Saturday, May 21, 2016

Morniing Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 21)

Arguably, the Tampa Bay Lightning were short of playing a full 60-minute game and that nearly cost them their regulation time victory, but the 4-0 lead after two periods turned out to be enough, as they Bolts came away with a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo and they'll now return home with an even series, tied 2-2.

The Lightning were close to being without one of their top players in this one, as Tyler Johnson took a puck to the mouth in warm-ups and needed some repairs.  Fortunately for the team, he managed to get out there for puck drop with some facial protection on his helmet and go on to play an instrumental role in the win, scoring the eventual winner in the 2nd period and also adding an assist for a 3-point night.

Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov all contributed with a pair of assists each in the win as well, all becoming notable in this one.

In the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost the services of Box 21 defenseman Trevor Daley, who suffered a lower-body injury after taking a hit from Ryan Callahan in the 2nd period.  Daley was seen leaving the building on crutches and heavily bandaged, so his status for Game 5 is certainly doubtful.

Also of note, starting in net for the 3rd period for the Penguins was Marc-Andre Fleury, making his playoff debut in the Conference Finals.  The Penguins seemingly rallied around their veteran keeper, trying to push for that comeback.  Fleury made seven stops in the 3rd period, before being pulled for the extra man in the final minutes.

Now the series will shift back to Pittsburgh, the Lightning holding whatever momentum there is in the series and the Penguins will be questioned to no end about who will get the start in the swing game on Sunday.

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