Lightning fall short in entertaining goaltending duel.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 36 shots for the OT loss.
1:12 CAR Necas (1), (Staal, Hamilton)
Vasilevskiy was the game’s third star.
Carolina was down five regulars who were in the protocol and there was some question whether tonight’s game would even happen. The Lightning, for their part, keep having to stop and start their season because of their opponents’ problems in the NHL Central Division: Presented by COVID. So they looked like a team trying to knock off the rust in the First Period against a young team that skates really well and plays a good possession game. The Lightning survived because Vasilevskiy kept getting sharper as the game went on and allowed them to grow into the game in the Second Period. From there you saw an entertaining battle of surges that were held back by Vasilevskiy and Mrazek until a flat Lightning Overtime performance where they simply couldn’t get possession of the puck.
I have a hard time reading too much into it because the Lightning thus far just haven’t had the opportunity to play regularly and deserve some benefit of the doubt as they try to get into proper game conditioning and gain proper timing. Until they do, you cannot really evaluate them one way or the other. It’s frustrating, and we’re getting into a situation where the team is going to be playing games at a playoff clip every other night just to make their regular season schedule commitment.
Cal Foote played 8:55. They’re clearly limiting him because of his skating against a team like Carolina. That said, what I’ve liked about his game his past two performances has been how efficient he’s been moving the puck. He’s not putting himself in bad positions to be forechecked. He gets the puck off his stick with the simple play more often than not.
Alexander Volkov had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 8:04. Had a big chance in the Second Period he couldn’t convert on, unfortunately.