If Tampa plans to win this series in this game, they’ll need to play as dominant as they did last game. Start early and get the lead and play well enough defensively to not cough it up.
Conversely, if Boston plans to stay alive, they’ll need to be able to shut Tampa down and stop them from getting ahead. Another thing is they’ll need their offense to come out as it did in games one and two, where they scored three goals in both games.
Although not in the game plan I laid out, this was a fairly evenly matched period. Both teams were generating chances as they rushed up and down the ice. Unfortunately, there was no score in this period, even though both teams got an opportunity.
Zdeno Chara was called for a double-minor penalty for high sticking that saw Nikita Kucherov leave during the period. Barclay Goodrow was assessed a two-minute minor for hooking. Neither team was able to capitalize on their chances.
At the end of the first, shots were 8-5 in favor of Boston. The period was still even overall, but Tampa has to pick up their offense if they plan to end the series tonight.
Tampa starts off this period on a high note. Kucherov is back for the second, and after sustained pressure in Boston’s end, Tampa gets on the board. Blake Coleman and Yanni Gourde battle along the boards for the puck, Coleman comes out with the puck, and he passes it to the point for Kevin Shattenkirk. He blasts it towards the net where Ondrej Palat deflects it in, 1-0 Lightning.
After this goal, Boston took control of the momentum. They started firing everything they could at Andrei Vasilevskiy. He was able to fend it off for the most part, until he couldn’t. David Krejci fakes a slap shot and passes it across the ice where he finds David Pastrnak, he fires a one-timer that beats a sprawling Vasilevskiy to tie it up, 1-1.
Tampa attempted to regain the lead, but they couldn’t capitalize in the second period. After this period, Boston lead 15-8 in shots in the second and 23-13 on the game.
Kucherov did not return for the third period. Much like the first, the teams traded chances back and forth to start the third. This was until Cedric Paquette hit Charlie McAvoy straight into the boards, causing him to leave the game for a few minutes. The ripple effect of this was Boston gaining some momentum and pushing as hard as they can to take the lead.
But with seven minutes left in the period, Victor Hedman standing at the right point fires a puck towards the net, and Anthony Cirelli deflects it to give them the 2-1 lead.
Not ready to give up yet, Boston fights back hard to tie this game up. They’re forcing Vasilevskiy to make save after save until their pressure finally pays off. Chara skates the puck up from the point and takes a snapshot towards the net, Palat who is trying to block the shot, deflects the puck to a wide-open Krejci, who buries it past Vasilevskiy. This makes it a 2-2 tie game with less than three minutes left.
At the end of regulation, Boston lead in shots 12-8 on the period and 35-21 on the game. Showing the ice tilt is in slight favor of the Bruins, but all that matters is one goal at this point.
To start the first overtime (spoiler alert: it went to two overtimes) Boston, was carrying the momentum. Tampa just could not create chances in the offensive zone, but it changed around the halfway mark after Krejci was called for a tripping penalty.
The Lightning made a solid push in the second half but couldn’t equalize the Bruins shot totals. At the end of the first overtime, the shots were 11-7 in favor of Boston and 46-28 on the game.
The second overtime was a stark contrast to the first overtime, Tampa had the ice tilted in their favor. They were getting all of the chances, and Boston could not stop them. Hedman fakes a slap shot from the point and instead opts to take a wrist shot that beats Jaroslav Halak for the game-winner. After a thrilling near-100 minute long game, Tampa was able to win the series.
Tampa was ultimately able to win this series because they always found a way to win. Game five was a perfect example, they were outshot and out-chanced but their players were able to break through and find a way to score. Also, they were able to shut the Bruins down defensively and keep themselves from being lit up by the Bruins scoring threats.
Boston was unable to come out on top for almost the exact opposite reasons. They were unable to find the goal support needed. In five games, they only scored 10 goals. They also had to deal with the fact that their starting goalie Tuukka Rask had to leave the bubble for a family emergency. All of this combined did not make life easy for the defending eastern conference champions.
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