the Lightning for the first time in the postseason. Not sure if that’s good or bad.
New Jersey Devils promote Meghan Duggan [ROI-NJ]
The 11-time medalist, who joined the organization a year ago, was promoted to director of player development on Tuesday.
John Wroblewski named Head Coach of 2022 USWNT [USA Hockey]
The 41-year-old former coach of the Ontario Reign has ties with USA Hockey as he was head coach of the USNTP from 2016-2020. He’ll be behind the bench for the IIHF Women’s World Championship in August.
Kent Hughes ‘very impressed’ with Shane Wright [Montreal Gazette]
That’s good news since Wright is probably going to be a key part of their upcoming rebuild.
Jordan Binnington spoke about the water bottle incident with Nazem Kadri....okay.
"It was a God-given opportunity."— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) May 31, 2022
Jordan Binnington explains what went down when he threw a water bottle at Nazem Kadri following Game 3 of the Blues-Avs series.
( : @StLouisBlues) pic.twitter.com/ZQcaNK6sv6
Last Night’s Game
Colorado Avalanche 8, Edmonton Oilers 6
Colorado leads series 1:0
Meanwhile Kadri was busy playing hockey. He was one of many players to record a goal in the first game between the Avalanche and Oilers. There were 13 different players that recorded goals (J.T. Compher was the only one to score twice) in a game that did not feature a lot of defense. Colorado may have won, but lost their goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, to an injury. Connor McDavid had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) while Nathan MacKinnon had 2 (1 goal, 1 assist).