The Tampa Bay Lightning got the lead early, lost it all, but came back to beat the Boston Bruins in overtime. The interestingly officiated game saw Steven Stamkos score his first even-strength goal of the post season, Brayden Point dazzle in the offensive zone, and DAN FREAKING GIRARDI SCORE THE OVERTIME WINNER!
It wasn’t all good news...for the Bruins. They are now behind 3-1 in the series without home-ice advantage, they might have lost Torey Krug for a long time, and Brad Marchand might *MIGHT* actually get penalized for licking yet another hockey player after the public outcry from “hockey men” may have reached a tipping point.
I’m sure you can’t wait to re-live this game, so let’s get on with it.
The seas In Boston are a little choppy for the Lightning in the early goings. They don’t appear to have the same crispness in their passes, especially from the defensive zone to the neutral zone. This allows the Bruins to get four attempts on net and a lot of time in the offensive zone in the first few minutes.
Point steals the puck in the neutral zone and curls back into the offensive zone with a teammate to his left — that’s nice. Point instead decides to burst through the gut of the slot, through Zdeno (freaking) Chara, pull the puck back away from Tuukka Rask, and score the opening goal of the game!
If I didn’t know any better, I would say Point was one of the top handful of forwards in the National Hockey League, and in his prime. Maybe I’m wrong. Who knows. What I do know is that was a dominant play by a player with confidence.
Soon after, Point is at it again! This time he receives the puck while on a rush with Stamkos. Point is left wiiiide open before feeding Stammer for a shot that just barely misses the top of the net. Point is a THIRD ROUND PICK! Wild. Minutes later, Riley Nash takes tripping penalty, and the Lightning have all the momentum.
Johnson, Miller, and Stamkos all get chances on the power play before Chara shoots the puck over the glass in desperation. The 19-second two-man advantage sees the Lightning lose the face-off and get forced back into the neutral zone, but with top penalty killer Chara in the box, they quickly get back in and with purpose.
Point nearly tucks the puck in at the side of the net using a slick between the legs shot move but Rask comes across to stop the shot just in time with the stick.
With Chara in the box, it’s a shooting gallery for the Lightning. On their third chance, Victor Hedman feeds Nikita Kucherov for his patented blast from the left-side face-off dot. His shot is so perfect. The puck perfectly nails the middle of the netting and bounces right back out. It takes a second for the Bruins to realize they’re down 2-0 but they figure it out soon enough.
Stamkos gets the second assist on the goal, his second power play point in as many games. It looks like he’s slowly waking back up. Also, the shot
The Bostonians get a brief respite when Yanni Gourde takes a tripping penalty. In better news, the Lightning are leading in shots 9-3 at this point in the game. On the kill, the Bruins are able to get in excess of five chances on net but Andrei Vasilevskiy stands 6’4” tall and keeps the score as is.
With Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash battling along the boards for the puck, Stamkos hustles in and hits both players in the head with his elbow. They both go down and Stamkos goes to the box for an illegal check to the head. No penalty for the hit on McDonagh, which is bullsh*t haha.
On the power play, Torey Krug takes a shot from the point that confuses Vasy as to where the puck deflected. Anton Stralman and David Pastrnak both find it but Pastrnak is the first to bat the puck in from the side of the net. The goal, assisted by Krug and Brad Marchand, now has the two teams tied at nine in shots.
Going back the other way, Kucherov is able to catch the Bruins on a change and release for a clear-cut breakaway. Unfortunately, he rings the puck off the post and into the protective netting. The Lightning have been getting chances — prime chances — against this Bruins defense. They clearly look like the better team after one period.
The Bolts picked up right where they left off in the last game, out-shooting (11-9,) and out-attempting (21-20) the Bruins. This optimism does come with a caveat: at even-strength, the Bruins have more shots and scoring chances largely due to their good play at the beginning and end of the period. That said, Point is a God and we are all blessed to watch him.
The Bruins come out a step ahead of the Lightning and Pastrnak draws a tripping penalty on Johnson by bursting through the offensive blueline and getting his feet between Johnson’s stick. Ri. Nash (Rick) gets a good chance early in the power play but Vasy stops him with a great pad save.
The Bruins get another chance when Patrice Bergeron and Krug — who’s standing in the corner behind the goal line — play give-and-go before Bergeron slaps the set-up pass past Vasy.
Vasy comes right back and stones
Nick? Tim Schaller — who was wide open in the slot — with a great save with his left pad. The puck immediately goes back the other way and Stamkos has a wide open breakaway. Unfortunately, he shoots the puck right into the glove of Rask who barely had to move to make the save.
