Lightning eliminates Panthers, Brandon Hagel fined for dangerous act
May 24, 2022
The Tampa Bay Lightning swept the Florida Panthers off the second round after claiming a 2-0 Game 4 win on Monday. Florida tried to clinch a desperate win on the brink of elimination but to no avail. Despite the win, Tampa left winger Brandon Hagel was fined for a dangerous cross-check on Florida centerman Eetu Luostarinen.
Game officials penalized Hagel for his dangerous act, and following a careful review, the penalty was reduced from major to minor. The Lightning professional forward was fined the maximum fine of $3,750 this Monday.
Lightning sweeps Panthers off second-round
Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made a total of 49 saves. The Russian professional also made his six shutouts in Game 4, which put him as the most NHL player to have done such an achievement. The 27-year-old insisted that his achievement was not something special.
"Nothing special really," Vasilevskiy said. "I think the way the whole team plays in those games, the whole series, constant blocked shots, sacrifices, the boys clearly breaking bones to stop the puck. Such a great effort by everybody on our team. Obviously, it's not just me. I am just trying to do my job the best that I can."
Adding to the goaltender’s milestone was the club hitting 10 consecutive playoff series wins in the history of NHL, joining the likes of fellow greats such as the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. The three are the only teams to have recorded 10 or more postseason series win.
"To sit here and think we're in the (same) breath of the greatest teams that have played this game and the amount, because that's when you're really measured, right?" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "What do you do in the playoffs, and to win 10 series in a row, and what does that put us top three all-time."
Tampa has so far recorded six consecutive wins entering the Eastern Conference Finals, where the team will play either the Caroline Hurricanes or the New York Rangers.
The team only made two goals in the last leg of the game. Other than that, the franchise demonstrated a great play of defense, limiting Florida’s offense team from hitting a single goal.
Left-winger Patrick Maroon gave Tampa a 1-0 lead in the third period at 6:16. Maroon successfully transferred defenseman Zach Bogosian’s shot to the net behind Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. At 19:37 of the period, Czech professional left-winger Ondřej Palát made his goal.
Hagel penalize for dangerous cross in Game 3
In Game 3, Hagel was fined after delivering a dangerous cross-check to Luostarinen. The incident took place when Hagel was chasing Luostarinen deep inside Tampa’s zone as Florida was heavy on the offense. Both players approached the end boards and Hagel delivered a cross-check to Luostarinen’s lower back.
The cross-check had Luostarinen lost his balance and sent him crashing into the boards. Game officials were quick to make a call and soon a five-minute-long check took place.
Referees had the option to rule the incident either as a major or minor cross-check. The difference lies in how severe was the contact. The referees at the time were Frederick L’Ecuyer and Dan O’Rourke, who decided that the cross-check was a minor.
On the following day, the league’s Department of Player Safety announced that Hagel was to be fined for boarding.