Stanley Cup Playoffs: Three Takeaways from Tampa Bay's Win in Game 4


Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov won't face a fine or suspension for his hit on Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen during Game 4 of the team's Stanley Cup Playoff series, NJ Advance Media confirmed.

Of course, everything changes if the Devils knock off the Bolts in Game 4 at Prudential Center. The Lightning lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 after taking Wednesday night's game by the same margin. Hall couldn't win this one for New Jersey, but he now has two goals and six points in four playoff games.

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Tampa Bay may wrap around the series in Game 5. Colton Sissons and Craig Smith scored in the second period, following Filip Forsberg's highlight-reel first-period marker to give the Preds a 3-0 advantage going into the third. Devils coach coach John Hynes screamed at the officials after the play. With a chance to even the series infront of their rabid fans, the Devils hit the ice in Newark on Wednesday night and landed early blows against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I didn't like the way we had so many penalties in the last game, giving up so many opportunities on the power play", Kucherov said. Kucherov wasn't penalized for the hit, which the NHL's department of player safety deemed legal after determining Vatanen's head was not the main point of contact during the encounter.

The 24-year-old Ontario native will now be assisting the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate the Syracuse Crunch as the team heads into the playoffs. In starting his 2nd game Cory Schneider made 34 saves for the Devils.

"Our goal was to come in here and try to get one (win), and we did that". About three minutes later former Ranger J.T. Miller tied the game. "We need to go out and play our best game".

The Lightning had tied it at 11:30 of the opening period on a great rush.

No worries for Tampa Bay, which got it back when Kucherov batted in a loose puck from in front at 15:02 to take that one-goal lead.

For the first time in the series, the Devils scored first with Palmieri converting from the left circle with the Lightning playing two men short at 8:23 of the first. Devils in power play. He potted Tampa Bay's first goal and assisted on both of Kucherov's goals.

But the goal for these young Devils was to try to put that emotional victory behind them and refocus, knowing full well one good game wasn't going to get them very far.