Ramblings: Lightning, Blues Win; Reflecting on Game 1 of the Battle of Alberta (May 20)

Ian Gooding

2022-05-20

The two visiting teams both came up victorious in Game 2s on Thursday. Let's break down what happened.

Lightning 2, Panthers 1 (Lightning lead series 2-0)

This game was about to go to overtime, and then just like that it didn't. Ross Colton scored with just 3.8 seconds left in regulation to secure Tampa wins in their first two road games.

The behind-the-back pass from Nikita Kucherov to Colton was sublime, but the main point of discussion will be how both Panthers defensemen were behind the net eyeing Kucherov while Colton was able to score unimpeded. The Lightning might be considered worn out and injured, yet they continue to find ways to win with their fourth consecutive victory in the playoffs. The Bolts as a team blocked 24 shots on Thursday, including 15 in the third period alone.

The Lightning were once again without Brayden Point for Game 2, opting to use 11 forwards and seven defensemen. This is a practice that seems to be used more often these days.

Since the Lightning haven't been considered a top-tier Stanley Cup favorite this season, we may now be finally truly appreciating Andrei Vasilevskiy for what he's worth. The Bolts netminder stopped 36 of 37 shots in registering his fourth consecutive win and third consecutive quality start. Vasilevskiy has allowed just one goal in each of his last three games, forcing some potent offenses in Toronto and Florida to dry up. His save percentages over those three games are .968, .971, and .973.  

One of the most surprising stats of the playoffs: The Panthers are the only playoff team that has yet to score a power-play goal in the playoffs. After going 0-for-4 in Game 2, the Panthers power play is now 0-for-25 and counting. This was a team that had the fifth-best power play during the regular season (24.4%), so la