With the Eastern Conference Semifinals games starting Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., let us take a look at five reasons why the Tampa Bay Lightning should advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
1) Resting and Waiting
Unlike the Islanders the Lightning have been resting and waiting since April 22nd. This allows Anton Stralman to continue to heal from his broken leg. The chances that he is able to play is better than round one but he is still doubtful. Many of the team including Tyler Johnson, Ryan Callahan, Cedric Paquette, and Victor Headman have been bruised and needed the extra rest.
2) Jonathan Drouin
Drouin made waves in the Lightning organization this season but with his recent performances in the postseason he is looking for a fresh start. His forechecking and defensive presence helped Tampa beat Detroit 4-1 in the first round to secure their spot in the semifinals. Drouin played in all five games for the Lightning recording four points on four assists.
3) Ben Bishop and Tampa’s Penalty Killers
Ben Bishop has started where he left off last postseason when he lead this team to the Stanley Cup Finals. Bishop has stopped 152 of 160 shots in the first round of the playoffs including the 1-0 shutout win in game five to finish off the series. He holds a 2.08 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in 30 career postseason games. The penalty killers have kept the Lightning in games as well. Tampa was 24 of 25 in penalty kills which included a few long five on three opportunities.
4) Nikita Kucherov
Nikita Kucherov was all over the place in the first round. Kucherov has accounted for eight points with five goals and three assists in five games. Nikita was apart of last seasons 2015 playoff run and knows that he must step up and play in the absence of Steven Stamkos. Stamkos is still out after having surgery for a blood clot in his shoulder.
5) The Triplets
The final reason that the Lightning will beat the Islanders is The Triplets. The Triplets consisted of Johnson, Kucherov, and Alex Killorn. Through the first two games of the first round the Triplets outscored Detroit with seven goals and racked up a total of 15 points. Through the series the Triplets have scored 10 goals, 10 assists, and 20 points.
These are just a few reasons why the Tampa Bay Lightning should advance to the Semi-Finals and continue their run in the postseason. Bishop stays healthy and is able to get some big saves at key times and the Triplets continue to produce and play Lightning hockey. Tampa Bay Lightning win 4-2 in the series.
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