The Florida PanthersAfter they lost 5-1 to the, ‘postseason' is officially on life support Tampa Bay LightningOn Sunday, they will play Game 3 in the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Tampa Bay is now leading the best-of-7 series 3-0 and can defeat the Presidents' Trophy-winning Panthers by winning Monday's game 4.
Florida coach: “They have more willpower and more desire than us.” Andrew Brunette said. “We are a strong team when our backs are against a wall. It seems bleak. We hope to find some energy, some passion, and some joy.
Only four teams have ever won a playoff series when they trail 3-0. They will be the first regular season points leader (122) to lose the playoff series. This is ironic since the 2019 Lightning were swept out by Columbus in the first round.
Tampa Bay has been the winner of two Stanley Cups consecutively since then. The Lightning have been a formidable defensive team, preventing Florida's offensive potential.
The Panthers have only scored one goal in the first three series games. This is a stark contrast to their regular season dominance of 4.11 goals per game. Florida was also never eliminated, scoring only one goal on three occasions.
The Panthers allowed at least four goals in each of the three losses. This was also true in Tampa's two losses.
Forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. “I need to improve. Every man can do better. Give them the puck. That's what they are waiting for. They are a great team. They are patient and wait for us to make errors. Then they take advantage of them.”
Florida almost wasn't in this situation at all. In Game 2, the Lightning advanced and dealt a serious blow to the Panthers. Ross ColtonFlorida lost the chance to go into overtime after it broke a 1-1 tie in less than 4 seconds.
The Panthers were granted two days of rest — something that is rare this early in the playoffs — to regroup. Florida was still behind in Game 3 when it came to bat. Corey PerryOpen scoring with a tip past in the first period Sergei Bobrovsky.
There was a beacon of light.
Sam ReinhartThree minutes later, Florida scored the only goal that finally ended their bad luck on power play. The Panthers were left as the only postseason team to not capitalize on an extra man and entered Game 3 0-for-25 with the man advantage.
Reinhart felt that the quick turnaround from Game 4 was an asset, even though his marker did not spark Florida's offense.
He said, “You don’t want to spend too much time in these situations thinking about it too much.” You just want to get out there and play, and put on a better show.
Florida will need more of its top players to achieve that. Huberdeau was a key player in Reinhart's success and has two other helpers in this series. Aleksander BarkovThere are no goals and only one assist. Ditto for Claude Giroux. Bobrovsky saved 31 times on Sunday, and has a solid.908SV% in this series. It just isn't enough.
Huberdeau is at least trying to keep the Panthers' mountain in perspective.
He stated, “We can come up (Monday) and win a series. “We are confident that we can accomplish it. That's the kind of team we have.
Florida must solve the Tampa Bay netminder in order to do this. Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Conn Smyth Trophy holder has been spectacular in this series, and was once again on Sunday. She threw away 34 shots. Huberdeau recorded one of these, but was optimistic that someone from Florida will break Vasilevskiy's down.
Huberdeau declared, “He is a great goalie.” “But eventually, he'll let one in that will help us.”
This is the only way for the Panthers to make a comeback that defies all odds.
“It is 3-0. Who needs to care?” Huberdeau said. Huberdeau said, “We can return.”