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Best of the Bolts: Elite Eight - Blue Bracket

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Voting for the third group in the Elite Eight in the Best of the Bolts matchup starts at noon on August 24 and ends at noon on August 26. Each matchup is listed below and you can vote as many times as you'd like for your favorite play in each matchup.

Kucherov Goes Beast Mode vs. Killorn Finishes off the Red Wings

FEBRUARY 12, 2016: KUCHEROV GOES BEAST MODE

Tampa Bay winger Nikita Kucherov scored a career-best 30 goals in 2015-16.

His most impressive, arguably, was this determined sprint toward goal with Nashville’s Ryan Ellis draped all over his back.

From behind the Tampa Bay net, Nikita Nesterov sprung Kucherov with a stretch pass up the middle of the ice, hitting Kucherov in stride near the Predators’ blue line. Ellis struggled to catch up to Kucherov, grabbing, clutching, holding, anything to slow the Russian down.

Despite drawing a penalty, Kucherov would not be denied. He remained on his feet, fought off Ellis’ challenge and jabbed the puck toward Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne. When Rinne blocked the first attempt, Kucherov jabbed again, sliding the puck under Rinne’s pads to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead in a game the Bolts would win 4-3 in overtime.

APRIL 21, 2016: KILLORN FINISHES OFF THE RED WINGS

Alex Killorn has a knack for rising to the occasion.

The higher the stakes, the greater Killorn’s impact.

Last season, the 26-year-old forward delivered the winning goal in Game 7 against the Rangers to clinch the Eastern Conference crown and a spot in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

And who could forget his wonder goal in the opening game of the SCF when he tipped a shot down onto the ice with his backhand, bouncing it past Corey Crawford for the first goal of the series.

In 2016, Killorn continued to save his best for when it counted most.

With a chance to close out the Detroit Red Wings on home ice in Game 5 of a first round series, the Lightning labored to find a way to get a puck past Petr Mrazek. Through 58 minutes, neither team had been able to score.

Mrazek misplayed a puck behind his goal in the closing seconds, however, and the Lightning capitalized. Ryan Callahan grabbed possession, and Killorn went to an open area of the net.

Callahan passed.

Killorn backhanded.

The Lightning scored.

And the Red Wings were finished, for the second year in a row, at the hands of the Lightning.

Elite Eight
Kucherov Goes Beast Mode
Killorn Finishes off the Red Wings
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