Ramblings: Bolts Face Habs for the Cup, Caufield’s Value, Vegas Falls Short (June 26)

Ian Gooding

2021-06-26

There was only one goal scored in Game 7 between the Islanders and Lightning, but those types of games turn out to be nailbiters instead of snoozefests when there's so much on the line. In the end, Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't make any mistakes, making 18 saves in the 1-0 shutout win for Tampa Bay. Vasilevskiy now has four shutouts in this season's playoffs and five shutouts in his last 19 playoff games. He’s also building his reputation as a clutch playoff goalie, as the Bolts have now clinched four consecutive series wins by way of a Vasilevskiy shutout.

The game's only goal was scored by Yanni Gourde, a shorthanded goal less than two minutes into the second period. The goal was Gourde's third in his last five games. He also led the Bolts with five shots in this game. He's been more noticeable lately, taking 12 shots over his last three games.

After missing the morning skate, Nikita Kucherov was able to suit up for this game. Kucherov didn't seem like a huge presence in this game, taking two shots. As a game-time decision, Kucherov was probably in a lot of pain from what was rumored to be a rib injury from the cross-check he took from Scott Mayfield in Game 6. His presence alone likely gave the Bolts a lift for Game 7. Consider him questionable for Game 1 of the Cup final on Monday, since I'd be willing to guess that he wouldn't have played if the Lightning's season wasn't on the line.

Erik Cernak also returned for Game 7 after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury. He logged just under 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Brayden Point goal streak ended at nine games. He falls just one goal shy of Reggie Leach's all-time record. Still, this is an impressive run for Point. He still leads all playoff goal scorers with 14 goals, six ahead of teammate Alex Killorn, Nathan MacKinnon, and Brad Marchand.

The Lightning heavily outshot the Islanders over the first two periods by a total of 27-11. The Islanders were able to get a few mor