The Tampa Bay Lightning claim the second spot in the Semi Finals after shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes at home. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 29 shots and received quite the praise from Carolina coach, Rod Brind’Amor.
The Carolina Hurricanes biggest problem throughout the series was the amount of penalties they took. Their penalty was exposed by Tampa Bay. The Lightning struck 8 times on the power play through six games.
Brayden Point scored the first goal of the night on the power play. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov were credited with the assists. Point leads the team in scoring with 8 goals.
Ross Colton, who spent quite some time with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse Crunch scored the game winning goal. This is his first career playoff run. Through 11 games he has scored 3 goals and tallied 1 assist. He is one of two players who was not on the Stanley Cup team last season.
Carolina won the division but what Tampa did not have was their not so secret weapon, Kucherov. He missed the regular season do to recovering from hip surgery. Hip surgery is something that takes quite some time to heal. We’ve seen players rush back after surgery and end up re-injured. While holding Kucherov out was also to circumvent the cap, it is also still very legal. Kucherov currently has 5 goals through the postseason.
The Carolina Hurricanes have had quite the playoff run these last few years. In 2019, Carolina made the playoffs for the first time in years and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. They were swept by the Boston Bruins and have yet to have a deep run since. They have the right pieces but have yet to find the best formulation for complete success.
Tampa Bay will go on to play the winner of the New York Islanders Boston Bruins series. New York could advance tonight unless Boston forces a game 7.