Tampa Bay Sports Day

McDonald: Lightning Fail To Strike In Game 1


This wasn’t the way the Lightning wanted to start the second round. Coming out flat against the New York Islanders, they looked flat in the first two periods and only got everything started after the Isles mounted a 4-1 lead going into the third.

“I don’t know if it’s the days off. I think our bodies feel good and everything,” said center Tyler Johnson. “I think it is a different series and a different team we are going against. I think there was a lot more time and space than what we realized at the beginning, and we were trying to rush things too much. And when we were doing that we weren’t executing.”

Isles now have the upper hand. However, the Lighting are the Eastern Conference Champs and they have a high skill level.

And if you remember, they had the same effort against the Rangers last year in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and went on to win that series in seven games.

“Obviously not the start we want, but at the same time we have been in this situation before,” said Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. “We know we have to bounce back from this. Obviously the first two periods are something we have to clean up. In the third you know we played a lot better. We had opportunities and chances to tie it up, but we put ourselves into a big hole tonight and going into the third like that it is tough to get back from, but we almost got there.”

Game 1 also could have gone the other way.  If it wasn’t for the 33 save effort by Thomas Greiss, Tampa Bay could have come back in game .

However, the Isles were able to hold off the barrage.

“We would of loved to sustain a little longer, but they are a skilled team and they made a strong push to get their defense up on the play,” said Isles captain John Tavares. “We know they are going to respond, so we have to come out on Saturday with an even better effort.”

But it’s a series and the Lightning know there’s six more games to go. The club needs to come out with some desperation to win Game 2 and then come to Brooklyn and steal a win at the Barclays Center.

We are just getting started.