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Lightning Round: Ondrej Palat sets record for most game-winning goals in Lightning postseason history

He has a nice even 10 of them right now (but the Lightning wouldn’t mind a couple more this week).

New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Admit it. You thought yesterday’s game was going to overtime, didn’t you? Nothing to be ashamed of, even I was looking up the Lightning’s record in playoff overtime games and dreading the fact that it could be another five-OT game. Thankfully, Ondrej Palat made sure everyone got home at a reasonable hour thanks to his goal with 42 seconds left in regulation.

For Palat, it was the 43rd goal of his playoff career and the 10th career game-winning goal in the postseason. Coming into the night he was tied with former Triplets linemate Tyler Johnson at nine. The list of Palat’s game-winners in reverse chronological order:

10: 2022 - Game Three against New York Rangers (3-2 Final)

9: 2021 - Game Four against the Florida Panthers (6-2 Final)

8: 2021 - Game Two against the Florida Panthers (3-1 Final)

7: 2020 - Game Four against the New York Islanders (4-1 Final)

6: 2020 - Game Three against the Boston Bruins (3-1 Final)

5: 2020 - Game Two against the Boston Bruins (4-3 OT Final)

4: 2018 - Game Three against the Boston Bruins (4-1 Final)

3: 2018 - Game Two against the Boston Bruins (4-2 Final)

2: 2016 - Game One against the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1 Final)

1: 2016 - Game Four against the Detroit Red Wings (3-2 Final)

Man, he really likes beating the Boston Bruins (future cries when the Bruins sign him this summer). Yesterday’s goal may have been the biggest game-winner of his postseason career as it changes the narrative of the series. Instead of the potential of the Lightning being down 3-0 and having to win 4 straight games, they are now one solid game from tying up the series.

Prolonging this series benefits the Lightning. In Toronto they played better as the series wore on. The same for the Florida series (even if they only needed four games). As a veteran team, the more the Lightning see another team, the better they can adjust to their style of play to match.

One win doesn’t matter unless the Lightning follow up with the same effort on Tuesday. Despite dramatically outplaying the Rangers at 5v5 it still took 51 shots and two more power play goals to win. At this point the Lightning have only beaten Igor Shesterkin three times at even-strength play in this series. Their other four goals have come with an extra skater.

Still, a little seed of doubt has been planted. That’s a start.

Lightning / NHL News

Lightning win Game Three at home [Raw Charge]

Down 2-0 things looked a little bleak, but a Nikita Kucherov power play goal sparked the team and the crowd. Palat sent them home happy.

Lightning outlast Rangers in Game Three [ESPN]

Kudos to Steven Stamkos for playing off the #NoQuitInNY social media campaign with his “no quit in our group” quote following the game.

Net front play, running goalies, and best-actor performances [Tampa Bay Times]

Former Bolt (and current Rangers head coach) Gerard Gallant wasn’t happy with his goaltender getting knocked down a couple of times and plans to talk to the officiating supervisor (former goalie Kay Whitmore) about it. Not sure what the supervisor is going to do about it - both Corey Perry and Riley Nash were whistled for their infractions. So was Frank Vatrano who ran into Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Evander Kane suspended one game for boarding Kadri [Mile High Hockey]

Did he deserve it? Yup. Should he have gotten more? Probably. Will it matter? Probably not.

Patrice Bergeron wins record-setting 5th Selke Trophy [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Without a doubt the least-surprising announcement in the NHL awards season. Bergeron had one of the best defensive seasons of his career for the Boston Bruins and won in a landslide (1,798 points compared to the 878 for second-place Elias Lindholm. Want an even crazier Bergeron/Selke stat?

Just rename the award after him before he retires (he is a pending UFA this summer) so that he can be awarded a trophy with his name on it.

Anthony Cirelli finished 5th in voting.

Every Team’s Best Late Round Pick [The Hockey News]

It only seems fitting on the day that 7th-round pick Ondrej Palat was the hero that The Hockey News ran this post. Yes, Palat was their choice for the Lightning. He’s not the only current member of the Lightning on this list, though. Patrick Maroon (Round 6, 2007) was their selection for the Philadelphia Flyers. Don’t remember him as a Flyer? That’s because he never suited up for them. He was traded to the Anaheim Ducks with David Laliberte in 2010 for Rob Bordson and Danny Syvret. All four players played for the Syracuse Crunch at one time in their careers.

Snippets from the NHL Scouting Combine [Die by the Blade]

Some future late round picks are working out in Buffalo and the team over at DBTB put together some quotes from the players. Marek Hejduk, son of former Colorado Avalanche forward Milan, with the quote of the day:

“They mentioned my dad & the silvery they had but I think I’m not too worried about him. My dad might be if I get drafted by the Red Wings, it might take him some time to get over that, but I think he’d be proud of me regardless.”

Enjoy the off day, folks. The sun shines a little brighter when the Lightning win, doesn’t it?