Tampa Bay Lightning Close Out Series Against Hurricanes
The Tampa Bay Lightning closed out their series in spectacular fashion and are moving closer and closer to defending their title. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brayden Point and Ross Colton starred in their 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Vasilevskiy was especially crucial, as the goalie posted his third straight shutout in a series-clinching victory.
The game was an even fight until the second period when Point’s power-play goal put Tampa Bay up. Colton scored in the third period and that was all the cushion the defending champions needed. That was more than enough for Vasilevskiy, who finished with 29 saves and stumped the homesteading Hurricanes for the third time in as many series games at PNC Arena.
Point summed up nicely how the team was feeling. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in our group,” Point said. “I thought we had a pretty good regular season where we were kind of building to this… Yeah, it’s just a belief in our group. We’ve got four lines and all the D and great goaltending. So we just feel confident.”
The craziest thing about the game was that it could have been an even bigger blowout. The Lightning nearly added another goal when captain Steven Stamkos scored a buzzer-beater, but a review determined the puck didn’t cross the goal line in time.
The Hurricanes could seemingly never cease momentum or make the big play and their captain Jordan Staal recognized the outstanding play of Valsilevskiy. “He made some big saves, timely saves,” he said. “Good goaltenders do that. He did a good job of not letting us get some momentum and get the crowd into it.”
The next matchup the Lightning have will be with the New York Islanders, who come in after closing out their series against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. The Islanders have been the underdog in every series they’ve been in thus far and managed to surprise teams anyways, meaning this series will certainly be competitive and not a runaway for either side.