The Wraparound: Nothing seems to slow down the Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning
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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television information.

• Catch up with all of Sunday’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff action with the NHL Rink Wrap.

• The Lightning look to punch another ticket to the Eastern Conference Final.

• The Blues try to get even with the Avalanche with Ville Husso back in net.

If the Tampa Bay Lightning can win one more game against the Florida Panthers, they will be back in the Eastern Conference Final for the sixth time in the past eight seasons and continue their quest for a third consecutive championship. They have a chance to get that win, and complete a Second Round sweep of the 2021-22 Presidents’ Trophy winners, on Monday night (7 p.m. ET; TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports).

They enter Monday’s game with a commanding 3-0 series lead following Sunday’s 5-1 win, having taken complete control against the Panthers in a series that is suddenly becoming unexpectedly one-sided. Expectations were sky high for this series following the excitement of their First Round matchup a year ago, combined with the fact the Panthers had the league’s best offense and best record this season.

The Lightning, though, have completely squashed out that offense allowing just three goals in the first three games of the series, while also running the Panthers’ power play goal drought to eight consecutive games. It is total domination by a team that has become the gold standard for winning in the NHL right now. And that standard remains in place no matter what they seem to be dealing with or who they have to play without.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, when this current run by the Lightning began, no team has won more regular season games (384) or playoff games (77), with the latter number being 22 more than the second-place team (the Pittsburgh Penguins with 45 playoff wins). They are also making a serious run at being the first team to win back-to-back-to-back championships since the early 1980s New York Islanders dynasty.

Coming into the playoffs there was every reason to believe the Lightning run might come to an end. There was the fatigue factor after consecutive Stanley Cup runs. There was the changes to the lineup. The path looked remarkably tougher this season based on their matchups. And then there was the fact the team seemed to be running out of steam going into the playoffs.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

In the end, none of that has mattered yet. Over the past five teams that attempted to three-peat, four of them ended up losing in the Second Round, while the fifth lost in the First Round.

The Lightning are just a win away from clearing that Second Round hurdle. Making a sixth trip to the league’s semifinal round in an eight-year stretch is impressive enough. But just consider what Tampa Bay has been overcoming over just the past couple of years.

  • They won the 2020 Stanley Cup while getting just one playoff game from their captain and one of their best players. Steven Stamkos, who missed almost the entire postseason due to injury.
  • In 2020-21, they played the entire regular season without Nikita Kucherov and still finished with one of the league’s best records on their way to a second consecutive championship.
  • This year they watched their entire third line leave to free agency and the expansion draft, traded Tyler Johnson in a salary cap clearing trade, and still managed to build one of the deeper teams in the league. Then once the playoffs began they still managed to beat a really good Toronto Maple Leafs team despite a sub-.900 save percentage in the series from All-Star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, and have now won three consecutive games against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Panthers without getting a single minute from Brayden Point.

No matter what they just keep on rolling.

Even without Point at the moment, and with a completely rebuild bottom-six, the Lightning still have elite offensive talents in Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov at the top of the lineup, and are still able to play a lockdown defensive game that can suck the life out of any offense, including one as good as Florida’s. One of the main key’s to the latter point has been the play of Vasilevskiy, who seems to have rediscovered his elite level following a slow start to the playoffs.

Vasilevskiy’s regular season numbers dipped a little bit this season, and there had to be some concern about his workload over the past three seasons. No goalie has played more hockey than him since the start of the 2019-20 season, including every minute of playoff action for the Lightning during that time. But after a slow start through his first six playoff games he has now gone on a four-game stretch where he has allowed only four goals (total), and is back to being a game-changer.

That is the biggest development for the Lightning right now.

As long as Vasilevskiy is playing the way he has been there is nobody in the league that can match up with this Lightning team. They have the star power to score with anybody, the defensive ability to lock things down in the neutral zone and their own end of the ice, and the best goalie in hockey to put them over the top. It is all starting to click for them at the same time yet again.

