SUNRISE — Florida Panthers coach Andrew brunette was pretty blunt when asked if his team was starting to get frustrated with its glaring lack of success on the power play this postseason.
It certainly was a lot shorter answer than the question.
”Absolutely,’’ he said.
The Panthers’ power play was among the league’s best in the regular season but that certainly has not been the case in the playoffs.
After going 0-for-18 in the opening-round win against the Capitals, the Panthers hoped a new series would chance their fortune when it came to playing with the man advantage.
On Tuesday night, that was certainly not the case.
Florida went 0-3 on the power play — while the Lightning scored three times with the advantage — in a 4-1 loss in Game 1.
“I think there is a little hesitancy where you’re just a little slow. The playoffs are facing the best of the best penalty killers and they are doing a heck of job of taking away what we do well,’’ Brunette said.
“We’re not reacting quick enough. I don’t think the urgency is where it usually has been this year. We’re out of sync a little bit and that happens when things are not going your way. You have to find a way through sheer determination, work ethic, belief and be mentally strong. You have a million people telling you what to do.
“When you have the puck, in certain situations, you have to have a plan, find a way to make a play. We haven’t done that yet.”
Brunette also said that the Panthers’ got away with some things in the regular season that is not helping them now.
The goals, he has said, will start coming after the Panthers get that first one. There is too much talent on these units for that not to happen.
But as the days wear on, patience is certainly starting to wear thin.
“Obviously, there is a little bit of an identity crisis for us where we got a little too cute in the regular season and got away with it,’’ Brunette said.
“It’s a lot harder to be cute now. The work boots have to be put back on. It has to be simplified, attack. Once you attack, you break them down. Then you can get pretty. Right now, we want to be pretty and not attack. It’s a focus and one of those things you can talk, talk, talk it to death, X-and-O it to death, it just has to be executed.”
— Carter Verhaeghe was missing from the morning skate with Brunette saying he is a game-time decision.
Maxim Mamin replaced him on the top line.
— Brunette was named a finalist for Coach of the Year. Story coming soon…
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING (TB leads 1-0)
- Game 2: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: TNT
- Postgame: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Draft Kings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-160); Puck line (-1.5, +155); Over/Under 6.5 (-115/-105); Series Tampa favored (-140)
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING
- Regular season series — Tied 2-2: Florida 4, @Lightning 1 (Oct. 19); @Lightning 3, Florida 2 OT (Nov. 13); @Florida 9, Lightning 3 (Dec 30); Tampa Bay 8, @Florida 4 (April 24).
- All-time regular season series: Panthers lead 73-49-18, 10 ties
- Playoff history: Second meeting; Tampa Bay d. Florida 4-2 in R1, 2021
- Round 1: Florida d. Washington 4-2; Tampa Bay d. Toronto 4-3
- Full schedule — Game 1: Tampa Bay 4, @Florida 2; Game 2: Tampa Bay at Florida, Thursday, 7 (TNT); Game 3: Florida at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 1:30 (TNT); Game 4: Florida at Tampa Bay, Monday, 7 (TNT); Game 5*: Tampa Bay at Florida, Wednesday, May 25 (Time, TV TBA); Game 6*: Florida at Tampa Bay Lightning, Friday, May 27 (Time, TV TBA); Game 7*: Tampa Bay at Florida, Sunday, May 29 (Time, TV TBA). (*) — If necessary.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
Coach: Andrew Brunette
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 28 Claude Giroux
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 8 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
55 Noel Acciari // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 70 Patric Hornqvist
8 Ben Chiarot // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 52 MacKenzie Weegar
7 Radko Gudas // 62 Brandon Montour
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Spencer Knight
PP1: Reinhart – Barkov – Giroux – Huberdeau – Ekblad
PP2: Hornqvist – Bennett – Duclair – Verhaeghe – Montour
Scratched: Lucas Carlsson, Petteri Lindbohm, Joe Thornton, Robert Hagg, Jonas Johansson, Maxim Mamin
Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Mason Marchment (LBI, d2d)
PROJECTED TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING LINEUP
Coach: Jon Cooper
91 Steven Stamkos // 71 Anthony Cirelli // 86 Nikita Kucherov
18 Ondrej Palat // 20 Nick Paul // 17 Alex Killorn
38 Brandon Hagel // 16 Riley Nash // 79 Ross Colton
14 Pat Maroon // 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare // 10 Corey Perry
7 Victor Hedman // 81 Erik Cernak
27 Ryan McDonagh // 44 Jan Rutta
98 Mikhail Sergachev // 52 Cal Foote
88 Andrei Vasilevskiy
1 Brian Elliott
PP1: Killorn – Stamkos – Perry – Hedman – Kucherov
PP2: Paul – Colton – Hagel – Palat – Sergachev
Injured: Brayden Point (LBI, d2d)