Three Stars: Drouin, Tarasenko, Andersen shine on Tuesday
Tuesday marked the seventh day of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and there’s no sign of a slowdown in the thrills.
The Lightning used a late goal to edge past the Red Wings and go up 3-1 in their series, while the Penguins found their legs in Game 3 against the Rangers, taking a 2-1 advantage. In the late games, the Ducks put one in the win column in the third game of their series against the Predators, while the Blackhawks find themselves on the brink of elimination after falling to the Blues in Game 4.
Here’s who stood out to us on a four-game night:
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning
You know the old saying: Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make. The Lightning chose to mend fences with Drouin rather than ship him off at the February trade deadline, a decision that paid off handsomely in Tampa's 3–2 win over the Red Wings in Game 4. Slotted onto the first power play, the visionary winger gave it a fluidity and efficiency that was missing through the first three games of the series. The unit clicked three times on five chances, with Drouin picking up an assist on each goal.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
No player terrorizes Chicago quite like Tarasenko. The St. Louis sniper scored twice on Tuesday night to lead the Blues to a 4–3 win, and now has eight goals this season against the defending champs. His first of the night—an absolute screamer that came off his stick in .2 seconds, according to Sportsnet—gave St. Louis a 1–0 lead. His second tied the game at two and helped swing momentum back in favor of the Blues.
Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks
Gotta hand it to Bruce Boudreau. With his team down two games to none and desperately needing a jolt, the Ducks coach played a hunch and benched rookie John Gibson in favor of Andersen. The veteran responded with his second consecutive shutout, making 27 saves to lead Anaheim to a 3–0 Game 3 win in Nashville. Andersen was locked in all night, but made his biggest stop midway through the second when he blocked an uncontested Shea Weber slap shot with his head to preserve a 1–0 lead.