How Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning have rebounded from big playoff losses in recent years

CBS Sports


The Tampa Bay Lightning had a less-than-stellar start in the Eastern Conference final as they fell 6-2 to the New York Rangers in Game 1. Wednesday's loss marked the third time in Vasilevskiy's career that he surrendered six goals in a playoff game. 2018 Eastern Conference semifinalsWhat Vasilevskiy gave up: During the 2018 postseason, Vasilevskiy surrendered five goals in a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the 2018 postseason, Vasilevskiy surrendered five goals in a 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. 2022 first roundWhat Vasilevskiy gave up: Finally, Vasilevskiy actually gave up five goals earlier this postseason in Game 1 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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On Monday, after firing Bruce Cassidy, general manager Don Sweeney informed Patrice Bergeron of his decision. The Bruins are giving Bergeron time and space to arrive at an independent conclusion with input from his family. Cassidy, who gave Bergeron freedom to oversee the dressing room and play more on the attack, is gone. Brad Marchand, Bergeron’s tightest friend and perpetual left wing, will not be ready at the start of 2022-23 following surgery on both hips. The health and prompt returns of Marchand, McAvoy and Grzelcyk, though, will be critical if the Bruins intend to gain traction in November and December.

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The Boston Bruins have apparently decided that the Patrice Bergeron Era is now officially over — and Bergeron very well may decide that himself anyway — as they have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy. The problem for Cassidy is that almost all of the young players provided by Sweeney have been dog meat. That’s only one aspect of Cassidy’s work that saw the Bruins make the playoffs every year under his watch and never register less than 100 points. If Bergeron retires, combined with the injuries, the Bruins very well may sink like a stone. But now, there is no escaping that the Bruins left something on the table when they decided to push the chair away and leave.

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If you take out Game 1, when the Rangers put up six goals, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been strong in net with just five goals surrendered in Games 2 and 3. However, the Lightning should be playing with quite a bit of confidence after scoring three unanswered goals to win Game 3. Back the Lightning in a spot where they almost have to win with the series shifting to New York for Game 5. In addition, Wright had five strikeouts in each of the other two games in which he didn't register six strikeouts. Key Trend: Kyle Wright has recorded at least six strikeouts in two of his last four starts

FOX SPORTS - Tampa Bay Lightning got their mojo back, and now this series feels different
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But Tampa Bay bounced back in a big way, sweeping their two home games to even the best-of-seven series as it heads back to New York. Perhaps this is the look of an experienced team that finally shook off the rust from its nine-day layoff between series. Perhaps this is exactly how a series between these teams should be — even — after Tampa Bay’s 4-1 victory in Game 4. In the first two games, Vasilevskiy gave up nine goals. But after what we’ve seen the past few games, the Lightning are much more ready for them.