Light­ning out­look

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS -

Dubbed the “triplets,” the line of left wing On­drej Palat, cen­ter John­son and right wing Nik­i­taKucherov is dy­namic and pro­duc­tive. John­son, whowent un­drafted, is the play­off leader in goals and points, andKucherov (nine goals, 19 points) isn’t far be­hind. Goal­tender Ben Bishop (2.15 goal­sagainst av­er­age, .920 save per­cent­age) ex­celled un­der pres­sure by shut­ting out Detroit in­Game7 of the first round and theNewYork Rangers in­Game7 of the East fi­nals. “They re­mind­mea lot of us— a lot of speed,” he said of the Black­hawks. “Both team­swant to play re­ally fast. I think it’s go­ing to be im­por­tant tomake those guys play de­fense.” Tampa Bay’s de­fense drops off af­ter Vic­torHed­manand An­ton Stal­man but it has clamped down­when it had to. Stamkos (seven goals, 17 points) said his team­con­sid­ers the Black­hawks a model. “You see what they’ve been able to do the last five, six years, it’s been im­pres­sive. That’s whatwe see our­selves do­ing,” he said.

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