TAMPA, Fla. – The Bolts are breathing a little bit easier after their Game 3, 3-2 win over the Rangers heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jon Cooper certainly isn’t feeling any sense of security but knows they’re still in this chance for a three-peat.
“It would be amateur of us to think that because we snuck a game out at the end, that, oh, we’re good,” Cooper said Tuesday at an optional skate at Amalie Arena.
“By no means can we hang our hat because we scored a goal with 42 seconds left and won a hockey game. That game had overtime probably written all over it and who knows what happens next.”
Bolts right wing Corey Perry who’s stepped up in these playoffs for the injured Brayden Point knows all too well that the last thing the Bolts can do is get cocky. But Perry admits, the game winner from Ondrej Palat takes some of the massive pressure off the Lightning, for now.
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“You have to take a little breath and regroup, because it’s going to be the same tomorrow,” Perry said. “You’re going to have to play the same way. You’re going to have to get pucks to the net because he’s (Igor Shesterkin) a great goalie.”
Shesterkin stopped 48 of 51 shots Sunday. Bolts captain Steven Stamkos believes it’ll take that many shots again Tuesday night in order to tie up this series.
Cooper and Stamkos agree that momentum swings happen in playoff games and in these series. Bolts left wing Alex Killorn put it bluntly.
“I think it was the momentum of playing well,” Killorn said. “The first game was terrible. The second game we kind of found our legs. The third game we played a lot better so we’re building off that momentum.”
Bolts will try to tie this series up at home Tuesday night before heading back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5. Cooper announced Point is ruled out for Game 4.
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