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(Photo Credit: Steve Babineau/NHL via Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Boston’s Lineup


DeBrusk-Krejci-Rick Nash


Heinen-Riley Nash-Backes









Tampa Bay’s Lineup
















First Period

The action got started early for Tampa Bay after Matt Grzelcyk lost control of an airborne puck coming his way. This lead to Ondrej Palat cashing in on the broken play 1:47 into the period. Ondrej Palat then continued to dominate by tipping a shot on the way to the net off the stick of Victor Hedman 3:19 into the first to make it 2-0 Lightning. Those marked his third and fourth goals of the playoffs. Two goals in 92 seconds, Not good.

The Bergeron line attempted to get the boys going shortly after with some good looking chances. The momentum didn’t last long up until Riley Nash went to the box for interference with 13:56 to go with some extracurricular activity surrounding it. Tuukka Rask made the save of the period on JT Miller in front of the net on the power play, thus saving this one from becoming a three-goal game.

More penalties came as Charlie McAvoy took a stupid, avoidable roughing penalty not too far past the halfway point of the period. Palat nearly made it a hat-trick on the power play but Tuukka Rask somehow managed to rob him with a crazy behind-the-back stick save.

The penalty fortunes turned in the Bruins favor with 6:17 left when Anton Stralman went to the box for tripping. Some traffic ensued in front of the net early in the power play and Patrice Bergeron got the Bruins on the board with 5:48 to go.


(Via @mkmolnar on Twitter)

Once again, the momentum didn’t last long as Anthony Cirelli scored on his own rebound with 3:17 to go to make it 3-1 Lightning. Chances were traded back-and-forth for the rest of the period, but nothing really came of anything.Got to play better with Pedro Martinez in the house.

To cap it off, Brad Marchand flipped Dan Girardi over his back much reminiscent of his hit on Sami Salo back in 2011.

Score: 3-1 Tampa Bay

Second Period

Ondrej Palat didn’t start the period with two goals in 92 seconds, so that’s good. With 11:40 to go, Riley Nash nearly got off the snide with a bad angle shot that nearly beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and made it a one-goal game. Up until that point, shot attempts were 17-3 in favor of Boston. A lot of chances, no execution.

Oh man, the stupid, avoidable penalty trend continued with Torey Krug going off for holding with 8:02 to go, thus giving Tampa Bay a chance to widen the gap. This is annoying. David Backes tried to fire the boys up with a hard forecheck and hit on Dan Girardi that Cedric Paquette didn’t like, so they fought. It was mostly wrestling, but a fight nonetheless.

We’re not done yet with the stupid, avoidable penalties yet. Brad Marchand slashed Anton Stralman right on the hands to go to the box with 4:03 to go, giving Tampa Bay another power play.

That period stunk, not much else to say.

Score: 3-1 Tampa Bay

Third Period

More chances and a continued lack of execution. A lack of consistent zone time and shots missing the net killed the Bruins in this one. The little things just weren’t there consistently enough in their offensive attack. A lot of instances involved a dump-in, a scoring chance, and then a clear out from Tampa Bay.

This game could end up being the turning point of the series. Think about it – a dominating win from the Bruins in game one, a game two loss, and a demoralizing game three loss with plenty of things going wrong. Tampa Bay could take the momentum and run. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Nikita Kucherov doesn’t even have a point. The Bruins need a much more inspired effort in game four and beyond.

Steven Stamkos would add an empty-netter with :42 seconds left to go in the third to solidify a 4-1 victory for the Lightning.

Final score: 4-1 Tampa Bay