Saturday, May 14, 2016

Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 14)

Before there was any score in Game 1, it was looking like key injuries were going to be the major story, as Kris Letang was sent face-first into the boards by Ryan Callahan, less than three minutes in and then Ben Bishop left the game on a stretcher, due to a lower-body injury, 12 minutes in.  Up 1-0, just before the end of the 1st period, the Lightning also got another scare, as Tyler Johnson went to the room after an awkward hit from Chris Kunitz.

The 2nd period saw the return of both Letang and Johnson, but Bishop was not coming back any time soon.

So you'd think a major injury to your number one goalie would be very disheartening, right?  Not for the Lightning, who took that 1-0 lead after one and built on it in the 2nd, as they kept pushing through building a 3-1 lead after two,

The 3rd period had its fair share of thrills, spills and boarding calls, but nothing new on the injury front in the final frame, as the Lightning held on to that 3-1 lead, all the way through to the horn and they steal Game 1 in Pittsburgh, leading the series, 1-0.

For us poolies, it was a good night for Ondrej Palat, who scored the eventual winning goal and added an assist for a 3-point night.  Palat was taken eight times in Box 17 on the sheet, which includes our pool leader, so that didn't bode well for any comeback attempt.  Valtteri Filppula, taken four times in Box 19, added a pair of assists as well for the Lightning.

As for the injury to Bishop, the tests that came back, according to some reports, were all negative, so there is hope that he will be able to continue at some point in this series.  No one in the pool were bold enough to take the monstrous goalie, so his status will only have an effect on how far the Lightning make it... or will it?  Andrei Vasilevskiy did look pretty good in relief last night.

Now, we wait for Game 2, which doesn't go until Monday night.  It will be another 6pm MT start from Pittsburgh, as both teams get a little more rest before they go toe-to-toe again.

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