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Blunders on defense silence Lightning in disappointing loss to Bruins

Early blunders by the Lightning defense became their downfall as the Bruins walk out of Tampa with a dominating gameplan that lead to victory. Special teams for the Bolts were lacking and while goals were eventually scored it was too little too late. Boston clearly had the perfect game-plan in motion and Tampa was not prepared for the might of the Bruins. Tonight would be a game the Lightning would like to forget but could also be a game to reflect back on for improvement in certain areas.

 

Bruins score quickly

Bruins wasted no time by scoring within the first minute of play. David Pastrnak’s shot bounced off Andrej Sustr’s stick and past Andrei Vasilevskiy for the early 1-0 lead. An unlucky goal for Tampa to surrender, but one that could have been prevented Just over a minute later Tampa received the first power play of the night. Curtis Lazar was called for hooking and the Bolts looked for the equalizer on the man advantage. Lightning kept the pressure going, but Linus Ullmark remained like a brick wall stopping every shot that came his way.

Blue line blunders

Afterwards, another blunder by the Bolts defense became goal number two for the Bruins. Pastrnak fired a wrister that this time beat Vasy clean to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. He entered the Lightning zone with no problems at all and made the Bolts defense pay for that gift. Lightning constantly tried to answer back, but Boston contained the Bolts offense the whole period. Sloppy play on the blue line is what allowed the Bruins to take command of the game early on. What also did not help the Lightning is the decent number of blocked shots by the Bruins. Remainder of the period remained scoreless, but it was clear Boston had the ice in their favor.

 

Deja vu start to the period

Once again Bruins were able to net in an early goal this time from Brad Marchand. Bruins took a quick 3-0 lead and continued to dominate the Lightning. Again, defensive blunders negatively affected the Lightning. Bruins maintained a tight defense that shut down the Bolts offense for the entire period. Despite even having a 5-on-3 power play, Tampa could not get the special teams clicking. Some scoring chances were there, but Ullmark would not budge. Whatever Boston’s game plan was going into this game worked perfectly. Bruins showed no signs of slowing down and had the game on lock-down. Luck definitely was not on Tampa’s side, and they looked to get something going in the third period.

 

Bolts jolt to the early goal

Unlike the previous two periods, Tampa this time scores the early goal. Ondrej Plat took the puck off the boards and ripped it past Linus Ullmark with ease. For once it was a positive pl;ay for the Lightning but still trailed 4-1. Bruins quickly tried to answer the goal but were denied by Vasy. He then made a solid series of saves to prevent Boston from adding to the lead. However, Vasilevskiy is called for tripping giving the Bruins a power play opportunity. Boston is unable to score on the man advantage as the Bolts penalty kill does their job well. Tampa pretty much was in desperation mode and rightfully so with being down by three goals.

Bruins shut it down

With just over 8 minutes to go the Lightning cut the lead in half. Brayden Point goes top shelf to extend his goal streak to 3 games. Score was 4-2 and gave Tampa the momentum they desperately needed. The momentum would not last as Anthony Cirelli is called for tripping a minute after the Point goal. Bolts kill off the power play and then get a power play of their own. On the power play, Bolts pulled Vasy to get an extra attacker on with just over 4 minutes to go. Unfortunately for Tampa Marchand would steal the puck away and seal the deal with an empty net goal. Ullmark was 0-5 in his career against the Lightning until tonight. The early blunders in the beginning of the game ultimately cost the Lightning and gave the Bruins a 5-2 win.

 

Three stars of the night

1st Star: David Pastrnak – 2 goals

2nd Star: Brad Marchand – 2 goals

3rd Star: Mikhail Sergachev – 2 assists

 

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