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Bruins top Lightning in OT thriller

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins went to battle Friday night with third place in the Atlantic Division on the line. Both teams entered the night with 93 points. The Lightning were coming off three straight losses and needed a win to stay above the wild card line.

Early but empty chances for power play

Tampa Bay benefited from an early power play as Mike Reilly was called for high sticking Corey Perry. Immediately, the Bolts power play was firing with great looks at the net. However, a Victor Hedman turned over swung momentum back to the shorthanded Bruins. Eventually, the penalty was killed successfully.

At 11:33 of the period, the Lightning went back to work on the power play. This time, it was Matt Grzelcyk called for cross checking. The power play turned out to be short lived as Alex Killorn was called for tripping just 23 seconds in. Boston possessed the puck for much of the 4 on 4 time, and did not convert on their short power play chance. Ultimately, the first period ended with no score.

Bruins score early, Lightning follow close behind

The second period started with a bang for the Bruins. Just 47 seconds in, Jake DeBrusk slipped a backhand through the 5 hole of Andrei Vasilevskiy to break the scoreless tie. The Lightning seemed to gain an energy boost from this goal and spent the better part of the next 4 shifts applying intense pressure in the offensive zone.

Lightning finally struck at the 3:28 mark of the period. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare fired home one timer off a feed from Corey Perry behind the Boston net. The play was made possible by a great keep at the blue line by Jan Rutta. Rutta then fed the puck along the boards to an awaiting Perry and Bellemare did the rest.

The teams once again traded penalties in the period resulting in abbreviated power plays and 4 on 4 skating. The Lightning did have an additional, full 2 minute power play opportunity that resulted in a prime scoring chance, but traffic in front of the Bruins net led to the puck being covered. Though the teams traded goals in the period, Tampa Bay was outshot 15-6.

Lightning control third, but cannot break tie

The Lightning energy was ramped up a few notches to begin the third period. The first 7 shots of the period belonged to Tampa Bay. This was largely due to an early power play chance for the Bolts. Mike Reilly committed his second high sticking penalty of the game at the 1:33 mark. This time, against Ondrej Palat who was slow to get up and skate off the ice. The power play unit was in sync and had chances, but once again came up empty.

The Lightning completely controlled and dominated the third period, but could not find their way to a second goal. The Bruins took another shot at the power play when Ondrej Palat was called for hooking at 15:45. Tampa Bay successfully killed the penalty and minimized Boston’s scoring chances to keep the score deadlocked at 1. A furious Lightning push in the game’s final minutes came up empty, sending the game to overtime.

Much like the third period, the Lightning controlled possession for most of overtime. And much like the third period, the painful result was the same…no goals. The Bruins didn’t have many chances in the bonus period, but they were able to capitalize on the one that mattered. At 3:37, Charlie Coyle took a pass from Jake DeBrusk to clinch a 2-1 victory for the Bruins.

The loss put Tampa Bay in sole possession of the first wild card spot and out of the third spot in the Atlantic Division.

3 Stars:

  1. Linus Ullmark
  2. Charlie Coyle
  3. Andrei Vasilevskiy







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