Tampa Bay Lightning Put Florida Panthers on Brink of Elimination

The Tampa Bay Lightning take commanding 3-1 lead in this first round series with a 6-2 win over the Florida Panthers today.

The officials lost control of this one. My buddy and I were texting during the game and he called it that things were going to get out of hand.

There was a line brawl with three minutes remaining in the game. That is what the game and series has come to. You can see it here.

It started with about nine minutes remaining in the game when Nikita Kucherov took a cheap shot from Anthony Duclair, as Duclair slashed Kucherov well behind the play in the back of the knee (where’s there no padding). You can see the play here.

Then, Mikhail Sergachev was knocked off his edges and hit his head against the boards after a hit late by Patric Hornqvist. You can see that play here. I would have to imagine Sergachev will have to clear concussion protocol after that.

Alex Killorn said in a promo for the Panthers series, “We don’t like them.” I have to imagine it’s risen to hate by now.

The Lightning jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 7:24 of the game. The Panthers cut it to 2-1 with 11:11 left in the first period.

When the game was 2-1, Andrei Vasilevskiy made some huge saves for Tampa Bay that kept it at 2-1. If he doesn’t come up big, this game very well could have had a different outcome.

Tampa Bay went up 3-1 with 3:15 left in the first period and were never really threatened on the scoreboard after that.

Victor Hedman postgame talked about the Anthony Duclair slash of Nikita Kucherov: “You can tell from the reaction from our bench that it’s not the cleanest play. But it’s out of my reach and we can’t do anything about it now. If it was dirty, we know we have people looking at it.”

Up Next:

Game 5 from Sunrise will be on Monday, May 24th. Game time is set for 7:00 PM (Central Time) and will be televised on CNBC.

I imagine it’ll be a chippy game. Tampa Bay needs to finish it off on Monday.

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