The Florida Panthers hoped to even their playoff series with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, get a win in Game 2 and move on up the road.
Now, the Panthers will be heading to Tampa just hoping to survive and get another home game.
After losing 3-1 on Tuesday night, the possibility exists this may have been the Panthers final home game of the season.
The Panthers are now down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series with the defending Stanley Cup champions ready to rock on home ice.
”We know we have to win four games, no matter how,” captain Sasha Barkov said. “There are four games we have to win and that’s our mindset right now. Anything that happens, happens. We have to learn from that and move forward. …
“We have to win one game, go to Tampa and we have a good chance to win the next game. We just have to play smarter than this. We had good periods, good shifts. We need to stick with that, make it a 60 minute effort from everyone and we’ll be fine. We just have to win the first game.”
Said Joel Quenneville: “It’s the old story; you have to earn your breaks. I think fortunate or not, the effort is there. We just need more guys playing whether they’re comfortable or uncomfortable. We can be a little better and more effective across the board.”
Tampa Bay hasn’t played a home playoff game since it dropped Game 2 in 2019 to Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets; the Lightning did not get another home game that year. It won the Cup last year after a postseason run in Toronto that ended in Edmonton.
On Tuesday night, the Panthers and Lightning minded their manners (for the most part) compared to recent games as the game was tight throughout.