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The Lightning won the second-round NHL playoff series game, 4-1, and three of their four goals came on the power play. Tampa Bay was 3-for-6 on the power play through the night and killed three of Florida’s power plays. Corey Perry, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton converted on the penalty.
Jan Rutta of the Lightning pursues Panthers’ Sam Reinhart as he attempts to pass during in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the FLA Live Arena on May 17, 2022, in Sunrise, Florida. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Florida interim coach Andrew Brunette addressed the struggles. He said he thought his team did well in 5-on-5 scenarios but couldn’t come up with opportune penalty kills.
“We did a lot of good things 5-on-5. Special teams and the faceoffs were the difference,” Brunette said, via the Sun-Sentinel.
The Panthers’ one score was also a bit surprising. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 33 saves and only allowed one goal.
“I was happy with our game. It’s just the little things in the game, and that’s why they’ve won a couple of Cups,” Brunette added.
Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette watches Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff game on May 17, 2022, in Sunrise, Florida. (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Florida’s power-play struggles were evident in their series win against the Washington Capitals. The team was 0-for-18 on power-play chances in the first-round series.
“Part of our game plan was to stay out of the box,” Panthers winger Anthony Duclair said. “Their power play has been lethal.”
Duclair got the Panthers on the board first.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a stop against the Florida Panthers Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Sunrise, Florida. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
It’s the second consecutive season the Lightning and Panthers are meeting in the playoffs. Tampa Bay won the series, 4-2, last year. The Lightning and Panthers were 2-2 in their four matchups during the regular season.
Tampa Bay won Game 1 last year 5-4 and would eventually take a 2-0 lead back home.
Game 2 is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.