It’s turning out to be a really good thing that the Lightning won Game 1 of their series with Washington because they’ll be working at quite the disadvantage in Game 2 tonight. We saw Simon Gagne leave Game 1 after hitting his head on the ice after taking a hard check and while that scene was scary, the assumption was that he’d miss some time. The same was the case for Pavel Kubina after taking a hit from Jason Chimera in Game 1 that put him out of the game.
Both of those players will be out of tonight’s Game 2 in Washington and in their place a pair of Joneses will help fill their spots as Randy Jones will slot into Kubina’s place on the blue line and Blair Jones will take Gagne’s spot. For both Randy and Blair Jones (they’re unrelated) it will be their first appearances in these playoffs.
Tampa Bay’s style is a tight-knit one that allows for holes to be filled seamlessly but clearly the Joneses are a step down from what Kubina and Gagne can bring to the lineup. Gagne’s had seven points so far in the playoffs (2 goals, 5 assists) good for fourth on the team. Thankfully for the Lightning they’ve been getting big production out of their third line with Dominic Moore and Sean Bergenheim as well as stunning production from Steve Downie. Lightning coach Guy Boucher is hopeful that both Kubina and Gagne can play in Game 3.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.