[NHL Power Rankings: Top Second Round storylines]


Game 4: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning (TB Leads Series 3-0), 7 p.m. ET — TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports: This has been such a stunning turnaround for the Panthers offense. They averaged over four goals per game during the regular season, the first team in nearly three decades to accomplish that over a full 82-game season, and they can not seem to generate anything in the playoffs. They have not looked right at any point this postseason.

Game 4: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues (COL Leads Series 2-1), 9:30 p.m. ET — TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports: Jordan Binnington was giving the Blues a chance in this series until he got injured in Game 3 over the weekend. He is now out for the remainder of the Second Round and put the St. Louis net back in the hands of Ville Husso. Husso looked great during the regular season and took over the starting job because of his strong play, but struggled early in the First Round (despite a shut out in his first game) and gave the job back to Binnington. The Blues are going to need him to rediscover his regular season level of play to give the Blues a chance. Colorado will be without Sam Girard for the remainder of the playoffs due to a fractured sternum, but the Avalanche defense is still loaded with talent. This is going to be a major challenge for the Blues.

PHT’s 2022 Stanley Cup previews
• Hurricanes vs. Rangers
Lightning vs. Panthers
Avalanche vs. Blues
• Flames vs. Oilers
Makar, McDavid lead Conn Smythe watch after First Round
NHL Second Round predictions

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    Coyotes minority owner suspended by NHL following arrest

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    Donald Page/Getty Images

    NEW YORK — Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Friday following his arrest for domestic violence in Colorado.

    Online court records show Barroway was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of second-degree assault strangulation, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He appeared in court Friday to be advised of the possible charges he is facing and is scheduled to back in court on April 3.

    Barroway spent Thursday night in Pitkin County Jail after police arrested him at an Aspen hotel, according to a police report obtained by the Aspen Daily News.

    “The National Hockey League is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway,” the NHL said in a statement. “Pending further information, he has been suspended indefinitely.”

    The 57-year-old Barroway was arrested after a verbal altercation with his wife turned physical, according to the police report. He is prohibited from having contact with his wife, except when it involves their children, and can’t consume alcohol under a court order.

    A prominent hedge fund manager, Barroway owns 5% of the Coyotes.

    “We are aware of the allegation regarding Mr. Barroway and we are working with the League to gather more information,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “When we have enough information, we will have an appropriate response. Until the investigation is complete, we will have no further comment.”

    Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine out 2-4 weeks with triceps injury

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is out 2-4 weeks after straining a triceps muscle in practice, yet another blow to the last-place team in the NHL that has been hampered by injuries all season.

    The Blue Jackets announced Laine’s absence before their home game against the New York Islanders.

    They already have 454 man-games lost to injury, one of the highest numbers in the league, and have a record of 22-41-7.

    Laine missed two separate stints with elbow and ankle injuries in the fall. The 24-year-old Finn is the team’s second-leading scorer with 52 points in 55 games.

    Columbus has been top defenseman Zach Werenski since November because of a torn labrum and separated shoulder. Forward Sean Kuraly recently went on injured reserve with a strained left oblique muscle but is set to return Friday.

    Tortorella earns 700th career win, Flyers top Wild 5-4

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    PHILADELPHIA — John Tortorella needed one word to sum up if 700 career wins meant anything to the Flyers coach.


    OK, then. Good thing the brusque Stanley Cup winner isn’t paid by the word.

    James van Riemsdyk scored the only goal in a shootout, and Philadelphia beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Thursday night for Tortorella’s 700th victory.

    Tortorella is 700-573-181 in 1,454 games as an NHL head coach. His 700 wins rank 12th in NHL history and his career games rank ninth in NHL history. He led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. In his first season coaching the Flyers, Tortorella joined Peter Laviolette as the second American-born coach to win 700 games.

    “I think the culture’s kind of changed around here,” Flyers forward Joel Farabee said. “I think he’s done a really good job of keeping the group together.”

    Farabee, Scott Laughton, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyson Foerster scored for Philadelphia. The Flyers have two straight games for the first time since Jan. 9-14 when they won three straight. Yeah, it’s been that kind of season.

    “Farabee’s starting to pop, he’s looking real good. Tyson is looking real good,” Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo said. “This is all about laying the foundation for next year but we get a lot of money to do this job. It’s something we love, so we’re gonna go out and give it our best every night.”

