Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes NHL Central Division Finals Game 2 Preview
The Carolina Hurricanes are looking for a way to break Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy when the teams meet in Game 2 of their Central Division second-round series Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Vasilevskiy made 37 saves in Saturday's 2-1 win to open the series.
Vasilevskiy, who won nine of his last 12 playoff starts since last season, got a day off from practice Monday, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper classified it as a maintenance day.
Both teams have used a single goalie for all of their playoff action this year. The Hurricanes have gone with Alex Nedeljkovic in his first NHL postseason.
The Lightning have experience in the playoffs.
The Hurricanes were the regular season division champions and Tampa Bay finished third. The teams divided their eight games during the regular season, so a close series is anticipated.
Each shift seems to be under scrutiny.
Carolina lost for the first time in four playoff home games this year.
Lightning right-back Nikita Kucherov, with 11 points in the first round vs. Florida Panthers, which resulted in a franchise record for a playoff series, added to their postseason total with one assist Saturday. That came in Point's power play objective.
There may be lineup changes for the Hurricanes, who have given up the first goal in six of their seven postseason games.
Still, Carolina is expected to stick with Nedeljkovic, who gave up a woeful goal lead to Barclay Goodrow in Game 1.
It seems likely the Hurricanes won't have winger Nino Niederreiter for the remainder of the series. He missed Game 1 following a practice injury the day before and is now considered "doubtful," according to Brind'Amour, for the next week or so.
Forward Cedric Paquette, who was on Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup champion team last year, made his playoff debut for the Hurricanes in Game 1.
Games 3 and 4 will be later in the week in Tampa, Florida.
Tampa Bay is 6-6 in Game 1 road games in its playoff history. The Lightning are 8-3 all-time when they play Game 2 on the road.
Cooper has been behind the bench for 100 playoff games as the Lightning coach with a 59-41 record in those games.
Nearly 16,300 fans were in attendance for the series opener after the PNC Arena's capacity increased last week. Another similarly sized crowd will be available for Game 2.
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