Photo Credit: Kim Klement (USA TODAY Sports)
After a great Game One for the Bruins, the lineup stays the same. Both David Krejci and Kevan Miller were nursing injuries during the off day practice but are both ready to go tonight. Rask takes the net for Boston and Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa.
What I Am Looking Forward To
Tuukka Rask is known as someone who can get upset once in awhile (Proof) and honestly, I like to see this kind of fire in players. While the throwing of sticks, milk crates, and even skate blades aren’t recommended, it’s nice to see the Bruins star goalie show how much he wants to win. I expect a big game from him after a solid second half performance last game.
Right off the opening faceoff Torey Krug turned the puck over at the redline and Tampa was able to get a quick shot on net. Boston looked slow through the first two minutes, forcing Rask to be on top of things early to make sure the game stayed tied. Tampa was able to get into the zone at will early on and made Rask step up to the challenge. After some post-whistle antics, Boston found themselves on the penalty kill where Tampa turned Boston’s zone into a shooting gallery with one-timers from everywhere. 10 minutes into the game the Bruins still hadn’t registered a shot and just as they hit the 10-minute mark, Boston was assessed a slashing penalty that resulted in a goal by Gourde after some great defensive play by the Bruins. Boston finally got a shot with about 14 minutes played, and right after that Boston drew a penalty that put them on their first power play of the night, which almost immediately turned into a 5-on-3 which Boston could not convert on. Boston would eventually tie it up after a great shot from Charlie McAvoy, his first in his playoff career. Boston heads off the ice tied after an overall pretty bad period.
BOS – McAvoy (Bergeron, Marchand)
TB – Gourde PP (Point, Sergachev)
Both teams started to get more physically aggressive in the opening minutes of the second period by throwing bigger hits, starting with a hit on Torey Krug in the first shift. After some back and forth, Tampa took advantage of the Bruins collapsing defense and made a great passing play that drew Rask out of position so that Tyler Johnson could find the back of the net to make it 2-1 TB. Boston continued to get chances in the offensive end, but couldn’t convert or stay in the zone for an extended period of time. Boston ended the second period with only 13 shots total, not nearly enough if you want to beat a great goalie like Vasilevskiy along with the deep Lightning defense core.
BOS – N/A
TB – Johnson (Point, Palat)
Jake DeBrusk had a great chance early as he tore down the middle of the ice and tried to sneak the puck through the five-hole of Vasilevskiy. More physical play emerged leading to a couple more scrums and a hit from behind from Miller that was offset with a cross-checking minor. With just over 12 minutes left to play, David Pastrnak was assessed a four-minute double minor for a “High-stick” on Hedman, and I use quotes because it was Hedman’s own stick that smacked him on the nose and caused him to bleed. The Bruins made the kill with some miraculous saves from Rask. Boston got some good chances, but couldn’t get anything solid going. After it looked like Boston was going to get an icing call, Brad Marchand decided to saucer pass the puck directly back onto the stick of Point, who then dumped it off to Palat who went top corner on Rask to make it 3-1. Moments after, the Bruins got a lucky bounce as Torey Krug fired a shot on net that snuck its way through the pads of Vasilevskiy. This meant the Bruins were able to pull their goalie and give themselves a chance, but they weren’t able to capitalize with the man advantage. 4-2 Tampa and the teams are going back to Boston with the series split.
BOS – Krug (Pastrnak, Marchand)
TB – Palat (Point), Point EN (Hedman)
These are a lot of shot share stats that basically show that Boston did not have a ton of shots tonight. This is something that they’ll need to improve upon if they want to keep Tampa’s bolstering offense at bay in Game Three.
KG’s Three Stars Of The Game
1st: Brad Marchand – He was on tonight, with two assists and quite a few good chances. While there really were no standouts for the B’s tonight Marchand showed that he was someone who was influencing the game.
2nd: Torey Krug – Krug was very good tonight when moving the puck and getting shots at the net. Krug has been relied upon lots in the playoffs and came up clutch tonight after TB’s third goal.
3rd: Tuukka Rask – Rask may not have had a great game like he can at times, but he made some huge saves in critical times. Rask will always be the make-or-break guy for the Bruins, and I believe that he played well enough for the Bruins to win tonight.
MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player: Zdeno Chara – Just remember this. Chara is currently 41 years old. He has been playing in the NHL since he was 20. He is playing with a d-partner that is half his age. Chara is also a 6’9″ 250lbs man who played 25:33 tonight, the most by any player in the game. He is by far one of the most physical players night in and night out, and he can still put up TOI like this. Incredible.
BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game
Wednesday, May 2nd, in Boston vs Tampa Bay