With eight goals in 14 games, Lightning center Tyler Johnson led all playoff scorers through two rounds. And he continued the hot streak Monday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final by scoring the first goal of the night – and then Tampa's second of the game – to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead on the New York Rangers after 20 minutes of play.
Johnson's ninth of the post-season was a shorthanded goal 5:38 into the opening frame after a turnover from former Lightning star Martin St-Louis:
The Rangers tied it some three minutes later on a Chris Kreider power play goal, but Johnson struck again at the 11:15 mark with a man advantage goal of his own:
Johnson's second goal gave him 15 points in as many post-season games this year. The 24-year-old is shaping up to be a prime candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Sure enough, Johnson scored the hat trick – the first playoff hat trick in Bolts franchise history – with his third of Game 2 at the 8:17 mark of the second period:
The goal, which put Tampa up 3-1, gave Johnson a shorthanded goal, power play goal and regular-strength goal in Game 2. He's proving to be a special player – and a valuable contributor to take pressure off star Steven Stamkos.