Bolts’ Johnson comes up big in final moments

by Gary Shelton on August 6, 2020

in general

Johnson had another big playoff moment./ CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 4 a.m.

In the post-season, he grows.

Normally, Tyler Johnson is 5-8, and because of it he absorbs an undue amount of punishment. Then the playoffs begin, and Johnson grows taller. Some days, he seems like a giant.

Johnson, the eighth-year pro, scored a goal with 87 seconds remaining to help the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in the NHL's Round Robin tournament Wednesday. The goal allowed the Lightning to withstand blowing a 2-0 lead for the second straight game.

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Credit it to Johnson, who followed a rebound off a shot by Yanni Gourde for the winner. It was Johnson's 25th playoff goal, the third-most in team history behind Martin St. Louis and Nikita Kucherov. Johnson now has more playoff goals than Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

“Gordo and I had a little breakaway there," Johnson said. "He made a heck of play throwing it at the net. It bounded off the pad and went right to me. Great play by Gordo."

Nice finish by Johnson, too.

”I think Johnny's been a great player for us for a long time," said Alex Killorn. "He's played in an all-star game. He could have been the Con Smyth winner in 2015 if we had won. He's a great playoff player. He comes up big in the big moments. That was a big moment for us."

Killorn and Brayden Point also scored goals for the Bolts, who took a 2-0 lead. Boston came back to tie.

"If we’re being honest, we're still trying to put together that 60 minute game," Ryan McDonagh said. "We were persistent. We didn't get too frustrated. In the end our structure and our simplicity paid off."

Lightning coach John Coper wasn't overly concerned about giving up a two-goal lead.

"I was proud of the way we played defensively," Cooper said. "If we're going to hold the Caps and Bruins to two or less goals, it's not a bad effort."

The Lightning complete the round robin portion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers sy Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. Game time has not been announced.

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