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(Photo Credit: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Tampa Bay Lightning

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup


Marchand – Cave – Pastrnak

Nordstrom – Krejci – DeBrusk

Donato – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Acciari

Heinen – Kuraly – Backes


Krug – Carlo

Moore – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Kampfer




Tampa Bay’s Lineup


Palat – Stamkos – Gourde

Johnson – Point – Kucherov

Killorn – Cirelli – Miller

Joseph – Paquette – Callahan


Hedman – Girardi

McDonagh – Cernak

Coburn – Sergachev




First Period

Brandon Carlo returned last week, Charlie McAvoy returned tonight. The picture got a bit clearer ahead of this tough Atlantic division showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just over two minutes in, David Pastrnak broke things open after kicking a loose puck to himself and potting for his 20th goal of the year. Colby Cave had the helper, his second of the year.

The Kucherov line struck late in the period after a bit of back-and-forth. Brayden Point buried his 21st goal of the year in close proximity to Tuukka Rask, putting himself ahead of Pastrnak again in the goal-scoring race. Pastrnak tried to retake his lead of Brayden Point on a late breakaway, but was denied by an impressive toe-save by Louis Domingue.

Tampa Bay outshot Boston 15-11 and neither team took a penalty in the first until Charlie McAvoy took a hooking penalty late. Overall, it was a clean, fast-paced period on both sides.

Score: 1-1

Second Period

Marchand and Nordstrom killed McAvoy’s penalty to start the period. Tuukka made some big saves early on to keep the game tied, with the best being on a laser off the stick of Nikita Kucherov.

Noel Acciari nearly buried one with the extra man on with the delayed penalty before the whistle was blown as Victor Hedman went off for tripping. Seeing Charlie McAvoy back on the power play was a nice sight to see. Despite a good power play showing, nothing came out of it on the scoreboard.

David Backes and Anthony Cirelli found themselves in a scuffle in the first instance of nastiness in the game late in the period. Both teams were flying from there on out to wrap up the second period. Most notably, Steven Stamkos came in with speed and that heavy shot, only to be stopped by Rask on a golden chance. The shots were heavily in favor of the Bruins (12-6), and 23-21 Bruins overall, but they couldn’t break the tie. A pivotal third period lied ahead for both teams.

Score: 1-1

Third Period

Mathieu Joseph gave Tampa Bay an added boost when he slid a backhand shot right through the five-hole of Rask to give them the lead. Not too long after, Domingue sent one out of play, handing the Bruins a power play on a delay of game call.

The power play did not go well. Cirelli capitalized off a blocked shot and flew into the offensive zone, beating Rask on a breakaway to widen the lead to two. It was a terrible start to the period for the Bruins, two goals in a minute and 23 seconds for Tampa Bay.

Things were fairly bleak for much of the period until David sent a half slapper from the point past Domingue off a Tampa Bay stick, cutting the lead to one with 1:45 to go in regulation. The goal marked Krejci’s third of the season and first in 19 games, Pastrnak notched his 12th assist on the goal, for Backes, it was his third.

Krejci’s goal wasn’t enough as even though Marchand had a great chance in the dying seconds, Tampa Bay came out with the win. Shots in the period were 11-9 Bruins, 34-30 overall. Rask made 27 saves in the loss. Next up is are the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at 7 PM ET at TD Garden.

Final Score: 3-2 Tampa Bay

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