May 13, 2018 / 2:45 AM / in 9 days

Stralman, Paquette will play Game 2; Cooper supports Vasilevskiy

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman and forward Cedric Paquette are expected to play in Sunday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Washington Capitals despite missing practice on Saturday.

“They will be fine,” head coach Jon Cooper told reporters.

Stralman, 31, missed nearly half of the third period in Game 1 before returning, finishing with 17:50 of ice time for the game and picking up an assist. Through the first 10 games of the playoffs, he averaged 22:47 of ice time while tallying a goal and two assists.

Paquette, 24, did not appear to miss time in Game 1 but did sit out a practice earlier this week. He has one point in 11 playoff games after totaling nine in 56 regular-season contests.

Cooper also voiced his support for goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed four goals on 25 shots in Game 1 before being pulled in the second period.

“Superman has kryptonite too,” Cooper said. “We can’t depend on him to stop the barrage of chances he was getting. We gave Washington more scoring chances in the second period than we gave Boston in four of the five games we played them, the entire game.

“So when you give up those chances, I look at and say, ‘God, 4-2. How wasn’t it 8-2?’ That’s the way I look at it.”

The Vezina trophy finalist’s save percentage of .920 in the postseason is identical to his regular-season figure, while his goals-against average has dropped from 2.62 to 2.43 in 11 postseason games, as the Lightning have gone 8-3.

“They had pretty good chances last night, but anyway I gave up four and played two periods,” Vasilevskiy said. “So I guess I have to be better next game.”

Game 2 in Tampa starts at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.

—Field Level Media

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