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Bolts lose heartbreaker to Bruins in 10-round shootout

The Lightning came back from a 3-1 hole, but can’t complete the comeback.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers
Tuukka Rask stood tall in the shootout.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

If you read Thursday’s game preview you would have read that the Bolts needed a strong start to really contend through 60 minutes. Well, through 10 minutes the Bruins netted two goals. This may have comeback to haunt them as they lost in a 10-round shootout.

1st Period

Through the first few moments of the game, it seemed as if the Bruins had the upper hand. Although they didn’t have a lot of zone time, they got shots on net. Brandon Carlo took the puck off an offensive faceoff and skated to the outside of the crease to the stick side of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasy seemed poised for the shot but the puck was squeaked in through glove side.

The Bolts then began to get some possession going and got shots on Bruins netminder Tukka Rask — yet they continued to struggle in developing good opportunities.

The Bruins had an odd-man rush against Anton Stralman, but Jason Garrison got back to break up the play. Later on, Ryan Callahan received a nice stretch pass to the blueline where he took a shot from the point. It wasn’t really a dangerous play but set up an offensive faceoff.

Play seemed to sway back and forth until JT Brown was called for a four-minute double minor high-sticking call against David Pasternak. The Bolts seemed effective through the first three minutes or so as the Bruins didn’t have many dangerous chances, and Vasy did a great job at swallowing up rebounds.

Successful clears at times from Tyler Johnson and Valtteri Filppula allowed the Bolts to get fresh legs on the ice. Within the final minute of the kill, the Bruins had great puck movement. One shot hit the goal post, and one shot found the back of the net — a nice feed to Ryan Spooner with another goal on Vasy’s glove side.

Jon Cooper and the Lightning bench continued their challenging streak of late by declaring the play was offsides. Would the offsides really have drastically affected the play? Most likely not, but a rule is a rule. The refs called it a good goal as there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the play.

Interesting stat mentioned by Fox Sports Sun color commentator Brian Engblom:

Play resumed and Brayden Point received a nice fast break down the ice. The zone entry eventually led to a high-sticking penalty and a Bolts power play. The Lightning had a few good looks, including one when Nikita Kucherov hit the post. The puck bounced out and Rask recovered it.

On the next play, Kuch was poised to take a shot but didn’t like what he saw, passed it to Victor Hedman, and Heddy netted a great goal. Point set up a great screen on Rask, which allows Hedman to find the back of the net.

At the end of the period, the Bolts really got it going. Cedric Paquette had a hit on Zdeno Chara (which seemed sort of futile), and Brown had a big hit in open nice that got the crowd into it. If any more time was left in the period, there was the sense the Bolts could have capitalized — but nonetheless, on to the second frame.

Quotes from Hedman interview during first intermission

  • “Were in this game and have been in this situation before... (Brayden Point) might not be the biggest guy but he takes peoples eyes away.”
  • When asked by Paul Kennedy about Hockey Fights Cancer, Hedman said, “My family has been touched by it and it’s a terrible disease and we do what ever we can to do to raise awareness and appreciate this time of event. And for me and for this whole team and whole organization, we’re proud to be apart of this community and do whatever it takes to find a solution to this terrible disease.”

2nd Period

For the most part, this seemed a much more complete period by the Lightning.

The line of Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Kucherov had a great zone entry to start the frame. Palat had the initial shot, recovered his rebound and the puck bounced off his skate and into the net. The crowd erupted, but immediately you could tell from the disappointment on Palat’s face that the call would likely be overturned for his skate had a “distinct kicking motion.” In which it was.

The momentum continued for the Bolts. Point received a great stretch pass from Slater Koekkoek to get alone on Rask but again was deterred.

However, this was followed by a mistake by Koekkoek that allowed the Bruins to get a 2-on-1 rush in the zone. Vasy made the initial save, but the offensive possession eventually led to a Bruins goal. During their whole zone time, it seemed both teams were out of position and sort of hectic. Obviously this bode well for the line on offense as the Bolts were displaced. After one sloppy shot attempt after another, one eventually squeaked by as the puck hit Pastrnak’s leg and went into the net. Vasy in general had trouble getting rebounds due to types of shots being taken.

