Bruins Drop Game 2: Series Shifts to Boston Tied 1-1

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Boston Bruins during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Boston Bruins during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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In Game 1, the Bruins dominated Tampa, Game 2 however not so much.

Boston took home-ice advantage after their Game 1 win, but couldn’t ride the wave of momentum into Game 2.  The two biggest stories coming out of Game 2 was the Bruins inability to get shots on goal and offensive zone turnovers.  The Lightning’s 2nd and 3rd goals were created by Bruins turnovers by Pastrnak and Marchand and the Bruins can’t afford the give the offensively heavy Lighting any more chances than they already create themselves.  If the B’s can clean up the turnovers and get more shots on Vasilevskiy, I still love their chance in the series.

Period 1:

Tampa Bay started off hot, as they registered a couple early chances, mostly due to Bruins turnovers.  Tuukka Rask was on his game early stopping the Lightning’s chances and keeping the Bruins in the game.  After another Rask save, a scrum ensued and somehow at the end of it, David Backes was given the extra 2 for roughing and Tampa Bay had the first powerplay of the game.  Although Tampa had chances with the man advantage, they still couldn’t solve Rask.

At exactly 10 minutes into the period, Torey Krug was whistled for a slash, but it was an extremely weak call, as Krug’s stick hit Brayden Point‘s knee but alas Tampa had their second powerplay of the game. Continuing the officials rough opening period, there was a point during the powerplay where the Bruins’ net was off its pegs and the refs didn’t notice that the net was off, and didn’t hear the complaints of Rask’s and the Lightning’s bench.  Once the net was restored to its proper place, Tampa finally broke through on the man advantage as Yanni Gourde‘s shot just squeaked by Rask, to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead.  Rask got a piece of the shot with his skate, but it wasn’t enough to keep the puck out of the net.

As Tampa had control of the game for the majority of the opening period, the Bruins first shot of the contest didn’t come until 14 minutes into the game.  After their opening shot, the Bruins took over for the rest of the frame.  In quick succession, Tyler Johnson was called for roughing in a very similar situation like the Backes call and 15 seconds after that penalty, Ryan McDonagh was also called for roughing.  Down 1-0, the Bruins had a glorious opportunity to tie or take the lead with a 5 on 3 powerplay for 1:45.  While Pastrnak hit the post on the man advantage, the B’s failed to capitalize.

But, Boston’s late pressure would pay off as the 1st line strikes again.  Brad Marchand entered the zone and passed it over to Bergeron at the left circle.  Bergeron quickly passed the puck to Charlie McAvoy who jumped into the slot, and his shot beat Vasilevskiy to tie the game at 1.

Period 2:

The first period was initially controlled by Tampa before Boston stormed back and took control with around 6 minutes remaining.  The second period, however, was much more balanced.  Both teams had good looks early, but the goalies remained steadfast to keep the game knotted at 1.  Halfway through the period, Tampa Bay broke the deadlock as Tyler Johnson beat Rask on a counterattack.  A David Pastrnak drop pass was picked off by the Bolts, where they rushed down the ice and Johnson beat Rask with a shot glove side and I can’t exactly tell you what Rask was doing on the shot as he seemed to be moving away from the shot.  It was an odd move by Rask, as he had been in great position all game long and saw the puck well previous to the Johnson tally.

The Bruins had their 3rd chance on the powerplay as Victor Hedman was whistled for holding on Sean Kuraly.  Like the 5 on 3, the B’s failed to score and Boston still trailed 2-1 in the 2nd frame.  The B’s continued their search for the equalizer but couldn’t beat Vasilevskiy and the period ended with Tampa Bay up 2-1.

Period 3:

Early in the 3rd, Kevan Miller boarded Brayden Point and a huge scuffle came about and at the end of the scrap, both teams sent two players to the box.  The B’s were still down a goal, but Tampa Bay had the best chances in the 3rd, but Rask rebounded from his awkward looking 2nd goal allowed to keep Boston down 1.  David Pastrnak’s rough game got even worse as off a faceoff was called for high-sticking against Victor Hedman, who was cut open on the play.  The replay showed the Pasta lifted Hedman’s stick into his own face, but the Bruins had to kill off a 4-minute double minor penalty.

Boston killed off the penalty, led by Rask and Chara and the B’s still had a chance to steal the victory.  However, another offensive zone turnover, this time by Brad Marchand resulted in the Lightning’s third goal.  Ondrej Palat lasered one right past Rask’s head to give the Bolts a 3-1 lead in the 3rd.

Boston kept fighting as, 2 minutes after Palat’s goal, Torey Krug’s shot snuck underneath Vasilevskiy, to cut the lead back to 1.  Brad Marchand had a chance right after on a breakaway, but his attempt was thwarted on a play that could have been called slashing.

Boston pulled Rask down a goal, but couldn’t find the tying goal before Brayden Point finished off the B’s with the empty netter for a 4-2 Tampa Bay victory.

Next: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay Game 2

Short Shifts:

  • Tuukka Rask played well tonight, but I could not tell you what he was doing on the second goal, he left plenty of the net open for Johnson to shoot at.
  • Can the Bruins cool it with the drop passes in the offensive zone?  Those passes create too many turnovers, and Pasta’s failed pass led to Johnson’s goal in the 2nd.
  • Both games this series the Bruins have gotten killed in the shot department, being outshot by 12 in Game 1 and 11 in Game 2.  They didn’t get their first shot tonight until 14 minutes into the game.
  • I’m not one to complain about the officials, but my god have they been terrible in this series.  Whether it is inconsistent calls and no consistency or weak calls that are not penalties, they have been awful in both games.  How do all the referees not notice the net was off its pegs for 20 seconds while Tampa had a powerplay in the 1st period, it’s unbelievable.
  • Back at it again on Wednesday for Game 3.