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  • Writer's pictureBob Malandro

Tampa Bay Lightning.. 3-peat potential?

For all of my NHL followers out there, everyone knows about the iconic back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As we begin the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the New York Rangers, there's a lot of debate circling which team will be the one to advance. On June 2 the Lightning had a rough start to the series with a 6-2 loss against the Rangers. However, here is exactly why despite the outcome of game 1, it does not define what to expect for the rest of the series.

Igor Shesterkin and Andrei Vasilevskiy are labeled the two best goalies in the league.

Vasilevskiy, who allowed only three goals total in Tampa’s four-game sweep of the high-scoring Florida Panthers in the second round, made 34 saves during Wednesday's game.

Tampa Bay had not played since May 23 and that either meant they were going onto the ice rusty or rested. Sit down and grab your favorite snack and drink because they're just getting warmed up. With Braden Point being ruled out for the series against the Rangers, the Lightning need to work together offensively to keep the puck out of our zone. That was one of the biggest takeaways from game 1, the Rangers worked every angle offensively and came out ready to play against the back-to-back cup champions.

However, the Rangers haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2017. Florida and Toronto were heavyweights and the Lightning beat them with their experience. The Rangers aren’t quite at that level and have a lack of experience that may slow them down in this series. The main distinction between the two teams is that the Lightning are fast-paced, that will continue to put pucks into the net, while the Rangers are a considered a slow-paced team, looking for those perfect opportunities before shooting the puck. Both concepts work, but being aggressive in the playoffs is what will win you games.

With game 1 complete, lot's of NHL fans are shifting their predictions to the Rangers being the ones to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. This is a great opportunity for the Lightning to not only prove that they're hungry for a third cup but their playoff heat is still in them after sweeping the Panthers.

By: Madison Moore


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