The next seven or eight minutes consist of multiple Bruins running Lightning players in the offensive zone.
The Bruins are throwing BODIES around right now— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 5, 2018
Then Ondrej Palat bowls over Adam McQuaid at the Lightning blue line, Marchand low-bridges Ryan Callahan with a dirty hit, and that causes a fight at the Bruins bench. The players keep playing with Marchand — away from the violence — streaking into the Lightning zone and poised to shoot. All of a sudden, the whistle blows because of the fight happening away from the play, causing Marchand to go ballistic. The broadcast goes to commercial break at this time before returning and saying there were no penalties on the play. Okay.
Oh, and this:
Brad Marchand.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 5, 2018
Gotta get your rabies shot now, Cally.
After all this mess ended, it is reported by Hockey Night in Canada that Lightning forward J.T. Miller left the bench to go to the dressing room. Point would take his spot on the first line. Hopefully Miller’s okay but in the meantime, be still my beating heart.
Sounds like Miller went to the locker room. Point took his spot on the first line's last shift.— x — Raw Charge (@RawCharge) May 5, 2018
The Bruins sort of ran the Lightning’s show for a lot of that period. They dominated in shots (4-14) for a two-period total of 15-23. The Lightning did get their chances at the net but had trouble forcing Rask into making saves. Only four of their 15 shot-attempts hit the net in the second.
Brad Marchand has licked the same number players as he has minor penalties this post season.— Stephen Burtch (@SteveBurtch) May 5, 2018
Miller is back to start the third period. Crisis averted.
After a back and forth start to the third period, the Lightning are awarded with a power play when Noel Acciari hooks Hedman behind the Bruins net. During a break while a piece of Bruins paraphernalia gets thrown onto the ice, the Canadian broadcaster Paul Romanuk goes on a tirade about how Marchand’s lick is disrespectful to the game and an utter shame that the League didn’t kick Boston’s rat out of the game...for the second time in these playoffs!
With the Lightning on the power play, Bergeron makes a huge block in the defensive zone, then skates back the other way with Marchand carrying the puck. Despite being gassed, Bargeron beats Hedman and Kucherov to the front of the net and deflects a centering pass to the top corner of the net. The Bruins have come all the way back.
As the period goes on, Krug and Alex Killorn collide and fall hard into the corner. Krug is very slow to get up and can barely move his legs. He’s forced to leave the ice and head to the dressing room while the Point line come onto the ice and give the Lightning a good shift in the offensive zone.
Minutes later, Kucherov wins a battle behind the net — with what some could call an illegal play on Charlie McAvoy — before Miller passes to Stamkos. The captain’s blast breezes by Rask to tie the game. After what feels like forever, Stammer might be back to full form. Bruins players, coaches, and management are incensed (probably for good reason) about the non-call on Kucherov and it’s showing in their play.
It's pretty crazy how unfairly the Bruins would have to be treated before I could give a shit. Like the refs could make them play the whole series 3-on-5 and I'd be like ALMOST MAKES UP FOR CHARA GETTING A LIFETIME PASS ON INTERFERENCE— Acting the Fulemin (@ATFulemin) May 5, 2018
The clock winds down and the two teams realize they might need ove-- OH WAIT KUCHEROV HAS A BREKAWA-- nope, Mark Grzelcyk (who has “lick” in his name, by the way) hooks him and pushes Kuch into the corner with no call on the play. The clock expires and we head to overtime.
By the end of the period, especially after the Stamkos goal, the Lightning slightly took over the period finishing with an advantage in shots (11-7) for a regulation total of 26-30. This has been a close game all around.
My comprehensive plan for coping with overtime playoff hockey: pic.twitter.com/4Bmtjzgrmr— Saima (@Saima_1226) May 5, 2018
THIS IS REAL LIFE.
THIS IS NOT FANTASY.
CAUGHT IN A SERIES LEAD.
NO ESCAPE FROM VICTORY!
DAN GIRARDI SCORES THE OVERTIME WINNER WITH A DEFLECTION IN FRONT OF THE NET TO GIVE THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING A 3-1 SERIES LEAD OVER THE BOSTON BRUINS IN THE ATLANTIC DIVISION FINAL.
Dan Girardi gets the game-winner in Game 4 pic.twitter.com/KhISiN9PDu— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 5, 2018
The Lightning can finish off the Boston Fluids on Sunday afternoon at AMALIE Arena when the two teams play at 3:00pm EDT on NBC and CBC.