Lightning admits mistakes in Game 1 loss to Islanders
The Tampa Bay Lightning are not looking for answers or soul-searching after losing Game 1 to the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup semifinals on Sunday.
They know why they lost 2-1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa to fall behind in the Top 7 series.
Their management of the puck was bad, the decision making was not good. It wasn’t characteristic of the way they played as they beat the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It didn’t help this goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed a goal on an undisputed 48-foot shot with no traffic in front of him, a rarity for the Vezina Trophy finalist.
“Our work ethic was there, our competition was there, our spirits were not there,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “Some of our decisions were bad. That’s what’s happening. You go so deep into the playoffs, there are only four teams left, you have to make it all work in unison, and we weren’t quite at it. done there tonight. “
The Lightning is confident they’ll know how to fix it ahead of Game 2 at Tampa Bay on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Video: Varlamov and Islanders push back Lightning for Game 1 win
They think it’s similar to what they experienced twice in the playoffs last season, when they lost Game 1 to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference second round and to the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final.
They won the next four games against the Bruins to win the series. They won the next three games against the Stars before winning the Stanley Cup in Game 6.
“Sometimes it’s mouthwatering you want to try to put on something you see an open guy but you have to be disciplined and know that they have great defensive players and they keep everything on the outside” , said the defender Ryan mcdonagh mentionned. “So a lot of times you just have to drive the pucks deep and get to our bike set and get a few shots and a scrambling game, that’s when he maybe opens up. a sewing pass here or there. Too often we’ve mishandled the puck with it on our stick. We’ll look into that and keep working to get a higher percentage. “
One of the turnovers burned them for a purpose.
Before Steven stamkos had two chances to get the puck deep from the right place in the Islanders’ zone in the second period. New York defender Nick leddy drunk his first attempt. Stamkos recovered the puck but played it in the middle of the ice.
Islanders ahead Josh bailey took it off and hit the center Matthieu barzal with an expandable pass. Barzal stepped on the Lightning defender Jan Rutta and scored for a 1-0 lead at 12:32 of the second period.
“I’m just trying to play there and you can see what can happen, they can go the other way around and that can make a difference in a game,” Stamkos said. “I have to be better in this situation. I think our team realizes how patient we have to be.”
Stamkos’ gift was one of the Tampa Bay Seven. New York had one.
Islanders Defender Ryan pulockThe right point shot beat Vasilevskiy at 5:36 of the third period to a 2-0 lead.
“We just made too many mistakes, unforced mistakes,” Cooper said. “Managing the puck is an important thing against this team. They handled it better than us and got an extra break.
The Lightning said they have to do a better job taking what the Islanders give them in Game 2. That means more chipping and chasing than playmaking.
“It’s a very well structured team and they are very competitive, but you know what, if they have a good structure you just put behind them,” said the forward. Alex killorn mentionned. “We are a very good chess team before and at times when their [defensemen] the sag seems like a good opportunity to carry the puck. But if we stick to what got us here and understand what our strengths are, that is, failure before, you’ll be fine. “
Even though they are handling the puck well, Killorn said the Lightning can’t expect to generate the peak chances they’ve had against the Panthers and Hurricanes in this series due to sagging defensemen. Islanders.
“When teams escalate, that’s when you can crush them and create 2-on-1, create 3-on-2,” Killorn said. “There won’t be a ton of that in this series. But there were some positives once we got into the zone. There are things that we can enjoy in terms of playing in the attacking zone.”
Only if they make better decisions with the puck.
“When we do that, I think our game will improve,” Cooper said.