If the Tampa Bay Lightning want to win this game and tie the series, they’ll need to be able to neutralize the Boston Bruins top line and create offence of their own. Unlike last game, they’ll need to get out ahead early and prevent the game from getting out of hand and putting themselves in a position where they need to come back late.
If Boston wants to win, they’ll need to follow what they did last game. Come out ahead and prevent the Lightning from coming back. Support Jaroslav Halak and make sure their top players can lead their offence.
On the injury front, the Lightning are still without Steven Stamkos and are now without defender Ryan McDonagh. He was replaced by Luke Schenn in this game.
Reminiscent of last game, Boston opens the scoring early. Nick Ritchie takes the pucks from beside the net and puts it on net, triggering a big scramble in front with himself and Charlie Coyle digging at the puck in the crease. It trickles in and Ritchie is awarded the goal on the play, 1-0 Boston.
This puts the pressure on the Lightning as they battle hard to come back. They dominate the shot clock from here and are firing everything they can on Halak, making him make saves. Finally, Braydon Coburn takes a shot from the point. On its path to the net, Barclay Goodrow deflects it past Halak, 1-1 tie game… Or so we thought. Bruce Cassidy challenges and the goal is waved off as an offside, no goal 1-0 Boston still.
However, with less than 10 minutes to go in the opening period, Zach Bogosian carries the puck into the offensive zone and splits the two Bruins defenders. After making it past them, he loses his balance and mid-fall bats the puck across the ice. Blake Coleman, who also dives, shoots the puck towards the net and beats Halak, 1-1 tie game… For real this time.
At the end of the first, shots are close, but the Lightning lead 11-9. It’s a close game by all accounts but Tampa definitely seems to hold the momentum.
As I said, the momentum was very much in the Lightning’s favour. They’re trying desperately to take the lead for the first time this series and come out with a lead in shots at 8-4. This is until Ondrej Palat receives a two-minute minor for high sticking. Less than 30 seconds into the ensuing power play Torey Krug on the right point, passes the puck to David Pastrnak on the left point. He settles the puck and sends it through Erik Cernak’s legs towards Brad Marchand, who’s waiting at the side of the net and deflects it in, 2-1 Bruins.
Just under a minute later, Brayden Point plays keep-away and evades the Bruins players in the offensive zone. He breaks free and passes it over to Kevin Shattenkirk, who fires it towards the net. The puck finds Nikita Kucherov’s stick and he deflects it in, 2-2 tie game once again.
At the end of the second, the Lightning have run away with the shot lead, sitting 12-7 on the period and 23-16 on the game so far.
Once again, Tampa is firing everything they can at the Boston net. This is because they get a power play less than a minute in from a Connor Clifton interference penalty. The Lightning come up empty-handed on the man advantage and both teams trade chances back and forth.
Around the halfway point in the period, Victor Hedman sends a stretch pass to Coleman, who’s waiting at the Boston blue line, springing him on a breakaway. He carries the puck into the offensive zone and shoots on net and thanks to a Clifton slash, the puck changes trajectory and it slides past Halak, 3-2 Lightning lead for the first time this series.
Both teams go back and forth for the next 6 minutes. This is until Pastrnak makes a backhand pass over to Sean Kuraly, who sends it cross-crease over to Marchand, who fires it past Andrei Vasilevskiy to complete the tic-tac-toe play, 3-3 tie game.
Regulation ends and the teams are tied in goals and 8-8 in shots on the period. On the game as a whole, the shots favour the Lightning with a 31-24 lead.
In the overtime period, the Lightning lead the shot counter as they have for the majority of the game. This leads to them closing out the game less than five minutes into the extra period. Palat fires a shot but Halak makes the save, then Alex Killorn corals the rebound and carries it behind the net. He comes out the other side and puts the puck on net, this time Palat grabs the rebound and fires it past Halak for the game-winner and the Lightning tie the series.
This was a big win for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they tie the series up. They didn’t give up, even though they only held the lead once, they were relentless on the puck and it paid off in the end. In the overtime period, they led 9-1 in shots, and that sort of pressure is what ultimately got them the win.
Boston was almost equally as good, it didn’t result in a win but they kept the game close and didn’t let Tampa dominate them the entire game. They’ll need to work on holding the lead and not letting their opponents capitalize on their chances.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Zach Bogosian
⭐️⭐️ – Ondrej Palat
⭐️ – Blake Coleman
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Torey Krug
⭐️⭐️ – David Pastrnak
⭐️ – Brad Marchand
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