By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
The Boston Bruins were able to hold on to a 3-2 win as they faced their Division rival in what will be one of the most physical series in the Bubble Playoffs. Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves while the top line’s Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist. While there weren’t too many fights on the ice this game, there were some scruffs during the last two periods–an indication of things to come down the line.
Twenty-nine seconds into the first period saw Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara head into the penalty box on a “cross-check” against Blake Coleman. Tampa’s power-play struggled at times as they tried to break through Boston’s zone however, the B’s were able to keep Tampa at bay. Both teams had dangerous chances on either end in the first few minutes of the game.
The Lightning continued to push their way through to Halak but luckily the Bruins D-corp made things difficult. Boston had a missed scoring chance after a face-off win that led to a pass from Marchand to Pastrnak. After an aggressive rush toward Tampa’s goal from Connor Clifton, the Bruins would draw their first penalty. Boston had some good looks during the man advantage but were unable to capitalize.
Ondrej Kase was thisclose to netting his first goal after a pass from Torey Krug that forced Vasilevskiy to make a stellar save on a potential one-on-one goal. As the Bruins continued to push, the boys in Black and Gold would draw first blood. With a little over a minute left to the period, Boston would get on the scoreboard after Charlie Coyle deflected one in from a shot by Brandon Carlo.
This guy’s hand-eye…@CharlieCoyle_3 | #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/n6jQVgBgkC— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 24, 2020
END OF THE FIRST: BOS-1, TBL-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-15, TBL-10
There was more urgency to Tampa Bay’s skating with the second period underway. Boston would have a chance on the man advantage as Victor Hedman got called on a tripping penalty. After circling the Lightning’s defense and with a over a minute of puck possession, David Krejci would send a pass to fellow Czech David Pastrnak, sending the puck in back of the net. Boston was up 2-0.
It’s a PASTA party on the power play. 🚨#NHLBruins | #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/Fj6gqZUDlP— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) August 24, 2020
Tampa Bay would have a chance to get on board as Patrice Bergeron was called on a holding penalty. The Lightning’s second power-play looked sharper, however, they were unable to send one past Halak. Lots of traffic in front of the Bruins net as Tampa Bay attempted to change the momentum. A potential goal for the Lightning was waved off as the puck was hit with a high stick.
Halak was forced to dance many times in net as the Lightning continued to mount pressure on the Bruins defense. Boston had a huge missed opportunity as Kase attempted to net one in from Jake DeBrusk’s pass. Play got heated down both ends that slightly started to resemble the infamous March 7th game. The Lightning would be on their third power-play of the night after Boston was assessed with a roughing penalty.
Much like their first power-play, Tampa Bay had a hard time creating any chances as Halak continued to make key saves. In the last few minutes of the period, the Lightning were assessed an interference penalty. A scary moment came when Erik Cernak was on the receiving end of an errant puck. He quickly went down on the ice but was able to skate on his own accord. A small shoving match between Chara and Hedman would end the second period.
END OF SECOND: BOS-2, TBL-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-7, TBL-18
A chippy start to the third period would see the Bruins on the board as the first line of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak connected. Number 63 would quickly bank one in after a quick saucer pass from Pastrnak. The Bruins were on the board 3-0 into the first three minutes of the period. Expectantly, emotions would start to flare between the two teams-leading to four-on-four play. Neither team was able to score.
While Boston controlled most of the period, the Lightning’s Victor Hedman would net one in past Halak, making the score 3-1. With a little over five minutes left, Tampa Bay’s offense saw more action down the Bruins end. Momentum shifted back to Boston as pucks continued to sail towards Vasilevskiy. With 1:14 left in the third, the Lightning scored and were one away from tying the game. In the nerve-inducing last seconds of the game, the Bruins held on to win 3-2 and are up 1-0 in the series.
GAME FINAL: BOS-3, TBL-2
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-31, TBL-37
NEXT GAME: Tuesday, August 25th, start time of 7:00 PM
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