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Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes - Game Two Preview

JL Matthews

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Raleigh, NC -- Game Two between the Carolina Hurricanes (0-1) and Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0) is tonight at 7:30 in Raleigh.

The Canes will look to even the series at 1-1 after the Lightning took Game One by a score of 2-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his fifth win of the postseason with a 37 save performance on Sunday.

Overall, Carolina had the better of the play in Game One--drawing five penalties to Tampa's three and outshooting the Lightning 38 to 30. However, Tampa did a great job on the penalty kill, preventing Carolina's top unit from gaining entry and getting good looks.

"I thought we played well enough to win that game," Canes' defenceman Brett Pesce said. "There's a lot of series left, and we know that...We've faced adversity all season long; this is nothing new for us. We'll get it done tonight."

Vincent Trocheck (7) and Martin Necas (6) led the Canes in shots on goal in Game One. But both were kept off the score sheet. Carolina will need some points from Trocheck and Necas if they're to knock off Tampa Bay. Expect some line shuffling if Game Two gets off to a rough start for the Canes.

Lineup News

It looks like the Canes will be without Nino Niederreiter for the remainder of the Tampa Bay series. After picking up an injury in practice, Niederreiter missed Game One and has now been ruled out by head coach Rod Brind'Amour. Cedric Paquette drew into the lineup on Sunday, and Jordan Martinook slid up to Niederreiter's position on the 2nd line.

Niederreiter's absence also leaves an opening on the 2nd powerplay unit. On Sunday, Brett Pesce returned to the powerplay unit where he had success during the regular season. It was that unit, through Jake Bean, that scored Carolina's only goal in Game One.

Powerplay Unit One: Aho, Trocheck, Teravainen, Necas, Hamilton

Powerplay Unit Two: Staal, Fast, Svechnikov, Pesce, Bean

Alex Nedeljkovic (4-3, .923 SV%, 2.20 GAA) would obviously love to have a do-over on Barclay Goodrow's late third period shot that somehow squeezed past him and became the Game One winner. But that's not going to happen. Instead, Nedeljkovic's nerves will be tested in a crucial Game Two against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (5-2, .936 SV%, 2.41 GAA) more or less won Game One for Tampa. Today, he has an opportunity to give the Lightning their second straight 2-0 series lead. The 26-year-old Russian is also riding high for another reason. This morning he was named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy (awarded to the top regular-season goaltender). Vasilevskiy won the award in 2019.

The Canes' expected lines:

Forwards

Brock McGinn — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen

Jordan Martinook — Vincent Trocheck — Martin Necas

Andrei Svechnikov — Jordan Staal — Warren Foegele

Cedric Paquette — Steven Lorentz — Jesper Fast

Defense

Jaccob Slavin — Dougie Hamilton

Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce

Jake Bean — Jani Hakanpaa

Goalies

Alex Nedeljkovic

Petr Mrazek

Injuries: Nino Niederreiter (upper body)

Scratches: James Reimer, Max McCormick, Drew Shore, Morgan Geekie, Joakim Ryan, Ronald McKeown, Maxim Lajoie, Jake Gardiner

Tampa Bay's expected lines:

Forwards

Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Steven Stamkos

Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman

Patrick Maroon — Tyler Johnson — Ross Colton

Defense

Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev — Luke Schenn

Goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Injuries: Anders Nilsson (concussion), David Savard (upper body)

Scratches: Fredrik Claesson, Andreas Borgman, Mathieu Joseph, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Gemel Smith, Cal Foote, Ben Thomas, Alex Barre-Boulet, Mitchell Stephens, Daniel Walcott, Spencer Martin

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JL Matthews is a writer with interests spanning history, humor, tv/film, parenting, and more. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he is a 6x Top Writer on Medium. Follow him on News Break, Medium, and Twitter for updates and latest work.

Raleigh, NC
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