TAMPA, Fla. - Tuesday morning started with thunder and lightning rumbling through the Bay Area – which fans are hoping is a sign of things to come as the Bolts head into their second game for the semifinals.
The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in a position they haven’t been during this year’s playoffs – that’s trailing in a series. The Bolts are looking to bounce back Tuesday night after dropping Game 1 of the semifinals against the New York Islanders. The last time the Lightning lost a Game 1 in a playoff series was last year’s Stanley Cup Final. In the end, they went on to win it all.
The Lightning are 21-7-0 at home. Tampa Bay is 10th in the NHL averaging 5.3 assists per game, led by Victor Hedman with 0.7. The Islanders have gone 11-13-4 away from home. New York averages just 2.7 penalties per game, the fewest in the NHL. Ross Johnston leads them averaging 0.7.
Victor Hedman leads the Lightning with 36 assists and has 45 points this season. Brayden Point has seven goals and three assists over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.
Brock Nelson leads the Islanders with 18 goals and has 33 points. Kyle Palmieri has five goals and two assists over the last 10 games for New York.
The optional morning skate on Monday was a little light on attendance with most of the players opting to use the time to watch gape tape and break down what the breakdown was from Game 1.
The deeper into the playoffs, the smaller the margin of error. Jon Cooper said the team just needs to refocus on what got them there in the first place.
"Managing the puck isn’t going to guarantee we are going to win the game. We have a recipe. We didn’t follow the directions," Cooper said Monday. "What turned out, didn’t look to good. We know we can do better."
The Islanders may have landed the first blow, but the series is just getting started.
Game 2 starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday inside Amalie Arena.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.