By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Kase
Ritchie – Coyle – Kuhlman
Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Clifton
Tampa Bay’s Lineup
Palat – Point – Kucherov
Killorn – Cirelli – Johnson
Goodrow – Gourde – Coleman
Paquette – Maroon
Hedman – Bogosian
Sergachev – Shattenkirk
Coburn – Cernak
Ondrej Palat got the scoring start for the Lightning at 11:01. All five Bruins lost sight of him and he walked in and buried one, the polar opposite of what you want to see defensively in such an important game. To make things worse, Brandon Carlo took a slashing penalty less than three minutes later. Luckily, they were able to prevent any further bleeding caused by the electric Lightning power play.
The whistle blew to end the period and a full-blown melee went down behind the Lightning net. Nick Ritchie went off for roughing at the 2:31 mark. Erik Cernak took a roughing penalty out of the whole mess, giving the Bruins a power play to start the second period. The shots were 9-8 in favor of the Bruins with a huge opportunity to start the second period.
Score: 1-0 Tampa Bay
While they got some decent scoring chances, they somehow didn’t register a shot on goal on the power play. Connor Clifton went to the box for cross checking at the 14:14 mark, but the Bruins killed it off. Palat came back for seconds, burying his second of the game at the 7:31 mark to double the lead.
Yanni Gourde took a late hit from Nick Ritchie and Ritchie went off for five minutes for boarding at the 6:28 mark. Gourde was hurt on the play, but skated off under his own power. In doing so, the Lightning had a massive opportunity to put this game out of reach. Par Lindholm blocked a shot from Victor Hedman late in the power play that flew over Jaroslav Halak and in. Some seriously bad luck put the Bruins down three with 1:56 remaining.
Zach Bogosian took a holding penalty with 56.8 seconds left to give the Bruins a late power play. Although they couldn’t bury one before the end of the period, they had a minute and four seconds of power play time to work with to start the third period. Shots in the period were 12-10 in favor of the Lightning, bringing the game total to 20-19 in their favor.
Score: 3-0 Tampa Bay
David Pastrnak was tripped by Blake Coleman behind the net with ten seconds left on the power play, giving the Bruins a brief 5-on-3. Bad news came in the form of Chris Wagner not being on the bench to start the period. Ritchie dropped the gloves with Barclay Goodrow, likely in response to the late hit that Ritchie threw on Gourde in the second period.
David Pastrnak missed a wide open net on a chance to get the Bruins on the board, emblematic of how the game had gone for them. Luke Schenn took a hooking penalty at the 14:55 mark. In the dying seconds of the power play, Jake DeBrusk buried one to break the shutout. Charlie Coyle (2) and Matt Grzelcyk (1) had the helpers.
Bruce Cassidy pulled Halak for an extra attacker late in the game, but it wasn’t enough. Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning were the better team and won as a result. The Bruins outshot the Lightning 11-6 in the final frame, but it didn’t matter in the end. The final shots were 30-26 in favor of the Bruins. Game five, do or die, lies ahead on Monday at 7:00 PM ET.