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Tampa Bay Lightning Game Two Of Their Playoff Series Standout Performances

A few Tampa Bay Lightning players stepped up yesterday in game two. However, the Lightning fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2 in overtime to continue their 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff run. Today, we will look at three standout players from the previous game for the Bolts. Minimal players stood out in an underwhelming effort for the Bolts.

Three Standout Performers for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One

Andrei Vasilevskiy (G)

Andrei Vasilevskiy was head and shoulders the first star for the Lightning. The team left him out to dry, allowing the Panthers to dominate at even strength. Vasilevskiy deserved a better result for his effort in game two. Goaltending was the X-Factor for the Lightning heading into the series, and Vasilevskiy gave the Bolts his best. The “Big Cat” posted a 1.82 goals saved above expected (GSAx) in game two. We saw vintage Vasilevskiy in goal for the Lightning last night, as he stopped 34 of 37 shots he faced for a .919 save percentage. The Russian netminder must continue his elite play if the Lightning plan to pull off a comeback against the Panthers.

Brayden Point (C)

The Lightning top line found themselves on the scoresheet at even strength in game two. Brayden Point tallied a goal in front of the net to spark the comeback to force overtime in game two. Moreover, Point registered two high-danger shot attempts of his own. The Canadian forward was one of two Lightning players to finish above 50% in their on-ice expected goal share. Point ranked second on the team, controlling 50.54% of the expected goal share at 5v5 (50.54 xGF%). Tampa Bay must lean on their superstars to make a comeback against a dangerous Florida team. Point and his linemate Nikita Kucherov must fill the net in game three if the Lightning plan to stand a chance.

Darren Raddysh (D)

Darren Raddysh continues to fly under the radar amongst Lightning fans this season. Head Coach Jon Cooper found a gem in Raddysh, Victor Hedman‘s new defence partner on the top pairing. In addition, Raddysh signed for the next two seasons at $975,000 per year, a steal of a contract for a cap-strapped team in Tampa Bay. Raddysh dominated the quality of scoring chances when on the ice in game two. He led the Lightning in on-ice expected goal share, controlling 52.47% of the expected goals (xGF%) via Natural Stat Trick. After a mediocre game, Hedman and Raddysh rebounded with a solid performance in game two. We anticipate the top pairing for the Bolts to keep Florida off the scoresheet at even strength.

Reflection and Game Three Preview

Outside the top line on offence and defence, the Lightning failed to grab at least one win in Sunrise. Maxwell Crozier played solid in his National Hockey League playoff debut, but does Tampa Bay have what it takes to come back in a series against a deep Panthers roster? Luckily, the Bolts head back to Amalie Arena for two home games to try to even up the series. The Lightning have a fantastic record on home ice, so we anticipate they will take advantage with the fans behind them. 

Game one of this series saw the Lightning sustain solid pressure against a dominant Panthers roster. In game two, we saw an improvement in transition for the Bolts, but this improvement cost them offensive zone time. The best power play in the league notched one goal on six attempts in game two, so there may need to be adjustments on special teams. Furthermore, the Lightning must find a way to solve Sergei Bobrovsky, a brick wall in the net for the Panthers. Tampa Bay must reset and get back to work at practice before Thursday’s showdown.

Raw stats via NaturalStatTrick and MoneyPuck

Main photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports


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