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Old 07-29-2020, 03:05 PM
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Default NHL Exhibition Game Day: 7-29-20 Lightning v Panthers






COVID-19 pandemic or no COVID-19 pandemic...

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Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 26 shots he faced for the shutout victory. He was extremely sharp, and having a sharp goaltender might be the single most critical element a team needs for success in this bizarre postseason tournament format.

First Period
13:42 TB Point (1), (Palat, Kucherov)
19:55 TB Point (2), (Shattenkirk)

Second Period
1:53 TB Kucherov (1), (Sergachev, Point)(PP)
5:13 TB Schenn (1), (Palat, Gourde)

Third Period
9:12 TB Kucherov (2), (Point, Palat)

This game turned out to be a pretty nice tune up for the Lightning heading toward their round robin encounters against better competition. The team did look sluggish much of the First Period, with a few notable exceptions like Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde, and got into some penalty trouble which allowed Vasilevskiy to see some action early and often. Late in the period the Lightning managed to get a couple of goals against the run of play including the game opener off a pretty horrendous Panthers turnover in their own corner. There will be teachable moments on that first 20 minutes of tape, but the team wasn't made to pay and once they got the early PP marker in the Second Period the rout was on. Confidence and special teams are also at a premium in this tournament coming off a prolonged stoppage and, with the exception of some early harrowing moments on the PK, I thought the Lightning did well in those areas.

If I were a Panthers player, my morale would be in the toilet knowing the Lightning did that to my team without franchise cornerstones Stamkos and Hedman in the lineup. Just sayin'.

Mitchell Stephens had 1 shot and was 55% on 11 draws in 12:35.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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