Barclay Goodrow's Late Goal Lifts Lightning Past Hurricanes in Game 1

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 30:  Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reacts after scoring a power play goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period in Game One of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 30, 2021 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning took an early lead on the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series thanks to a 2-1 win in Game 1 on Sunday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brayden Point scored in the second period to put the Lightning ahead 1-0, but Jake Bean answered back at the 1:41 mark of the third period.

Carolina Hurricanes @Canes

Jake Bean from the back!!! pic.twitter.com/byPNF8LNSz

Barclay Goodrow put the Lightning back in the lead in the third period after slipping his shot past the near post of Alex Nedeljkovic.


Barclay Goodrow (@bgoodrow23) comes up big with a game winner for the @TBLightning! #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/2BOanzx4FC

The Hurricanes registered 38 shots and had five power-play opportunities, but were unable to consistently break down the Lightning defense. Carolina's frenzied attack inside the final minute after pulling the goalie wasn't enough to force overtime.

With the result, Tampa Bay grabbed home-ice advantage, which could be pivotal considering the Lightning were 21-7-0 at home and 15-10-3 on the road during the regular season.

Notable Performers

Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Lightning: 37 saves, .974 save percentage

Brayden Point, C, Lightning: one goal, three shots, four takeaways

Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Hurricanes: 28 saves, .933 save percentage

Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Hurricanes: one assist, five shots, three hits

Lightning on Point During Power Play

The Lightning had the fourth-most power-play goals (40) during the regular season and scored eight more in the first round against the Florida Panthers. Carolina, meanwhile, was third in the penalty kill, keeping teams out of the net on 85.2 percent of their short-handed situations.

Something has to give.

Just under nine minutes into the second period, Cedric Paquette headed to the sin bin for interference. Point capitalized on the man advantage to provide the Lightning with an early lead.


Brayden Point always finds a way to score. #StanleyCup<br><br>🇺🇸: https://t.co/UGSHbZzqto @NHLonNBCSports<br>🇨🇦: https://t.co/DmbMZkvNsi @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/tz0uPc0ZNp

The Hurricanes picked up just one more penalty over the remainder of the game, which is the most effective form of penalty killing.

The health of Erik Cernak will be a storyline to watch in the aftermath of Game 1. The Lightning were already without David Savard due to an upper-body injury, and Cernak didn't step onto the ice for the third period.

The absences of Cernak and Savard didn't hinder Tampa Bay on Sunday but could prove more troublesome over the duration of a seven-game playoff series.

Go-Ahead Goal a Warning Sign for 'Canes

Nedeljkovic had just six appearances in the NHL and zero playoff games under his belt prior to this year. He performed excellently during the regular season, finishing with a .932 save percentage and 1.90 goals-against average.

However, Game 1 was a reminder of how slim the margins become in the postseason. One error can be so costly and erase what had been an otherwise strong showing.

Sara Civ @SaraCivian

Oh man, you don't want to see that after what was Nedeljkovic's best performance of the postseason up to that point if you ask me

Justin Cuthbert @jccuthbert

Therein lies the difference in this series, I’d say. Nedeljkovic has been great in this game, but that was a gift and Vasilevskiy doesn’t give gifts.

Goaltending is presumably going to be an area where the Lightning have a clear edge. Andrei Vasilevskiy is a Vezina Trophy winner and battle-tested in the playoffs after last year's Stanley Cup run.

That alone won't decide the series, but you'd trust Vasilevskiy between the pipes more than Nedeljkovic.

What's Next?

The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday for Game 2 in Raleigh.