Tampa Bay Lightning Knock Out Carolina Hurricanes To Further Stanley Cup Playoff Push

The Tampa Bay Lightning have pushed out the Carolina Hurricanes, as the former Stanley Cup Champions look to push for a second consecutive Stanley Cup. The Lightning appeared strong, even as the Hurricanes put up a good opposition to Tampa Bay’s hefty attacking prowess.

The Lightning looked solid on both ends of the ice, with franchise goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy starting every game and backstopping a couple of victories, as well as putting up a shut-out in game five. In attack, top centerman Brayden Point made some strong showings, putting forward a fair few points for his team and never seeming shy from going to the bumper position in front of the net.

Tampa Bay’s sturdy defence was led by Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev. The two left-defensemen helped drive their lines to being some of the best in the league, with Ryan McDonough being able to slot into the second defensive line. These three defensemen could all easily make an argument for deserving the first line spot, which leads to a steady rotation that the Lightning could depend on to create chances from the point, and take back the puck in their respective defensive end.

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In a solid attacking line, even captain Steven Stamkos didn’t break into the top line, instead playing on the second line with young sensation Anthony Cirelli. The Lightning’s second line was among the top in the league, always making an impressive showing, and with many other teams, they would make an argument for being the top line rather than the second line. However, with the offensive power of Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay’s top line has had some truly spectacular displays, while creating a lot of goals.

Not ones to be left out, the Hurricanes have a lot of depth in their own respect. Carolina’s top defensive pairing of Dougie Hamilton and Jacob Slavin have been one of the best in the league for the past two seasons, having one of the highest plus-minus ratings, while taking on top-line minutes. Even more so, the hockey club’s second line features a dynamic duo of Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce, which has performed admirably this season, and made a good case for being on of the best pairing in the National Hockey League.

The Hurricanes goalies looked good, as Alex Nedeljkovic has had a great rookie season, as well as making a case for why he deserves to win the Calder Memorial Trophy. Overall, Carolina has a lot of depth to rotate through in net, with Petr Mrazek, and James Reimer making their respective cases to start in the playoffs and both being veterans to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and being accustomed to that level of play.

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Overall, each team made a truly hard fight to advance to the next round, as the Tampa Bay Lightning blasted through to the semifinals and look to continue that, solidifying their spot in the finals. The Lightning have a good chance of pushing for the cup and are prepared to square off against either the Boston Bruins or New York Islanders in the next round.

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