SUNRISE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Lightning scored five goals on the Florida Panthers and their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, on Sunday night.
They will attempt to do it again on Tuesday against a different goaltender.
“They are trading one NHL goalie for another NHL goalie,” stated Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Lightning. “That is what they are doing. Their system does not change. How they play does not really change.”
Chris Driedger, who is actually celebrating his 27th birthday on Tuesday, received the gift of a start from his head coach Joel Quenneville after the morning skate. It will be the first postseason appearance of his career.
Driedger started 23 games this season facing the Lightning in three of those games. He helped the Panthers to a 2-0-1 record holding the Lightning scoreless in the season finale. He had a .927 save percentage, which was tied for fourth-best in the NHL.
Bobrovsky, on the other hand, started 30 games this season finishing with a .906 save percentage. He had a 3-2 record against the Lightning and, although he had to deal with penalty after penalty on Sunday, he only allowed one goal when both teams were at even strength in Game 1.
“I don’t think the goaltender should matter,” added Cooper. “We have played a lot of playoff series against the best of the best and they are putting another guy in who is having a fabulous year. His job is to stop the puck. Our job is to get it by him but it does not matter who is in.”
Lightning forward Blake Coleman confirmed he is aware of the goalie switch and feels he is able track the tendencies from goaltender to goaltender but he knows he is responsible for creating his offensive chances.
“The more chances you get the more looks you are going to have to put pucks in the net,” said Coleman. “It does not really matter who is in net. Nothing changes.”