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NHL Playoff Game Day: 4-21-18 Devils at Lightning

Workmanlike Lightning dominate their way to the second round.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

NJ-1
TB-3

Tampa Bay Wins the Series 4-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. He could've been out there in a lawn chair for half of this game, but remained razor sharp when the time came to dial up a situational save. He looks ready for the heavy lifting to come.

First Period
8:07 TB Sergachev (1), (Cirelli)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
12:27 TB Kucherov (5), (Stralman, Stamkos)
17:00 NJ Maroon (1), (Palmieri, Butcher)
19:58 TB Callahan (1), (McDonagh)(EN)

Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and third stars. Cory Schneider got the second star in defeat for standing on his head just to give the Devils a chance. There was an appreciable difference in quality once the Devils made the switch from Kinkaid in this series. Tampa Bay probably scores five or six goals in this game if not for Schneider's heroics.

That's how you eliminate a team. The Lightning put the hammer down and dominated about 50 of 60 minutes in this game to build a 38-27 shot advantage and eventually the 3-1 victory. They left no doubt who the better team was or who wanted it more. The Lightning just kept grinding on the Devils in waves. Good habits all over the rink. Good habits all over this series. The challenges are going to get a lot bigger in subsequent rounds, but this series against the Devils was a good way to get ready for those challenges.

Someone tell NBCSN that Taylor Hall isn't Jesus and that maybe they might want to spend a second or two talking about dude who had 2 points a game in the series (Kucherov).

Contrary to Brian Boyle's admonitions, not only is Mikhail Sergachev still alive at the end of this series, but he obviously had a key goal in the clincher. Devils fans should feel stupid for trying to portray Boyle as Hannibal Lecter in skates. Honest player. Not a killer. And, Sergachev's no punk.

Anthony Cirelli had a helper and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 hits. He was also 60% on 10 draws and the coaching staff threw him out with about a minute to go protecting a one goal lead in a series clincher. Respect.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.