Fast-forward to the Lightning’s fast break: The Bruins commit a penalty on Stamkos, which sets up another Lightning power play. Through the first minute, Alex Killorn had a few good looks on Rask’s glove side. The lines shift and Tyler Johnson attempts a similar shot to Killorn’s — and finds success.

Later in the frame, Killorn got called for slashing. The Bruins returned to the power play with little success.

With four minutes left to play in the second, Palat gets tripped up and the Bolts went on their third power play of the night. Although nothing got going, the odd-man advantage allowed the Bolts to gain some momentum and finish the frame on a high note.

3rd Period

The Lighting had a great amount of possession through the first 10 minutes, however, they can’t really get much going. They had some shots here and there but can’t get any rebounds. The Bruins were tough in the corners in their own zone, and the Bolts had too many unfortunate turnovers to capitalize.

Pastrnak got in on stick side with Hedman defending, but Vasy wanted none of it and made the save. Jason Garrison later whiffed on a pass in the neutral zone that leads to a fast break by Ryan Spooner. Andrej Sustr is back and is able to make a solid defensive play.

And the Bolts tied it up. You just had a feeling one of these plays would find its way in the net.

Immediately after the goal, the Bs have some scary chances but are deterred by Vasy.

Stammer’s then passed to Kucherov with a wide open net. Rask bites on Stammer, but Carlo has a monumental block on Kuch’s shot. Play of the game.

The last two minutes of the period had a few Lightning scoring chances but they are unable to finish, and the game goes to overtime.

Overtime

Huge first faceoff win with Kucherov, Stamkos and Hedman on the ice. Unbelievable scoring chance to start. Terrific puck movement that starts with a Kucherov pass to Stammer, who is open in the slot. The ref’s arm goes up, indicating a hooking call on Krejci and the Bolts w to a 4-on-3 power play.

The Bruins call a timeout right before puck is dropped. There are some nice movement in the man advantage but not enough shots. 4-on-4 play resumes until the next stoppage of play.

While still on 4-on-4, the Bs dump it down the ice and Stralman goes to retrieve it behind the net. But he missteps and the Bruins take possession. Play finally resumes as 3-on-3 but soon after, Palat is called for holding and the Bruins get the man advantage with 38 seconds to play. The Bruins for the most part have a few good looks but the Bolts are able to hold them to go to the shootout.

Shootout

TB: Filppula goes stick side X

Bos: Spooner goes wide X

TB: Kuch with some moves, goes glove side X

Bos: Brad Marchand races in but pad save X

TB: Stammer tries above blocker X

Bos: Pastrnak, Vasy blocker save X

TB: Point registers another shootout goal.

Bos: Nash is able to beat Vasy GOOD

TB: Palat goes backhander X

Bos: Patrice Bergeron takes his time, Vasy waits him out X

TB: TJ tries the deke, hits post X

Bos: David Krejci tries left side, but Vasy has a fantastic pad save X

TB: Killer is a no go X

Bos: Krug beat by Vasy’s great glove save X

TB: Cally dekes but no go X

Bos: Dominic Moore looks for opening but doesn’t find it X

TB: Stralman tries to deke, the puck rolls up and puck goes wide over glove side X

Bos: Austin Czarnik is no good X

TB: Vladdy tries five hole but Rask is able to close up X

Bos: Jimmy Hayes scores game winner GOOD

Game Notes and Takeaways

  • Bolts yet again had another slow start. Maybe fatigue from the road trip?
  • History says no. The Bolts are 5-0 in home games after road trips that last three or more games with a 12+ goal differential.
  • Brayden Point had five shots on the night, three of which came in the first period and a shootout goal.
  • Although the power play was strong and has done well of late, the team was too passive on the 4-on-3 power play in overtime. They attempted to pick corners and had little urgency.
  • The Fox Sports three stars at the end of regulation time were 1. Tyler Johnson, 2. Brandon Carlo, 3. Victor Hedman