TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — It’s nice to play neatly, even higher to win.
That’s how the Tampa Bay Lightning view a 2-0 collection lead over the New Jersey Devils.
“As a coach, you care about everything. You’d like to say you played the perfect game, but somebody else has a vote out there,” trainer Jon Cooper stated Saturday after a Five-Three victory in Game 2 of the first-round matchup.
“When we wake up tomorrow, you look back and say: ‘OK, which parts of the game did we do well.’ And we’ll be able to look at a lot of that tape and say we did really well. And we’ll look at some and say that wasn’t so good,” Cooper added. “I’m pretty sure New Jersey is going to do the exact same thing. It’s the playoffs. There’s going to be battles, there’s going to be swings of momentum, but the big thing for me is who won the game.”
Alex Killorn scored two times right through a four-goal moment era, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 photographs within the ultimate era to carry off the pesky Devils.
“We did bend a little bit in the third but didn’t break, so it’s a good feeling to be up 2-0,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman stated. “You’ve got to win the game. That’s the bottom line.”
The Atlantic Division champions scored 3 times in a 2:47 span in the second one era, and the reeling Devils pulled goalie Keith Kinkaid after Killorn’s 1/3 target in two video games made it Five-1 with 6:48 closing within the era.
Kinkaid, whose stellar play since January helped New Jersey end sturdy and declare its first playoff berth since 2012, yielded 5 targets on 15 photographs.
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson additionally scored for Tampa Bay, which is up 2-0 within the collection after going Zero-2-1 in opposition to the Devils right through the common season.
Game Three is Monday night time in Newark, New Jersey.
The Devils have performed neatly in spurts, overcoming gradual begins to stay each video games fascinating.
“There’s a lot of good things in our game to like,” Devils main scorer Taylor Hall stated. “It’s a long series. They still have to win two more to put us out, and we’re going to battle on home ice to get that back.”
Devils trainer John Hynes echoed that sentiment.
“We have to embrace the fact that we’re down 2-0,” Hynes stated. “What I mean by that is we can say we had strong pushes in certain things, but I think we did take a step tonight. We have to win one game. We’ve got to play good once, and we’ve got to have that on Monday.”
Vasilevskiy stopped 41 photographs, whilst proscribing the Devils to rookie Nico Hischier’s unassisted target within the opening era and Sami Vatanen’s 6th occupation playoff target past due in the second one prior to Blake Coleman’s third-period tally trimmed Tampa Bay’s result in Five-Three with 8 mins left.
Goalie Cory Schneider got here off the bench to lend a hand the Devils keep within the sport with 10 saves, 9 within the ultimate era.
Hynes wasn’t able to talk about whether or not he’ll trade beginning goaltenders for the following sport. Kinkaid used to be a large a part of New Jersey’s luck after Schneider went down with groin and hip accidents in January, incomes the correct to start out his first playoff collection.
“I thought Cory came in and played really well,” Hynes stated. “I’m not going to speculate on whether we’re going to use him or not use him.”
Five avid gamers scored within the Lightning’s Five-2 victory in Game 1, with simply one of the vital targets coming from the staff’s most sensible line of Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and J.T. Miller — Kucherov’s empty-netter with a little bit over a minute closing.
Tampa Bay’s moment and 1/3 strains as soon as once more did many of the harm, with Point scoring at 12:15 of the 1st era and Killorn, Johnson and Kucherov including targets right through a three-minute stretch of the second one to construct a Four-1 lead.
Both of Killorn’s targets got here on energy performs. Kucherov’s moment of the collection deflected off Vatanen’s stick into New Jersey’s web.
Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 photographs within the opener and used to be remarkable once more Saturday. New Jersey outshot the Lightning 44-25, together with 19-Nine over the general 20 mins.
“We did a great job in the third period. Too little, too late, but I think we showed fight,” Schneider stated. “It is what it is. They’re a good team at home. They protected home ice and now we have to try to go back and do the same in our building.”
Notes: Hirschier used to be New Jersey’s second-leading scorer right through the common season with 52 issues, 41 fewer than Hall. At 19 years, 100 days, he was the youngest participant in franchise historical past to attain a playoff target. … Lightning RW Ryan Callahan left the sport past due in the second one era with an higher frame damage and didn’t go back. … Kucherov, Tampa Bay’s main scorer this season, has 46 issues (24 targets, 22 assists) in 47 occupation playoff video games.
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