Whoever picked this to be a walkover series for either team at the beginning of the playoffs has since bitten their tongue. In the third close, physical game of the series, the Lightning found themselves on the losing end of the one-goal decision, and they’re now down 2-1 in the series.
What stole the show though were two questionable hits, one on either side. One was delivered by Steve Downie:
The other was a hit delivered by Chris Kunitz.
Both hits earned the players one-game suspensions, though we know the results would be different if the roles were reversed. Either way, the Lightning have called up Jones and Ritola from Norfolk to fill in for Downie and a questionable Ryan Malone (thought Malone is pretty sure he will be ready to play tomorrow).
This leaves the Norfolk Admirals a little short handed. They return to the Scope tonight to take on the Baby Pens in Game 3. They currently lead the series 2-0.
The Bolts continue to turn out great efforts, but one person needs to come through: Steven Stmakos. This has been said a lot, but this would be a different series if he was on his game. Tampa could easily be up 2-1 or 3-0 if he was playing to his best. In the playoffs, your best players need to be your best players. The Lightning have been doing about as well as they can without him, but Stamkos has to show up.
Check back tomorrow for our keys to a very important Game 4.