Bolts start off well in Hurricanes’ series

by Gary Shelton on May 31, 2021

in general

Bayden Point scored his 21st goal of the season./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Monday, 4 a.m.

He doesn't score highlight goals. He doesn't score memorable goals. On most nights, he is not a star of the game; he's barely in the constellation.

So what is Barclay Goodrow doing in the spotlight after Game One of the second round of the playoffs Sunday afternoon?

Goodrow scored his first goal of the post season -- he had only six in the regular season -- with 7:21 to play to lift the Bolts to a series-opening, 2-1 win over Carolina. Goodrow, a physical player whose play usually doesn't include scoring, missed five games of the Panthers' series with an upper body injury. It was his third career playoff game-winning goal and first as a member of the Lightning.

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“We can just trust him in any situation," said teammate Ryan McDonagh. "You see a tie game and he’s out there.  He makes a goal happen. We have a lead he’s out there defending. First and foremost he sacrifices his body. He's willing to block shots. We all feed off that. He’s got some undercover skills around the net front. He’s such a versatile player. He seems to be in the right spots and he sems to be pretty clutch along the way as well."

Said Victor Hedman: "You can tell he's a big-game kind of player. He rises to the occasion. He’s a warrior out there."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper got a chuckle earlier when he was talking about Goodrow and said "All players can't be Ferrari's. Some have to be four-wheel drive Jeeps to get you out of the muck."

Goodrow didn't disagree with the assessment.

"I'll take it," he said. "They’re pretty dependale cars. Their resale value is high. They hold up in all situations."

On a more serious note, Goodrow said: "“I think when I was traded here obviously, there is so much skill on the team. So many high-end elite players, goal scoring, play making, whatever it might be. My game is a little different than that. I can bring physicality. i take a lot of pride in being defensively sound. I like being reliable in those situations"

The Bolts won their first playoff series largely because of their start -- winning the first two games against Florida. Against the Hurricanes, they are attempting the same.

They certainly got the goaltending for it. Andrei Vasilevskiy won his 38th playoff game, stopping 37 shots -- 15 of them in the first period. In the last two seasons, Vasilevskiy has won nine of 12 decisions.

Braydon Point scored the first goal for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay and Carolina will play again Tuesday night at the PNC Center in Raleigh. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.

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