Tampa Bay Lightning Series Heads into Game 4 Against Red Wings

The Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a great start in games one and two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs beating the Detroit Red Wings in dominating fashion. In game 1 there was no love lost between these two teams as they faced each other on Rd 1 in last yrs Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Lightning winning the series 4-3 on their way to the Finals as the game got physical and physical really quick. Lightning has a persona as a soft team and the red Wings tested that theory early and often trying to out physical the Bolts but theyw here not having that. Giving it right back to them and answering the bell on their way to a 3-2 victory with Kucherov scored two goals and also assisted on another goal. Goalie Ben Bishop was stellar as he has been all season long making 34 saves on 36 shot and leading the Bolts to a Game 1 victory.

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 In game 2 The Lightning came out and played an even better game putting up 5 goals against Howard and the Red Wings. This game had a lot of action going as it got chippy at times and the Red Wings where frustrated and resulted into fighting later in the game as The goon Justin Abdelkader who seems to be the person starting all the scrums resulted to what we know hes all about. Especially what he did at the end of gm 2 to Mike Blunden punching him continuously as he laid face first on the ice. You knew going into game 3 there would be some payback. Even though they tried all the holding, clutching and grabbing they could do still wasn't enough to slow down the Lightning as that Line of Tyler Johnson (2g 2a 4pts), Alex Killorn (1g,1a 2pts) and Nikita Kucherov (1g, 1a) provided the spark to lead the Bolts to victory in game three. Notching a total of 8pts in the game and through two games that line has a total of 15pts with Tyler Johnson leading the way.

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

In game 3 back to Detroit where the Red Wings you knew would be playing for desperation facing a possible 0-3 hole if they lose this game. You knew the Lightning would have to play their best game of the series so far to have a chance to win the game and while the score was 2-0. That game could have easily been 5 or 6 goals if it wasn't for Ben Bishop play between the pipes. Stopping 30 shots and easily the best player on the ice in game 3. Lightning just didn't look like they came prepared for a desperate team. Turning the puck ober in their zone way to much and getting caught up in the extra curricular activities with the Red Wings who again where getting away with the grabbing and holding. Lightning had to Kill off 6 penalties and never truly got a change to sustain any offense only registering 16 SOG through the game. Just not enough to get it done in game 3.

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

Going into game 4 the Lightning will have to play a lot cleaner game. Be better at attacking the goalie and get some shots on net. Don't pass the puck around so much and just take the shot. Defensively they're going to have to stay under control and keep to their assignments. You're facing a team that struggles to score goals so with Ben Bishop holding them to only 2 goals a game in the first 3 games. They have to know that 3 goals pretty much wins it. Get to 3 goals and get some goals in the power play for a change.All the skilled shooters they have on that team we should be seeing way more then what we are getting out of the power play. Another things the Lightning may want to take care of is avoiding being instigated into a penalty. Don't worry about what they are doing just control what you can control and stay out of the penalty box. Detroit will come out in game 4 the same way they did in game 3 and the Tampa Bay is going to have to be ready to match it.

 

 

Some other players who I thought had a good first three games were Defenseman Victor Headman who's flashing that sign of greatness that he showed during their cup run last season. LW Johnathan Drouin even though he hasn't scored a lot of goals. What i like about him and now he's finally doing some of that dirty work that landed in on suspension this season and also a scratch in the majority of the playoff games last season. He's playing defense, playing physical and also getting in the corners and fighting for puck possession. the offense will come as long as he keeps playing the way he is and that that good thing for his growth process now especially with Stamkos being out for the foreseeable future. I thought Ryan Callahan has had a good series so far also. Doing what Callahan has made a career of and that's blocking shots and being a gritty player.

 

 

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