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Lightning beat “Bruins hockey”, win 4-3 in shootout

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The Lightning were better in the part of the game that mattered, and in the final score

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17: Brayden Point #21 and Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on October 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

It was a frustrating night with the penalty kill, but the Tampa Bay Lightning overcame their special teams deficit and used their edge at even strength to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in the shootout.

Brayden Point, Mathieu Joseph, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Lightning (all at even strength), while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of 37 shots. Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal in the shootout for the win.

The Lightning went 0/3 on the power play. Okay, technically they went 0/4, but that last one was against Brad Marchand with zero seconds remaining in overtime. So to be clear, on the three power plays the lightning were on the ice for, they only mustered two shots on goal (both from Nikita Kucherov). On the other side, the Bruins got five power play opportunities and scored on three of them.

On the plus side, the Lightning led the shot attempts battle 44-40, not a great margin, but it was in the scoring chances where the Lightning shined. They won that race 26-15, and it showed in their shot map. There’s a lot of good things to build on for the Lightning, and a strong even strength showing against one of the best teams in this category is a good way to start. Next up, Colorado.

First Period

The Lightning and Bruins traded chances early in the game, Brad Marchand hit the post within the first three minutes, but he was followed almost immediately by a great chance by Brayden Point at the other end.

0-1

The game slowed down a little bit until Mikhail Sergachev took a holding penalty against Brett Ritchie. Right off the draw, the Bruins got to the middle of the ice and Torey Krug got a shot off. Patrice Bergeron was farther away from the rebound than Erik Cernak was, but the veteran center beat out the young defenseman and fed David Pastrnak for the first goal of the game.

The Lightning got a power play about a minute later, Nikita Kucherov drawing a hooking call from Sean Kuraly. The first unit couldn’t get anything going and spent most of their time out of the offensive zone. Sergachev had a chance off a one-timer with the second unit near the end of the power play, but he missed the net.

There was one chance on the following shift where Charlie McAvoy was able to catch the Lightning on a change and shoot a high shot on Vasilevskiy. The puck wasn’t heading to the net, but when Vasy tried to catch it with his shoulder and glove, he deflected it up and over him. Victor Hedman had to rush back and push the puck into the corner before it trickled into the net.

The fourth line had a good shift shortly after the special teams got off the ice. Carter Verhaeghe with a couple half-chances with Patrick Maroon right there with him. They were able to get to the front of the net and overwhelm Boston’s fourth line pretty handily, but bad puck luck kept them from getting any of their attempts on net.

Bergeron took a slashing penalty on Ondrej Palat while defending along the boards in the Bruins zone, sending the Lightning to a second power play before the end of the period. The Bolts couldn’t and chased as the Bruins threw the puck around the boards and out. Then once they finally got the puck and the second unit on, Tyler Johnson tried to help Yanni Gourde into the zone, but the pass was bobbled and the play was called offside.

1-1

Just as I was starting to get dinner ready, Point somehow showed up all alone in the offensive zone and sniped on Tuukka Rask with 0.8 seconds to go in the period. Turns out, Gourde gave him a perfect pass to split McAvoy and Zdeno Chara (who were not close to Point). What a good way to end the period.

After One

Looking at the numbers, the Lightning had a really good period in terms of shots and chances. At 5v5, the Lightning were ahead in shot attempts (21-13), shots on goal (14-10), and scoring chances (8-5). Using MoneyPuck’s expected goals metric, the Lightning had doubled the Bruins in 5v5 expected goals (it would’ve been a lot closer without the late chances from Mathieu Joseph and Point’s goal).

Second Period

The Bruins earned their second power play of the game early in the period. Right off the opening faceoff, the Bruins moved the puck around the ice to Pastrnak at the left wing. He went back door to Bergeron, who just missed the tip. Vasilevskiy had tracked the play really well so he was right there to make the potential stop.

In the second minute of the penalty kill, Marchand tried to make a cross-ice pass, but Joseph got down and stopped the pass. He then made everyone go “wow” when he controlled the puck, got his feet moving, and skated past everyone for a breakaway. He just missed the far side, otherwise that would’ve been a highlight reel goal. Seriously, he breezed by Pastrnak, who was several feet ahead of him.

1-2

Somehow, the Bruins drew another power play (Gourde interference on Bergeron, again), and converted with the man advantage. Pastrnak got the puck off the left wing and pushed low, drawing defenders to him. He then found an open Bergeron down the slot, who redirected the puck past a diving Vasilevskiy.

2-2

Off a broken play, Rask bobbled an Alex Killorn shot and Joseph buried the gift from the side of the net. A well-deserved goal for Matty Jo.

