The Tampa Bay Lightning will begin their postseason at home. The Bolts were able to beat a lackluster Washington Capitals team with nothing to play for and get home-ice advantage. Matt Carle scored the winning goal against Braden Holtby and Anders Lindback had his second shutout in three games.
Lindback looked sharp and was able to play the puck well, even coming out and making a pass to the neutral zone to help the Bolts’ transition game. He was also fantastic in the shootout stopping Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Kuznetsov, a dangerous group of shooters.
“This is a different one for [Lindback], you want your goalie to make the saves that he should and sometimes he makes two or three saves he shouldn’t and that backdoor save was ridiculous. He came up big,” Coach Jon Cooper said. ” I am really proud of him in one sense and really happy for him in another.”
Since coming in as relief when Ben Bishop went down both Lindback and Kristers Gudlevskis have only given up four goals in their last four games combined, so it’s a pretty good indicator that the crease for the Lightning is in safe hands.
Another part of this is the Lightning themselves are in safe hands too as Cooper has coached a squad that saw Steven Stamkos leave for most of the season with an injury, the trade of Martin St. Louis and now Ben Bishop being out and they have earned 101 points and have the coveted home-ice advantage for the first round series against the Montreal Canadiens.
“You got to give a lot of credit to those kids in the room–101 points. The guys were fired up and really excited to get past that century mark. Everyone was just genuinely excited for this. We talked about it at the start of training camp that there is nothing more exciting than getting to play in the playoffs.”