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Lightning even series with dramatic Ondrej Palat overtime winner

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Game 2 goes to the Bolts, Game 3 is tomorrow!

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Two
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 25: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a goal past Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Boston Bruins during overtime to win Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 25, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

What a game. The Tampa Bay Lightning were on the back foot for most of the game after the Bruins took an early led, but they remained diligent and kept themselves within one or tied until Blake Coleman put them ahead midway through the third period. Brad Marchand tied the game late, but Ondrej Palat gave the Bolts a well-deserved 4-3 overtime win five minutes into the extra frame. The Lightning have now tied the series with the Bruins at one apiece. Game 3 is Wednesday at 8pm.

Blake Coleman came to play in this game, scoring two goal at crucial times in the game. One to tie the game after Barclay Goodrow’s tying goal was overturned after a review, and again to give the Lightning a lead late in the third period. Brayden Point was magic as ever, setting up Kevin Shattenkirk for a goal that Nikita Kucherov tipped to tie the game at two. Victor Hedman was critical, playing 25 minutes at 5v5 and nearly 29 minutes in all situations. He also had the primary assist on Coleman’s second goal just for good measure. Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t have to do much, but he stopped 22 of 25 shots for the win.

NaturalStatTrick.com

First Period

0-1

Nick Ritchie scored in the first three minutes of the game on the Bruins first offensive chance of the game. Ritchie and Anders Bjork were off on a 2-on-1 with Braydon Coburn back and Cedric Paquette trailing. Bjork missed his shot but it came around to the other side of the net and Ritchie and Charlie Coyle started banging away at it. Ritchie was the guy who ended up with the goal. The Bolts didn’t do a good job of clearing the bodies in front and gave the Bruins several chances at Vasilevskiy’s pads.

1-1 no goal

Seventeen million seconds after the puck entered the zone, Barclay Goodrow put a perfect tip on a shot from Braydon Coburn to tie the game for the Lightning. The Bruins challenged the call and it was overturned for offsides. Coop wasn’t happy with the call. This rule really does need a change because the offside had nothing to do with the goal. The Bruins were back and the Lightning had no lasting advantage with their player entering the zone a skate blade ahead of the puck. The game should have been tied on this attempt.

1-1

The Lightning did end up tying the game later in the first and this time it was all Zach Bogosian and Blake Coleman, the newcomers! Bogo turned the clock back with some real retro Atlanta Thrashers moves as he sifted through the Bruins defense and set up Coleman rushing in on his left. Coleman had a step on Bjork and laid out to redirect the puck past Jaroslav Halak. Goodrow (rightly) got the second assist after having the goal stolen from him earlier.

After One

The game was tied, but the Lightning should have been ahead, and looking at the shot numbers, they absolutely deserved it. There was 16 minutes played at 5v5 — two minutes of 4v4 with Paquette and Matt Gryzlak taking minors, and a later power play for the Bruins — of which the Lightning out-shot the Bruins 21-9 in shot attempts, 11-7 in shots on goal, 6-5 in scoring chances, and had 61% of the expected goals share. Easily a dominant period.

Second Period

1-2

Unfortunately, the Bruins tied the game took the lead back with a power play goal by Brad “Licc” Marchand. Ondrej Palat was in the box for high sticking (we’ll get to that later) and the Lightning were holding the line pretty well. Unfortunately the puck came to Pastrnak at the top of the zone, and as soon as Erik Cernak dropped to cover the shot, Pastrnak fed a pass through his legs to Marchand all alone on the back door. Victor Hedman was covering Patrice Bergeron ahead of him and couldn’t get to Marchand in time.

2-2

Thank you, Point! After an amazing puck recovery by Brayden Point, he moved the play over to Kevin Shattenkirk for a shot that hit Nikita Kucherov right in front of the net and past Halak. The seam pass was really good by Point, the Bruins weren’t anticipating him to spin onto his forehand and find Shattenkirk streaking down the wing. Kucherov did a great job of getting to the inside of Ritchie and keeping his stick available. Great plays by all three, but my hat is off to Point.

After Two

It was again another good period by the Lightning, who kept the game even despite some questionable refereeing. There were some obvious non-calls that the Bruins got their way moments later. Particularly the Hedman holding call seconds after Brandon Carlo slashed the stick out of Goodrow’s hands (a play that the NBC Sports crew highlighted).

The Lightning probably deserved both their calls, but the Bruins should have been called for way more. There has been interference and slashing non-calls all series long. Nevertheless, at 5v5, the Lightning were up in shot attempts (20-14), shots on goal (9-6), scoring chances were tied (7-7), but once again the Lightning earned 61% of the expected goals share.

Third Period

Again, penalties. Just 35 seconds into the final frame, Connor Clifton chucked Barclay Goodrow into the boards for an interference penalty. The Lightning spent 1:40 taking nine shot attempts on the Bruins on the ensuing power play but couldn’t get a conversion. You win some, you lose some, at least they were taking shots and taking chances.

3-2

THE LEAD! Blake Coleman scored his second goal of the game on a breakaway midway through the third period, giving the Lightning their first lead of the game at a crucial time. Coleman was released by Hedman and had Conner Clifton all over him. It turned out to be a good thing as Clifton’s slash slowed Coleman’s shot enough to put Halak off and let the puck go through the five hole. Lucky goal, but it counts!

3-3

Tyler Johnson couldn’t clear the puck past Zdeno Chara and a quick passing play from Pastrnak to Kuraly to Marchand eventually eventually found the back of the net for Marchand’s second of the game.

After Three

As the third period ticked down, the Lightning pushed hard for a winner while the Bruins completely turned off. It was an encouraging sign for the Lightning as they’d want to keep doing more of the same in the overtime.

Overtime

4-3 (OTW!)

ONDREJ PALAT WINS THE GAME IN FRONT OF THE NET ON A REBOUND!! The Lightning started the period hot after a strong finish to the third period after the game was tied and they were fully paid off on their effort. The Lightning took 13 SHOT ATTEMPTS, NINE OF WHICH WERE ON TARGET to start the period, hemmed the Bruins in their own zone, and converted one of their many rebound chances, this time off the stick of Palat.

Takeaways

  • The Cirelli line has continued to drown against the Bergeron line. Maybe that’s a tactic by Jon Cooper and his group to use Cirelli to knock out Bergeron and win with the other lines, but it’s a tough assignment.
  • Cooper also went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for this game, dressing both Coburn and Luke Schenn. The two were pretty decent in the game, and gave the Lightning a lot more options on the defensive side with Ryan McDonagh out.
  • The power play went 0/2, but they should’ve had way more chances than that. The Bruins were 1/3 on their chances. The Lightning did decently well on the penalty kill, but I thought the forwards weren’t engaged enough and aggressive enough. Perhaps scratching Paquette (who was quite invisible in this game to be honest) for someone like Mitchell Stephens or Carter Verhaeghe would work better. Paquette hasn’t provided much even on faceoffs, where he was under 50%. All of Gourde, Johnson, Cirelli, and Point were well above 50% in this game.
  • We miss you, Steven Stamkos <3