Chillin’ with AC – JULY 1
By Andrew Cioffi
The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals 3-1 and are now heading to Montreal up 2 games to none. Following a 42 save performance from Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Bolts were able to sneak away with a win. The Canadians completely outplayed the Lightning, outshooting them 43-23, but just could find a way to put more than one past #88. Some of the saves he made were absolutely amazing and The Big Cat deserves all the credit for the win last night.
While Vasilevskiy stood on his head, Anthony Cirelli, Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat provided the offense for Bolts. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes,the Lightning struck first. Tyler Johnson made a bank pass off the boards to Cirelli at the right point and he snuck one by G Carey Price, who had to deal with traffic in front of him, and that put the Bolts up 1-0 at the 6:40 mark of the second period. Less than four minutes later, Montreal was able to capitalize on a power play to tie the game at 1. The puck went straight back to Suzuki off a Montreal face off win and he shot a backhander that trickled through Vasilevskiy’s five hole. Nearing the end of the period it seemed the teams would head into the 3rd period all tied up, but Blake Coleman had different plans.
The Lightning took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone as Goodrow chased down a loose puck and tipped it past the Habs Ben Chiarot to start a a 2-on-1 rush with Coleman. Goodrow passed the puck across to Coleman and it looked like it was just a bit out of his reach. As the clock was ticking down, #20 made a desperation dive to reach the pass and managed to get his stick on it and put it past Price with .3 of a second left in the middle period. That huge effort resulted in the Bolts going ahead 2-1 heading into the 3rd period.
The game remained very tight as Vasilevskiy continued to play his best game of the playoffs so far. The game changed again as the Canadians had a bad turnover that lead to a goal for the Bolts. Joel Edmunson decided the leave the puck behind the net without making sure he had a teammate there to get it. Palat swooped in for the loose puck and put it in the net before Price had the chance to react.
If Montreal wants any chance of winning a game in this series they have to figure out how to score on Vasilevskiy who is proving he is the best goalie in the league. They will also have to minimize their mistakes to have any chance against this high powered offensive team. At this point I don’t thing Montreal will win a game against Tampa, and the Bolts will repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. The Bolts did not play their best game and they can thank Andrei Vasilevskiy for the win.