Then things started to get a little... personal. First, Luke Witkowski hit Pastrnak in the neutral zone, then Hedman and Danton Heinen started sitting on each other at the Bruins blue line as the puck went off into the Lightning zone. It didn’t seem overly malicious. Well, maybe Witkowski’s hit was. Eventually, the two sides got themselves sorted out and moved on to the hockey game. (Waits for Marchand to lick someone).

Cernak got called for another penalty when he took down Par Lindholm. The Bolts did a good job of killing the penalty, especially Palat, who stripped Marchand of the puck and got a chance the other way.

After Two

The Lightning got called for three penalties in the period, and it was the difference as the Bruins were able to use their power play to keep up with the Lightning’s 5v5 production. In those 12 minutes of 5v5 play, the Lightning were even in shot attempts (14-14), but ahead in shots on goal (11-7), and scoring chances (9-6).

Third Period

The Lightning started the final period very strong. They held sustained pressure in the Bruins zone and had the puck and were driving it forward more than the Bruins were doing it to them. Midway through the period, Maroon drew a hooking penalty on Mark Grzelcyk and the Lightning went to their third power play.

The top unit tried to go down low right after a faceoff, but Maroon just threw the puck to the middle of the ice without anyone there. From that point, the Lightning never had possession of the puck and the penalty was killed like it was nothing. The team has elite, creative players. They should have better set plays than giving it to Maroon at the side of the net.

3-2

Yes! Kevin Shattenkirk followed up a rush by Point and Stamkos and got lucky with his shot through the slot. Rask got a piece of the puck, but not enough and it trickled through him and in for the Lightning’s first lead of the game. Lots of credit for this goal goes to Stamkos and Point, who both crossed over each other and created a lane wide enough for Shattenkirk to exploit it and rip a clean shot off.

3-3

The referees gave the Bruins a late power play when Anthony Cirelli tripped Pastrnak. It was Pastrnak who had his shot from a bad angle deflect off Shattenkirk’s stick and around Vasy into the net.

After Three

The third was the only period where the Lightning were slowed down, but they were still getting good shots in dangerous areas. At 5v5, the Bruins had the edge in shot attempts (9-13), shots on goal (3-9), but the Lightning had the edge in scoring chances (7-3).

Overtime

In the 3v3, the Bruins had the first two good chances, first Pastrnak from distance, then Grzelcyk got behind Johnson, but Vasilevskiy was strong on both of them. Cirelli and Krug swapped chances on the next shift.

With a little more than a minute left in the period, Point and Ryan McDonagh COLLIDED RIGHT IN FRONT OF RASK AND THE BRUINS WENT ON A 3-on-1 AND IT WAS AWFUL FOR FIVE SECONDS UNTIL KURALY SHOT THE PUCK WIDE AND THE PRESSURE WAS GONE.

*deep breaths*

McDonagh did a great job of getting back and disrupting the chance from behind.

With a little more pep in their step after that scare, Stamkos and Killorn got a chance for themselves. Then on the next shift, Cirelli and Point got the Bruins defense all confused, giving Point a shot from a bad angle that almost found a hole.

Just as the overtime ended, Marchand jumped Point and threw him in a headlock. Feeling Marchand’s armpit? I knew he would do something lick-worthy.

Shootout

Hedman - missed on the shot to the left
Coyle - stopped by Vasy after a backhand forehand deke

Point - misses high, just off the crossbar
Pastrnak - stopped by Vasy!

Kucherov - couldn’t get Rask moving with the deke
Marchand - poke checked!

Stamkos - snipes it!!! High blocker, perfect shot
DeBrusk - stopped by Vasilevskiy with the blocker!

Lightning win!

Takeaways

  • Five penalties on a team that controlled the puck more and had more shots is a joke. Why do the referees think make up calls should exist? It’s so backwards.
  • Cernak did not have a great game matched up against the Bergeron line. He got beat in front of the net twice on the penalty kill, then again wide on Pastrnak to draw the penalty that led to the 2-2 goal. On ice, his numbers were good in this game, but I’m weary to believe the credit should go to him when he’s paired with Hedman and on the ice with the top-six. If this was an evaluation goal for him, he did not impress in my eyes.
  • Mathieu Joseph had a cracker of a night. He was flying. Love him in that middle six and on the penalty kill. He, Palat, and Hedman combined for as many shot attempts as the power play did in the game.
  • The power play needs work. they went 0/3 (officially 0/4) on the night and could only muster two shots and zero scoring chances (shots from the slot). The team is in the bottom third of the league on all shot metrics when it comes to the power play and it’s not because of shooting percentage (Lightning are fifth in that category).
  • Same goes for the penalty kill. They gave up way too many chances from the slot and couldn’t contain the movement created by the Bruins. I’m still skeptical about Cernak being capable of handling top-line competition, especially on the penalty kill. Let me know what you think about my take on this. I could be completely wrong here.