They’re the favourites now. The penalty kill had been a Lightning problem all season. Tampa Bay wrote its own memo, and the Bruins are gone after five games. Bergeron gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead 6:36 into the final frame, but Steven Stamkos leveled the score with 7:04 remaining in regulation.
Sometimes you just need to tip your hat to the other guys. It certainly looked like a hold with both of Kucherov’s arms draped all over McAvoy as he tackled him to the ice, but it turned into the catalyst for a game-tying goal for the Lightning. So they’re in sync. “One of them being in their puck battles and pursuit, and that showed up in the end”, said the 29-year-old winger. “They were better than we were in a lot of areas”. We moved (David) Backes down to a more physical (line).
HONORABLE MENTION: It’s too bad the Bruins lost this game because Patrice Bergeron was a dominant force for the Black and Gold.
The Lightning received goals from 12 players, with at least one from all four lines. Then with just 2 minutes left in the game, Charlie MacAvoy tied the game at one. The Bruins are a +155 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. “And there wasn’t an ounce of doubt in my mind or any of his teammates’ [minds] that he wasn’t going to come through this”. No penalty was called on the play. The five-game elimination of New Jersey wasn’t a big surprise, but swiftly disposing of the Bruins – who finished one point behind them during the season – was impressive.
“He just kept getting close”, Marchand said. He took control of a loose puck at the hash marks and beat Rask with a backhand shot. “I mean he’s been good”.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 19 saves but ended up losing his last four starts against Tampa Bay.
Scoring first was a good sign for the Bruins as the game’s first scorer was victorious in all four games in the series.
“You can’t rely on special teams every night to win games”, Marchand said. They haven’t scored an even-strength goal since Krug’s seeing-eye shot slipped past Andrei Vasilevskiy in the third period of Game 2.
The Bruins better hope so, or they’ll have played their last game at the TD Garden and sent Rene Rancourt into his retirement already.
The Bruins had success on the power play in the series.
“I think I gave him a huge kiss”, Marchand told reporters after the game.
“Obviously super pumped it worked”. And if they can’t add enough scoring beyond that big three, they could continue to have early summers.
What stood out in the game, and throughout the series, was the Brayden Point line. Once the puck was no longer in play, a skirmish between Marchand and Tampa’s Ryan Callahan broke out.
“I guess I can say it now. Insane stuff goes on and you have to keep a level head”.
They’re trending in the right direction at the right moment.
Cassidy hadn’t yet decided on his forward lines.
Cassidy said before the game that he had spoken with Marchand, delivering a simple, straight-forward message: “We need you on the ice, we need you playing”.
“You want the game to be officiated the right way: sometimes the calls won’t go your way and sometimes they will, and we know that”, said Donato. “I mean it’s 100 per cent buy-in with this group and that’s how we’re doing what we’re doing now”.
Now some rest. The Lightning is halfway down the road to the Stanley Cup. Hey, it might just be their year to win it.