SUNRISE | " Score a goal. Andrew Brunette offered this simple answer when asked by a Florida colleague what it takes to unlock the Panthers' power-play game.
For a seventh game in a row in the playoffs, the Panthers did not score on the power play. Shut out three times against the Lightning in that second-round opener, Floridians now have a horrendous zero-for-21 record.
"With the talent and the depth we have for our two units, we will eventually unlock," said winger Anthony Duclair. I know we didn't have success in that facet in the first round. There are several players who can take good shots. If we take more shots and generate traffic in front of their keeper, we will end up scoring. »
Unlike the Panthers, the Lightning scored three power-play goals. Corey Perry, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton each beat Sergei Bobrovsky with the man advantage.
To recycle a good old classic, the Lightning won the battle of the special units. And it's no coincidence that the Stanley Cup champions of the past two years now lead this series 1-0.
“There is also Vasi [Vasilevskiy] who made the big saves in this game, underlined Jon Cooper. In crucial moments, he is always amazing. That's what great goalies do. »
"It's fun to be able to help the team offensively at times. Our trio had set itself the goal tonight of trying to create some rhythm. We got a big goal, but it's not just the result of a single play. You have to give credit to the coach who allowed us to take a face-off in the offensive zone. »
In the stands for the sixth game against the Capitals, Anthony Duclair had regained his place in the formation of the Panthers. He played on the right wing alongside Sam Bennett and Jonathan Huberdeau.
In the matinee, Brunette said he wanted "Duke to play like Duke."
Duclair took a first step in this direction by scoring the only goal for his team.
"I felt good," he said. I had the chance to play with key players. I was calmer. I was too nervous during the last series. When I have fun, I play better. »
“He no longer had the puck and he stayed close to her, added Brunette. He played a solid game. »