The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the Stanley Cup.
The No.1 seed Carolina knocked out the No.4 seed Nashville with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 of the seven-game best on Thursday.
Tampa Bay is the reigning Stanley Cup champion.
“You’ve probably heard that fourth is the hardest to win in a series, and when you have a chance to make it you don’t want to waste it,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “We had a definite plan. But the players… it was 60 minutes of pure will and competition. And to win in this league, that’s what you need. When you make the playoffs you need it from everyone. The players gave it away. They have all the credit in the world. “
The schedule for the second round has not been announced.
Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning and the playoffs with 11 points (three goals, eight assists), and Victor Hedman (eight assists), Alex Killorn (four goals, four assists) and Steven Stamkos (three goals, five assists) scored eight points each. Andreï Vasilevskiy has a 2.64 goals against average and a 0.929 save percentage.
Facebook Facebook logo Sign up for Facebook to connect with Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with seven points (five goals, two assists) and Jordan Steel (four goals, one assist) and Martin Necas (two goals, three assists) scored five each. Alex Nedeljkovic is 4-2 with an average of 2.22 and a save percentage of .922.
The Lightning was 4-3-1 against the Hurricanes in the regular season. Killorn (two goals, three assists) and Hedman (one goal, four assists) led Tampa Bay with five points. Vasilevskiy was 3-3-1 with an average of 2.14, a save percentage of .933 and a shutout in seven games. Backup Curtis McElhinney made 31 saves in a 3-1 win on February 25.
Necas led Carolina with eight points (three goals, five assists), Aho scored six points (two goals, four assists), and Dougie Hamilton had five assists against Tampa Bay. Nedeljkovic was 2-1-0 with an GAA of 1.02, save percentage of .962 and a shutout; James Reimer was 1-2-0 with an average of 2.71 and save percentage of 0.892; and Petr Mrazek was 1-0-1 with an GAA of 1.45, a percent stop of 0.956 and a shutout.
Tampa Bay has never played Carolina in the playoffs.
The Lightning have qualified for the second round for the fifth time in the past seven seasons. Tampa Bay have qualified for the conference finals in four of the past six seasons.
Carolina was eliminated by the Boston Bruins in five games in the first round last season after being swept by the Bruins in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.