Through three periods of action at Amalie Arena, both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins found themselves in a goaltending duel. Both Lightning netminder Ben Bishop and Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson combined for 74 saves going into overtime, but all it took was one shot to pull Boston into a tie with Tampa Bay for first-place in the Atlantic Division.
Brad Marchand scored his 34th goal of the season just 10 seconds into three-on-three overtime, and the Bruins topped the Lightning 1-0 as both teams were playing the second half of back-to-back games. Bishop finished with 32 saves, while Gustavsson earned the shutout by stopping all 42 shots he faced.
In the first period, Bishop and Gustavsson were on point, as the action was back and forth the whole period, and with points so important at this point in the season, the Lightning played with a desperation they didn’t have the night before in Philadelphia. Midway through the period, Ondrej Palat leveled Jimmy Hayes with a big hit by the benches. There was some pushing and shoving until Brian Boyle came on the ice and pushed Hayes into the open door of the Boston bench. Both men we called for roughing. Towards the end of the period, Zdeno Chara was called for high-sticking on Jonathan Marchessault. However, Marchand found himself on a shorthanded breakaway, yet Bishop stood tall with a glove save. John-Michael Liles later pushed his elbow out to an oncoming Nikita Kucherov, making direct contact with his head that went uncalled. The period ended tied at 0-0 with the Bruins leading the Lightning in shots 11-8.
The second period was all about great passing and plenty of shots on net for the Bolts, as they took control of the shot count, finishing the period leading 27-22 in that department. This was a considerable improvement from the previous game against the Flyers. While they were unable crack the code that was Gustavsson in the second, one would think that the law of averages would work out in the Lightning’s favor and they would get that elusive goal they were searching for. Boston was called for two penalties in the period, as Noel Acciari was called for slashing and Adam McQuaid for hooking. Unfortunately for the Bolts, they were unable to get things going on the power play.
Sometimes the shots just don’t go in, and such was the case for the Lightning in the third period. The Bolts continued with the onslaught of shots on net, leading Boston 42-32 after regulation, but the goaltenders in this game were absolutely putting on a clinic for their teams. Gustavsson made save after save while Bishop was as dependable as ever. There was only one penalty for the Bruins as David Pastrnak was called for delay of game, but the Lightning were unable to take advantage, and the game was still scoreless going to overtime. After winning the faceoff, Patrice Bergeron led a 2-on-1 rush into the Lightning zone, with Bergeron setting up Marchand for the game-winner. Despite the loss, the Lightning still pick up a point and hold the tiebreaker over the Bruins due to having a game in hand.
The Lightning are back in action Friday when the Philadelphia Flyers come to Tampa, as the opening faceoff is set for 7:30 pm.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
3rd Star: Brad Marchand – In a game with only one goal, I give the third star to the one who ended the game in overtime.
2nd Star: Ben Bishop – Perfect through three periods after stopping 32 shots, Bishop had a fantastic game and shut the door on the Bruins with point-blank saves multiple times.
1st Star: Jonas Gustavsson – Gustavsson was solid all night, stopping all 42 shots, earning a shutout and the first star of the game. Follow Stephen on Twitter
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