SportsQuest for the Cup


Lightning need a big bounce back in Game 2 against Toronto

Lightning Islanders Hockey
Posted at 10:23 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 18:34:55-04

TORONTO, Ontario — If there's one thing Tampa Bay Lightning fans shouldn't do right now, it's panic; even after laying an egg in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Over the past two Stanley Cup championship seasons, Tampa Bay has lost a combined 13 playoff games. The Lightning are 13-0 after those losses!

Still, Game 1 was pretty much a disaster all around. It was the worst playoff loss for the Lightning in 26 years when they lost 6-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

"Last night was ugly, let's make no bones about it. But this isn't the first time we've lost a Game 1 and won the series, so it's not ideal, but it's not like it's uncharted waters either," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told

Part of the improvement will have to be in between the pipes. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up five goals on 32 shots a performance that is far from the dominance he's shown over the last few seasons. But the team said it has faith in the goalie.

"He (Vasilevskiy) said we have to understand what happened and to focus for the next one coming up," Lightning forward Pierre-Edourad Bellemare said.

The physicality of Game 1 will be something both teams will have to deal with heading into Wednesday's game. The first game saw 113 minutes of penalties handed out and one suspension of a Toronto player (LW Kyle Clifford).

The Lightning are underdogs in Game 2, but remember, Toronto hasn't gotten out of the first round since 2004 and hasn't won a Stanley Cup since 1967.