Bruins with home ice advantage as series shifts to Garden

Wendy Jensen
May 4, 2018

Stamkos had been held off the scoresheet in the first two games of the second round series against the Bruins before he scored an empty-netter in Game 3. They're feeling better about leaving town with the Round 2 series against the Boston Bruins tied 1-1.

The trio shut down New Jersey's Taylor Hall in the first round of the playoffs, and has outplayed Boston's monster line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak after being scorched for three goals and eight assists in the Game 1 loss.

In other words, he's a flawless fit for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But we know he's capable of such a game. With Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov targeted and quieted through the early part of the series, Ondrej Palat stepped up and filled the offensive void.

The Lightning improved to 6-0 this postseason when leading after two periods. These two goals scored by Palat were the seventh fastest scored goals in National Hockey League playoff history.

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Few pucks on net is becoming a common occurrence for the group. Rookie Jayson Tatum scored a career-high 28 - giving him three straight 20 point playoff games.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, Tampa answered immediately. He then controlled it and fired it by Rask with only 3:17 left in the period. Second, the refs called an absolute bad uneven game.

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Asked if he could explain what Palat means to the Lightning, coach Jon Cooper said, "No. I believe that. I think that's where, fundamentally, we're missing out with the players we're relying on".

Through Games 2 and 3 at least, the Lightning have executed their game plan to perfection. What Steve Yzerman and Julien BriseBois are willing to do more than most is look past some of the attributes a player doesn't possess - be it size, pedigree or hype - and focus instead on those they do. "Obviously to score a couple goals was great for us to get the lead, and we didn't look back from there". Bruins fans booed the officials, with loud chants and vitriol pouring out of the TD Garden stands. The most exhilarating action of the period came when David Backes hit Dan Girardi from behind and Lightning forward Cedric Paquette attempted to stand up for his defenseman. Both got a minor and a major for fighting. The game will get started at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 2 and it is being shown live on NBC Sports Network.

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The Lightning again controlled the pace of play in the third period. Not even showing Boston legends Pedro Martinez and Bobby Orr together on the video board was enough to lift the Bruins.

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for Boston.

The over has hit in three of Boston's last five games. But Krejci and Nash - especially Nash - have made a habit of not finishing their chances this postseason (and in Nash's case, in other postseasons too), and at a certain point taking a bunch of shots stops being a silver lining and not scoring on those shots becomes a reason you could find your season on the brink. They better hope it returns in Friday night's Game 4 or they could be heading back to Tampa down 3-1. He got a goal and an assist in Game Two.

Seven years ago, Tyler Seguin wasn't really ready when he was thrust into the lineup in the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay after Bergeron suffered a concussion at the end of the series with Philadelphia. All four lines have gotten in on the act, a continual wave of relentless pursuit that's put the Bruins under constant pressure and forced them into numerous mistakes.

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