• Ross Colton scores in the closing seconds to break a tie to help the Tampa Bay Lightning take a 2-0 lead over the Florida Panthers.
• David Perron has another huge playoff game for the St. Louis Blues to help them get even against the Colorado Avalanche.
No Brayden Point again for the Tampa Bay Lightning again, and no problem for them again. Ross Colton scored the game-winning goal with 3.8 seconds to play in regulation, capitalizing on a brutal defensive breakdown by the Florida Panthers at the worst possible time. The Lightning took a beating all night in terms of injuries but kept on rolling and now have a commanding 2-0 series lead after taking the first two games on the road, The series now shifts back to Tampa Bay for Games 3 and 4. The Lightning are looking like a team that just simply has it once again. Especially now that starting goalie Andrei Vasilevsky is starting to find his game again.
Game 2: St. Louis Blules 4, Colorado Avalanche 1 (Series Tied 1-1)
The Colorado Avalanche were going to lose a playoff game eventually, and it happened on Thursday night after five consecutive wins to start this postseason. The Blues were significantly better than they were in Game 1 of the series earlier this week and played like a team that has a chance to give the Avalanche a fight. They did a better job controlling the pace of the game, were much better defensively, and got another strong goaltending performance from Jordan Binnington. That is a pretty significant development because if the Blues can get him to recapture his 2019 postseason form that would perfectly complement an offense that has been one of the best in the NHL this season.
Three Stars in NHL Playoffs (Game 2 of Lightning-Panthers and Hurricanes-Rangers)
1. David Perron, St. Louis Blues
He does not always get a ton of attention, but Perron is consistently productive for the Blues and has been one of their most important players since rejoining the team for a third time back in 2018. He scored two huge goals for the Blues on Thursday to help lead their win. That performance gives him seven goals this postseason while he also has three multi-goal games (all wins for the Blues).
2. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
After a slow start in the First Round against Toronto, Vasilevskiy is starting to find his game again and that is very bad news for the Florida Panthers, the rest of the Eastern Conference, and the rest of the NHL. When he is at his best he takes the Lightning from Stanley Cup contender to championship level team. He has allowed just three goals (total) in his past three starts, stopping 100 out of 103 shots during that stretch. That includes 37 of the 38 shots he faced on Thursday, while also helping to keep the Panthers’ power play off the board entirely.
3. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Yes, Colton scored the game-winning goal, but Kucherov gets our third start of the night for making the pass that set it up. Just an absolutely spectacular play made look so simple to literally beat the buzzer with the game on the line.
FRIDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 2: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers (CAR Leads Series 1-0), 8 p.m. ET — ESPN
Game 2: Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers (CGY Leads Series 1-0), 10:30 p.m. ET — ESPN
PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
• Avalanche vs. Blues
• Lightning vs. Panthers
• Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
• NHL Second Round predictions
• Storylines for the NHL’s Second Round