The Pen’s started off slow in the opening game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game as a whole was sloppy and the Pen’s had very little success. Chris Letang took a good hard hit against the boards that scared fans. But the Pen’s just couldn’t play their style of fast quick skating and were just behind the puck, which is what helped lead to Tampa Bay’s 1-0 lead in the series. The Pen’s are hoping to even the series before heading down to Tampa Bay for the next two games. Matt Murray had his first game that he really got hammered in the net. He only faced 20 shots and let three past him while saving only 17 shots.
The Pen’s are going to be facing the Lightning’s second string goalie after Ben Bishop went down in the first period of game 1. Bishop fell awkwardly on his left leg and left on a stretcher. Tampa Bay got out to a 3-0 lead before the pens finally scored their first goal in the 2nd period. But after that, neither team was able to score and Andrei Vasilevskiy was a big part in keeping the Pen’s from coming back even after the Lightning lost their starting goalkeeper. Another way that Tampa Bay over came adversity, is when early in the first period, Ryan Callahan got a major for a boarding call on Chris Letang. After that penalty kill is when the Lightning would lose their leading scorer Tyler Johnson to a leg injury. He would come back later but missed a lot of the 2nd period.
I think that since the NHL didn’t suspend Ryan Callahan for his dirty hit on Chris Letang, that you will see the pen’s come out firing on all cylinders. I also think that they will need to use there speed to shut down the Tampa Bay Lightning’s transitional play. If they can do that then they will allow Matt Murray to make saves on shots that aren’t free breakaways. These teams both use quick play to their advantage so if the pen’s can counter last game with some fire and come back, then this game could be fast, hard-hitting, and a close scoring game. Both teams are playing for more than themselves and will be protective and aggressive which will make for a fun game to watch. This game is going to show which team has more heart, determination, and which locker room is more of a family of brothers.