The Tampa community has been behind their team all year long and the season isn’t over. They managed to advance to the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday after winning four straight against the New York Islanders. They will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals.
Why Did the Lightning Advance?
While it may not come as much of a surprise, since the Lightning were in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, they didn’t start off so hot this season. Finally, they are playing their best hockey and it couldn’t come at a better time. Some of the reasons they are playing so well include:
Ben Bishop (The Goaltender) is playing excellent hockey (Update – injured and day to day).
The defense has stepped up and made it difficult on opposing offenses.
Top Tampa Bay players have really turned it on in the playoffs.
The entire team has adopted the “next man up” mentality.
There are many other reasons why the Lightning advanced to the East Finals, but these are four of the main reasons. When a team suffers some of the injuries the lightning have suffered, other players have to step up their game. Behind the excellent play of Ben Bishop and many other players, the Lighting may just take it all the way this year.
What to Know About the Pittsburgh Penguins
With the Penguins up next, there are a few things fans should know going into this series. It’s not going to be all about Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, even though they are a big deal. The Penguins have gotten much deeper adding other players, such as Phil Kessel, Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist.
However, they do have a rookie goalie. Matt Murray is only 21 years old and in his first season. However, he’s posted a .935 save percentage so far in the playoffs. This could be something the Lightning may be able to exploit as Marc-Andre Fleury sits on the bench recovering from a concussion.
The schedule for this series is as follows:
At Pittsburgh on Friday at 8pm
At Pittsburgh on Monday at 8pm
At Tampa on May 18th at 8pm
At Tampa on May 20th at 8pm
At Pittsburgh on May 22nd at 8pm, if necessary
At Tampa on May 24th at 8pm, if necessary
At Pittsburgh on May 26th at 8pm, if necessary
All of the games will be on NBCSN and will be broadcast on 970-AM radio.
Home game tickets for the Eastern Conference Finals in Tampa will go on sale at 2pm on Thursday, May 12th. The tickets will be available through Ticketmaster online and all Ticketmaster outlets.
It’s time to rally behind the Lightning and help support them again, as the Tampa community has done so well all year as they try to make a bid for the NHL Finals.