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Quick Strikes: Lightning take Bruins to the brink

Game 2 between Syracuse and Toronto is this afternoon.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Four
Teammates swarm Dan Girardi #5 of the Tampa Bay Lightning after he scored the game winning goal during overtime of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 4, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Lightning defeat the Bruins 4-3.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning swept both games in Boston and will now be heading home to AMALIE Arena with a 3-1 series lead. [Raw Charge]

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.

Girardi channeled his inner Yanni Gourde on the play that has given the Lightning a commanding series lead. [Tampa Bay Times]

“I was deep in the zone and I saw they made a good play at the blue line to have control,” Girardi said. “I kind of just beat my guy up the ice a little bit, got on the right side of him and (Alex Killorn) made a great slice at the net there and it luckily hit my stick.”

“Usually that’s Yanni’s spot,” Cooper said. “Yanni has 25 goals, and I don’t even know if they add up to 25 feet.”

Brad Marchand licked Ryan Callahan. Yep. (NSFW) [ESPN]

“Well, he punched me four times in the face, so -- you know, he just kept getting close,” said Marchand, when asked where the idea to stick his tongue out came from. “Nothing big.” It was unclear if Marchand was referring to a specific incident or the course of the game itself.

There are always outliers in the playoffs every season, this week’s poll asks: which team didn’t deserve the two or more home playoff dates. [Raw Charge]

If the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are an annual party, half the invitees are escorted out every year before they even finish their first shrimp cocktail (I imagine really good parties serve shrimp cocktail; again, I wouldn’t know). In some cases, it happens so quickly and decisively, it makes you wonder how they even got there in the first place.

The Prospects

Alex Barré-Boulet had a goal and an assist in Blainville-Boisbriand Armada’s 4-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the QMJHL Final. [Bolt Prospects]

Bolt prospect Alex Barré-Boulet set up Charles-Antoine Giguere (undrafted) for the game-opening goal just 1:14 into game, and then scored a tally of his own in the 3rd precisely 1:14 after the Titan’s lone goal of the game, a short-handed marker by Justin Ducharme (2018 draft eligible). The Armada built up a three goal lead en route to a Game 1 win in the QMJHL finals. These two teams battle again in Game 2 in Boisbriand on Saturday.

Game one against the Toronto Marlies was a good litmus test for the Syracuse Crunch in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. [Raw Charge]

For the Crunch, it’s all about pressure and creating offense off of mistakes. Their goal is to force the Marlies to turn over the puck and counter. For Toronto, it’s about playing with structure and support. Forwards have to drop back to help their defense with the forecheck and breakout of their zone under control.

The Game

The Vegas Golden Knights had a 4-0 lead halfway through the third period at home against the San Jose Sharks. They gave up three goals in the next six minutes, but were able to hang on in the final four to secure the game five win, and the 3-2 series lead. [Knights on Ice]

Major credit goes to Oscar Lindberg, Luca Sbisa and Ryan Carpenter. They were fresh legs and it showed. The new-look third line (Cody Eakin, Tuch and Lindberg) was a major factor in this game. Sbisa was not on-ice for a goal against until there was under five minutes left, and Carpenter was a force to be reckoned with.

Remember, there’s a guy with a soul patch under there.

Highlight of the Night: The puck never touched the ice!