Drouin scored for the second game in a row in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins in Game 2. The goal brings the 2013 first-overall pick up to 11 points in 12 playoff games this year, which is quite an achievement after he spent all but 21 games in the AHL this season. Monday also marked the fourth time this postseason that Drouin has received over 19 minutes of ice time (19:37), so he's very much being relied upon to deliver the goods for a Tampa club missing superstar captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot).
Drouin took a hard hit to the head in the second period of Tuesday's game and was put through concussion protocol before returning to the game in the third period. He set up the game-tying goal against the Islanders upon his return. He had been carrying the puck down the right wing and made a move at the blue line to cut toward center. Isles' defender Thomas Hickey had Drouin in the trolley tracks and hit him hard, snapping his head back abruptly. He returned in the third and was on the ice late with Ben Bishop pulled. Drouin's remarkable vision and passing skills found Nikita Kucherov who made no mistake on the tying goal. Drouin has had a great postseason and may be in the midst of changing the Bolts' long-term view of him.
Drouin was dynamite on the man advantage as the Lightning took a 3-1 series lead after winning Game 4 on Tuesday. The Lightning raved about how good Drouin looked after his team-imposed suspension and they weren't kidding. Despite getting all three points came on the power-play, Drouin registered the first assist on two occasions, and used his speed and stickhandling to create space on offense. More astute poolies would've bought low on Drouin in playoff pools. Without Steven Stamkos (blood clot), the Lightning will be looking to get offense from Drouin and Nikita Kucherov.
Drouin, who was a healthy scratch in 20 of 26 playoff games last season, will likely be in the Lightning's top six to start Game 1 against the Red Wings, reports the Tampa Bay Times. He's been pretty good since his call-up and notched a goal in each of his first two games. Drouin has great talent and the Bolts will need that to help them get through the injuries that have beset them of late.
Drouin scored the game-winning goal Thursday against the Devils in his return to NHL. The Bolts suspended Drouin back in January after the team refused to trade him. He asked to come back in March and returned to the AHL on March 7, scoring nine goals in a 10-game span. An injury to Steven Stamkos provided the opening for a call-up and he delivered. Drouin could be a solid option for your postseason pools -- he'll come cheap and he's motivated to punch his ticket out of town.
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Last 7 Games
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