The Boston Bruins may have just played their best game of the season.
The Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Saturday in Florida in one of the most complete efforts we’ve seen this season.
The Bruins improved to 18-11-2 while the Lightning dropped to 23-9-5.
It didn’t take long for the Bruins to get on the board. Pastrnak, in what looked like a simple dump-in on net, somehow fooled Andrei Vasilevskiy just over a minute into the contest.
Just a brutal goal to allow 1:11 into a game from the Lightning goaltender. But for Pastrnak, who has struggled to find the back of the net recently, he’ll certainly take it.
He wasn’t done. About five minutes later, Pastrnak had some nifty foot work to clean up a rebound in front.
A shot from Taylor Hall near the point that Vasilevskiy makes the save on, but before he even realizes where the rebound is, Pastrnak has kicked it to his stick and put it in the empty net. 2-0 B’s to start.
That’s who the first frame would end.
All it took this time was 26 seconds into the frame for the Bruins to find the back of the net again.
Marchand deflected a shot past from Mike Reilly past Vasilevskiy to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
Fantastic vision from Reilly. This is his strength and he makes a great play to find the tape of Marchand who just has to lightly tap it in for the goal.
Tampa Bay had an opportunity in the middle of the period where they got a 5 on 3, but the Bruins’ PK got the job down. Oh, and it was without Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, who were the two in the box. Brandon Carlo specifically put on a penalty kill performance worthy for every coach in the world to display to younger kids.
What’s better than three? How about four? Blidh wristed a shot past Vasilevskiy and in for his second goal of the season to extend the Bruins’ lead to 4-0.
An excellent job by Oskar Steen to cause the turnover and he found his fellow Swede coming in off the side.
4-0 Boston after two.
You had to figure the Lightning would have some urgency in the third and they sure did. Ondrej Palat got them on the board just 24 seconds into the third.
A bad bounce as Erik Cernak takes a swipe at the puck in the corner while Carlo is trying to retrieve it and it goes right to the far post where Palat is waiting.
Tampa cut the lead to two later in the frame with a Brayden Point goal.
I don’t think Ullmark got as good view with Carlo trying to block in front of him. Nonetheless, it’s down to a two-goal game.
But that was all the Lightning would get. Marchand added an empty-net goal and the Bruins walked out of Tampa with a 5-2 win, their first win over the Lightning this season.
- Boy did Pastrnak need this. He’s been snakebitten for a bit and hasn’t looked himself. He had the goal the other net against New Jersey and it looks like that might have been the spark he needed. Some great puck luck on that first goal and great skill displayed on the second
- The Bruins in general needed this. The dominate Tampa for two periods. Best they’ve looked all season. And they still looked strong in the third, they bent a bit but didn’t break
- Feels good to have puck luck on Boston’s side. But that’s because they earned it by winning the 50-50 battles and causing turnovers
- Oh, and this was without Charlie McAvoy, who was out again, and without Nick Foligno for most of the game after leaving in the first
- On that, that didn’t look good when he was coming off the ice and Bruce Cassidy said he doesn’t expect Foligno to play Monday either
- Five points in seven games for Steen. He needs to be in the lineup every night
- Another very good performance from Ullmark. Didn’t give up a lot of second chances
- I do think that was an ugly performance on the other side. One of the worst games I’ve seen this Lightning team play. I think it honestly might be those godly black jerseys
A great win after falling short on Thursday against not just a quality opponent, but a division opponent that’s ahead of them. Bruins are back on Monday with a tough task against the Washington Capitals. But this is a great game to build off of.