DENVER — The Tampa Bay Lightning mentioned their confidence hasn’t been shaken regardless of a 7-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Sport 2 of the Stanley Cup Remaining on Saturday evening, essentially the most lopsided playoff defeat in franchise historical past.
“On the finish of day, we misplaced the sport, not the collection,” mentioned defenseman Victor Hedman.
The Lightning’s different greatest playoff blowout losses have been by 5 objectives. Colorado’s 7-0 win is tied for the second largest margin of victory in a Stanley Cup Remaining shutout win in NHL historical past.
“Am I shocked that we misplaced seven-zip?” mentioned heart Steven Stamkos. “I imply, I do not suppose we noticed that coming.”
The Lighting captain mentioned the margin of defeat is “completely not acceptable, particularly presently of yr,” and acknowledged that some may need the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions counted out within the collection due to it.
“Hear, persons are gonna be watching this sport tonight and possibly suppose the collection is over,” he mentioned. “However we’re a really resilient group. We have been on this place final spherical. So whether or not it is 1-0 or 7-0 or 10-0, it is a loss within the playoffs. We have got to man up as a workforce. Let’s get again house in entrance of our followers, and let’s examine what we’re fabricated from.”
The Lightning have been embarrassed in Sport 2, and never simply within the remaining margin of defeat. They vowed to have a stronger begin than in Sport 1, when the Avalanche constructed a 2-0 lead by the 9:23 mark of the primary interval. As an alternative, the Lightning trailed the Avalanche 3-0 simply 13:52 into Sport 2.
“It was an undisciplined penalty by me,” mentioned McDonagh. “To provide a workforce an influence play within the first minute isn’t recipe. We misplaced our protection and gave them odd-man seems to be. Any time you do this, you are flirting with catastrophe and hazard. It was a nasty time to have a nasty begin.”
The Lightning vowed to have a stronger Sport 2, saying that had devised methods to decelerate the Avalanche’s fleet skaters and switch down their offensive strain. They did neither.
“We’ve got a sport plan and it is attempting to neutralize their pace and their forecheck,” mentioned Stamkos. “And we have gotten away from it a little bit bit at instances and it price us. It takes an incredible workforce to appreciate the errors that we have made. And I’ve full confidence on this group that we’ll have a a lot better effort.”
The Avalanche had a 60-28 shot try benefit in Sport 2, with the Lightning managing simply 16 pictures on objective in opposition to goalie Darcy Kuemper.
“As quickly as we begin turning the puck over and giving them possibilities that is when the sport form of swayed,” mentioned ahead Nick Paul. “We’ve got to determine a solution to get momentum, get pictures on internet. Not sufficient pictures tonight. We will not rating when you’re not getting any pictures.”
The Lightning had been probably the greatest groups within the NHL at making Sport 2 changes. They have been 9-2 within the second video games of collection, permitting simply 1.91 objectives in opposition to per sport since 2020. An enormous motive for that was goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had a .938 save proportion in these video games. Vasilevskiy gave up all seven objectives in Sport 2 on 30 pictures. However coach Jon Cooper mentioned he by no means thought-about pulling his star goalie.
“Hear, that is the playoffs and we’re right here to win hockey video games,” mentioned Cooper. “Vasy offers us the most effective probability to win a hockey sport and he is our man. He is the most effective goalie on the planet and we win collectively, and we lose collectively. Even I did, I do not suppose he would’ve come out.”
The Lightning skaters mentioned they merely did not play nicely sufficient in entrance of Vasilevskiy.
“We left him out to dry tonight,” mentioned Stamkos. “He is been our spine for years and years and years. We owe it to him to have a greater sport subsequent sport. On no account is that this on him tonight.”
The collection shifts to Tampa for Sport 3 on Monday evening. The Lightning have been additionally down 2-0 to the New York Rangers within the Jap Convention Remaining, earlier than roaring again with 4 straight wins. Cooper has mentioned he noticed indicators that the workforce was turning the nook throughout Sport 2 on the street. However Cooper did not see sufficient pushback from his workforce in Sport 2 in opposition to the Avalanche, which shocked him.
“The sport acquired away from us early and now we have proven a propensity to push again for years,” he mentioned. “Tonight, we did not. If this turns into a standard theme on this collection, it is going to in all probability be a brief one. I by no means doubt the blokes within the room. Does it suck dropping a sport like that? For positive. We’re not used to it. It does not actually occur to us. However is it going to occur at instances? Yeah, it’s. You are simply hoping it does not occur within the Stanley Cup Remaining.”