(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Home: Tampa Bay Lightning: 52-23-4, 108 points, second in the Atlantic Division
Away: Boston Bruins: 49-17-12, 110 points, first in the Atlantic Division
Tampa Bay’s Lineup
Neither team took very long to get reacquainted with each other as the game took on a physical theme. After a bad turnover in front by Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron blocked the rebound attempt by Nikita Kucherov to keep the game scoreless about six and a half minutes in.
The Lightning went to the powerplay at the 8:12 mark of the period as Danton Heinen went off for a trip. The Bruins killed it off as the Lightning failed to get any decent opportunities.
At the 13:41 mark of the period, the Bruins went on the powerplay as Mikhail Sergachav took a tripping penalty. Tampa Bay killed the penalty as the Bruins couldn’t get a consistent rhythm.
After the powerplay, the top line had a very strong shift which nearly resulted in a Bergeron goal but his one-timer hit the stick side post.
David Pastrnak went to the box with just six seconds left after he tripped Ondrej Palat behind the Tampa Bay net.
Right as Pastrnak left the penalty box he was hit with a pass up ice, but couldn’t sneak it by Andrei Vasilevskiy with Sergachev right on his tail.
The Lightning finally broke the scoreless game as Brayden Point fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Rask stick side for his 31st goal of the year at the 5:01 mark.
About six minutes later, Victor Hedman fired a rocket past Rask from the point to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. It was Hedman’s 16th goal of the season, which tied his career-high for goals in a season.
At the 14:27 mark, Chris Kunitz stuffed home a rebound to extended the lead to 3-0. It was Kunitz’s 13th goal of the season, which was challenged by Bruce Cassidy for goalie interference but to no avail.
The Bruins went to the powerplay with just 55 seconds left in the period as Hedman was called for interference. Bergeron just missed the net in the waning seconds as the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize but would head into the third still on the man advantage.
Score: 3-0 Tampa Bay
The Lightning killed off the penalty as the Bruins weren’t able to get any great chances to cut into the lead.
After Marchand fell down with possession in the offensive zone, J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing odd man rush. It was Miller’s 23rd of the season, 10th with the Lightning to make it 4-0 with 17:26 to go in the game.
Marchand went to the box for hooking about four minutes later as frustration began to set in for the Bruins. With just four seconds left on the penalty kill, Tim Schaller got hit with a delay of game call to give the Lightning a very short five on three powerplay.
The Bruins killed off the remainder of Marchand’s penalty and Schaller’s as well. The penalty kill was one of the few bright spots for Boston as they went four for four.
Final Score: 4-0 Tampa Bay