Hurricanes can make things harder for Vasilevskiy, Lightning in Game 2
Carolina Hurricanes believe they have a solid plan to get the most out of the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in the second round of the Stanley Cup.
Vasilevskiy already has the upper hand in the best-of-7 series, making 37 saves in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win in Game 1 on Sunday, and Carolina realizes they need to perform better when they host Game 2. Game Tuesday (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS).
“You just have to keep trying and keep beating the rock,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said on Monday. “Eventually you break it down. That’s the mindset you need to have.”
Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy voted NHL’s best goalie in 2019 and the Stanley Cup last season with the Lightning. He led the NHL with 31 regular season wins, a 31-10-1 record with a 2.21 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and five shutouts in 42 games, and has maintained his strong playoff game, where he is 5-2 with a 2.41 GAA, .936 save percentage and one shutout in seven games.
“He’s the best goalie in the world so we’re going to have to do some special things to get some pucks through him,” Hurricanes forward Jordan martinook mentionned. “We have to make it difficult for him, put ourselves in front of him.”
Defender Jake bean scored Carolina’s lone goal in Game 1, at 1:41 of the third period, when his power-play shot escaped Vasilevskiy as it was filtered by forwards. Jesper fast in front and Jordan staal in the upper slot.
“Look at the goal we scored; good presence in net, ”said Martinook. “We looked great, but I think we can do it a little bit more. You have to tip your cap, it’s very good. We will come back and try to throw everything we have at him, get more body in front. . That’s all we can do. “
Video: TBL @ CAR, Gm1: Bean tied just one power-play goal
Across the ice, the Hurricanes are the confident rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic can bounce back after awarding the winning goal to Lightning forward Barclay goodrow at 12:39 of the third period of match 1. It was on a shot that Nedelijkovic should have stopped, from the lower left circle which beat him on the short side.
“I talked to him [Monday] morning I told him it was okay. Defender of the Hurricanes Brady Skjei mentionned. “He’s been great all year. He’s been a stud. So we need him to keep playing the same way. His confidence is the most important thing for him. When he goes, it’s fun to watch. I know we defensemen enjoy when he’s in the net, the way he plays the puck. I think that is definitely a game-changer. So he’ll be fine. He’ll be back to his ways and we are so glad to have it. “
Nedeljkovic made 28 saves in Game 1 against the Lightning and is 4-3 with a GAA of 2.19, save percentage of .923 and a shutout in seven playoff games. He was one of three goalkeepers, with Petr Mrazek and James reimer, to play for the Hurricanes during the regular season. But he landed the No.1 role in the playoffs, when he helped Carolina defeat the Nashville Predators in six games in the first round.
“I haven’t even spoken to him,” Brind’Amour said of Nedeljkovic. “We all make mistakes, we all have things we wish we could do in return. It won’t affect how I think about him. They have a lot of confidence in him. We certainly know he is going to fight for us. and do your best. That’s all we can ask of everyone. It all depends on the next play, it’s always about how you react. “