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Quick Strikes: GAME DAY! Tampa Bay Lightning recall Matthew Peca from Syracuse Crunch

The Bolts

Remember Brayden Point’s beautiful goal in game two between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils?

Yeah, that.

Want to know how he did it? Well, you’re in luck. JustinG. broke it down frame by frame for you and it’s so much more pretty when you see the nuances of the play. [Raw Charge]

Johnson’s clearing attempt is successful in the sense that it got the puck away from the Devil’s two greatest offensive threats. It is not one-hundred percent successful because the puck is bouncing wildly as it crossed center ice. Ryan McDonagh, who appears to be heading toward the bench for a change of his own, is in the vicinity to play it. This is where things go a little sideways.

Nikita Kucherov is a man of many talents and is quietly one of the most brilliant thinkers we have in this game. He reveals some of his secrets including an incredible story from Russia. [New York Times] (I know what you’re thinking. NYT? Really? Really!)

Unlike many magicians, Kucherov has no problem with revealing his secrets.

“When you pull it back on your forehand, you kind of make a move like you’re shooting,” he said. “When you pull it back, the goalie’s already on his knees, and when you go around him, that makes him think you’re going to your backhand. While they’re pushing from their left leg to their right, they open up space between the stick and the left pad.”

That damn Alex Killorn, he’s at it again. [Tampa Bay Times]

“I don’t know,” Killorn said. “I think playoffs is more of an emotional game. It’s easier to get into the games. It’s just a one-game mentality. You’re not too worried about the series or the next (opponent), you’re just worried about the next game. I think that mind-set helps me play my best hockey.”

Could we see Cory Schneider in the net for the Devils on Monday? It appears to be a possibility that the Devils have explored, decided on, and are not revealing. [NHL dot com]

“We have a lot of confidence in both goalies; who is playing net is the least of our worries right now,” Taylor Hall said. “Obviously, Keith down the stretch for us was great and Cory had his times this year as well. I think [Schneider’s] close to kind of breaking out and if he is given a chance, personally, I’d have a lot of confidence in him. But we have to play better in front of our goalies.”

It’s relatively easy for good teams to win games at home,  But it’s winning on the road that makes teams serious Stanley Cup contenders. Can the Lightning do it? [Tampa Bay Times]

If I were Cooper, I’d have my team watching tape of the last 10 minutes of Game 2, when the Devils were all over the Lightning. It can happen. It can happen Monday night. This can become a series just like that.

Put them away. Do it Monday night.

You really want to be outshot 44-25 again?

At the enemy camp, it looks like head coach John Hynes is ready to make some lineup changes to better take advantage of home ice. [North Jersey]

“We’re a team, we need to play as a group,” Hynes said. “We can’t have passengers, we can’t have guys not necessarily playing as hard as they need to in the competitive areas of the game. That’s what makes us a good team. We feel like if we make a couple changes and put some guys in there who are hungry and who sat out and don’t want to be in the stands and they’re going to play in those areas, then we’re going to be a better team.”

The Prospects

The Tampa Bay Lightning have called up Matthew Peca from the Syracuse Crunch in response to Ryan Callahan going down in game two. [Syracuse]

Peca, 24, skated in 10 games with the Lightning during the regular season, posting two goals and five points to go along with a plus-6 rating. Peca has appeared in 20 career NHL games, all with the Bolts over the past two seasons, notching three goals and seven points.

With 100 points in the bank after 76 games, the Syracuse Crunch have officially broken their franchise record for the points percentage in a season! For a team half-filled with rookies who we predicted to more likely take a step back than forward, this is a pretty damn good result.

Along with losing Peca, the Crunch have also made the following roster moves. Matthew Spencer has been sent down to the ECHL Adirondack Thunder along with Shane Conacher and Olivier Mantha. Ben Wilson has been released from his PTO and will most likely report to the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. [Syracuse Crunch]

Spencer, 21, appeared in 39 games with the Crunch this season, posting five points (1g, 4a). He also played in 14 games with the Thunder tallying two goals and one assist. Spencer skated in 60 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League last season, recording seven goals and 29 points to go along with 60 penalty minutes.

The Game

The Washington Capitals blew a lead late and lost their second consecutive game in overtime… at home. Which is a record, by the way. They also lost Andre Burakovsky. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Braden Holtby relieved Philipp Grubauer for the final frame of regulation. The Caps put up a mighty and desperate effort to come back, but it took a gift of many late power plays and one nifty shot from TJ Oshie for them to tie it late. The inspirational comeback was all for naught. Matt Calvert won it 5-4 in overtime.

This Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia series is determined to only be decided in blowout victories. Penguins win game three 5-1. Take a 2-1 series lead and lead the aggregate score-line 13-6. [Pensburgh]

Murray was great early on and had a savvy little move too, to buy the Pens some time. On Giroux’s penalty Crosby and Hornqvist had a long shift leading up to that. Murray went to the bench in the stoppage to get his skate worked on, getting a longer breather for the guys. Ironically it didn’t matter too much and Crosby changed early anyways which put Brassard on the ice and he scored a goal to make it 2-0, but it’s the little things.

In a shocker, the Minnesota Wild took game three over the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 6-2 at home to bring the series back to 2-1 in favour of the Jets. [Hockey Wilderness]

Minnesota, with the win, now has the chance to even the series on Tuesday night. You can expect a better effort from Winnipeg as they will get their full normal routine. The Jets had trouble getting into the Twin Cities yesterday when all flights were canceled at MSP International during a blizzard that hit the area. They got into town around midday and did not have their morning skate.

The Vegas Golden Knights continue to roll, beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 to take a 3-0 series lead! Could this be our first sweep of the playoffs? [Knights on Ice]

It’s still just so hard to fathom. The Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team, have taken 3-0 lead in the first round of the playoffs. Over the Los Angeles Kings. A formidable team to say the least. A team with two Stanley Cups in the past six years, who have retained most of their core. The Golden Knights are making them look silly so far in this series.

Highlight of the Night: Oh, Phil.

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