    Matt Boldy had two goals for the Wild, and Oskar Sundqvist and Marcus Foligno also scored.

    “We weren’t very good. They were good,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We knew they were playing well, they played well tonight. We were loose. We were not firm, turnovers, it didn’t look like our hockey club.”

    The Flyers and Wild were tied 1-all at the end of the first period, 3-3 at the end of the second and 4-4 headed into OT.

    The rebuilding Flyers have been plucky of late. They had won two of three coming into the game, with the lone loss in overtime. They showed some of that grit in the final two periods, scoring late tying goals.

    “It’s a credit to their group, to their coaching staff, that they’ve got them playing the right way,” Evason said.

    Boldy poked a backhander past Carter Hart with 6:28 left for a 4-3 lead. The Flyers, playing more for the No. 1 pick and for pride, tied the game on Foerster’s second goal of the season.

    Farabee tipped in Cam York’s shot early in the second for a 2-1 lead.

    The Wild got going when Boldy ripped one top shelf past Hart for his 24th goal of the season that tied the game 2-all. Foligno scored his seventh goal for the 3-2 lead.

    Ristolainen buried a hard slapper from the blue line on the power play for the tying goal with 23 seconds left in the second.

    “I think it’s good to try to lay this foundation, kind of get ready for next year. You see guys getting confidence,” DeAngelo said.

    The Flyers only played ahead in the first period.

    Laughton scored off the rush for his 17th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Sundqvist celebrated his birthday with a deflection for the tying goal with 3:24 left in the period.

    The Flyers had been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL until the start of this seven-game homestand (3-2 so far). They have scored at least three goals in every game and at least four in the last four.

    “We have definitely gotten to the net better,” Tortorella said. “We have spent a lot of time on the ice and with tape as far as getting to that area.”


    Wild: Host Chicago on Saturday.

    Flyers: Host Detroit on Saturday.

    Crosby reaches 30-goal mark, Penguins knock off Avalanche 5-2

    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    DENVER – Sidney Crosby wasn’t even aware of reaching yet another milestone. He’s simply locked in on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins make a 17th straight postseason appearance.

    Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

    Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Another milestone reached – it came as news to him.

    “I think the most important thing for me is just try to be consistent and if that reflects that great,” said Crosby, who turns 36 in August.

    Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.

    “It means I’ve been in the league for a while,” Crosby cracked. “That’s been the thing that’s driven me since since I got into the league – in your first year, you want to prove that you belong. Even at 35, I still think you want to prove you belong, because it is a younger league.”

    Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East.

    “It’s definitely a big one for us, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Defending champs, coming to their building, you know how good they are. Top to bottom, we defended hard and that’s what we have to do at this time of the year.”

    Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.

    J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.

    It was a missed opportunity for Colorado, which could’ve pulled into a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota in the Central Division with a victory.

    “We knew they were going to play with urgency,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But I didn’t feel like there was any reason why we couldn’t, either. … We didn’t get it done. Hopefully we get another one.”

    Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.

    Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 with 9:32 remaining. But Carter wrapped up the win with his first multigoal game in the regular season since Jan. 11, 2022.

    “I’m thrilled for him. We’re all thrilled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “He cares about the Penguins. He wants to win, and he wants to contribute in helping us win so we couldn’t be happier for him.”


    Bednar was appreciative of the three-year extension he signed Tuesday that goes through the 2026-27 season. In his seventh season, he’s the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Sullivan (December 2015).

    “It’s not a forgiving league or sport, for the most part, but obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful and thankful,” Bednar said. “Because there were times over my tenure that got a little hairy and management could have made another decision. But obviously they didn’t.”


    Avalanche D Cale Makar missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. “I still have him as day-to-day,” Bednar said. … F Darren Helm returned after missing 64 of 69 games this season with a lower-body injury. … Penguins D Jeff Petry (upper body) skated in the morning but sat out his third straight game. … The Penguins are 11-1 against the Central Division this season. … Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin assisted on Guentzel’s goal to reach the 50-assist mark for a seventh time in his career.


    Penguins: At Dallas on Thursday night.

    Avalanche: Host Arizona on Friday night.