Things started pretty good, with Nick Ritchie mucking for the puck in front of Vasilevskiy off of a big Bjork blast that went wide, and he mucked and whacked at it until he managed to get it across the goal line. 1-0 Bruins!
Great hustle there by the third line.
Unfortunately...that’s when the Bruins ran into a real problem; The Lightning finally woke up. And they just dominated play from bell to bell, and Blake Coleman cashed in as Zach Bogosian of all people managed to split Krug and Carlo, and get his man open. 1-1 Tie.
It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's sup... actually it's Blake Coleman (@BColes25) scoring a beauty! #StanleyCup— NHL (@NHL) August 25, 2020
: https://t.co/hcH3UWaZJR @NHLonNBCSports
: https://t.co/q2ZuTyvOiP @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/S2yYXRKV1A
This is a shift they’d like back. This will also become a theme.
Thankfully, Boston weathered the storm, and left the period tied.
It was a much better period comparatively, though Tampa still held the majority of chances. Except for, of course, the power play. Where Pastrnak and Marchand connected on a lasered pass that Vasilevskiy had no chance on stopping. 2-1 Bruins!
David Pastrnak by that point in the game had a majority of the recorded scoring chances by the Bruins, and it’s good to see Marchy somehow slide right past all of Tampa’s defenders.
No further scoring happened, and this period ended up with no lead.
Blake Coleman scored halfway into the period on an absolutely disgusting sequence that saw him get past Chara, Clifton, and finally Halak, who couldn’t squeeze his pads together.
Absolutely, bone-shatteringly, utterly shameful display on all counts.
And it really felt like this game was going to end with that. Boston looked like they were toast. TBL came out swinging in every period so far, and it looked like they weren’t going to mount any real defense.
And then, they held the puck in on a shift.
And then Pastrnak got the puck to Sean Kuraly.
Who got it to Brad Marchand.
Brad Marchand - 2nd tonight— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 26, 2020
And we were headed to overtime. 3-3 Tie.
As per usual for this game, Tampa largely held possession and control of play. There were some strong individual efforts and strong tests of the goaltenders.
But eventually the dam had to break. Bruins couldn’t leave their own zone, the Gourde line swooped in, and Ondrej Palat put home the dagger. 4-3 Lightning Win.
- The even-strength TOI leader for Boston was Charlie McAvoy, who played just a hair over 20 minutes.
- Jaroslav Halak played a literal .900% SV% game. He played fine for most of the game but the goals he gave up. The goals he gave up...Those just can’t happen. You needed a save on that second Coleman goal.
- To the surprise of nobody, the Bruins top line absolutely ran the show in terms of fancystats for the B’s.
- The Krug-Carlo pairing looked absolutely lost tonight. I don’t really know what else to say here, other than they spent a large portion of this game chasing it hard.
- The fourth line got absolutely filled at 5v5. I mean, pretty much everybody got filled, but they got filled. Kuraly had some of his most important contributions of the season and they were also instrumental on taking this L in overtime. There’s lineup changes in this team’s future.
- Let’s give credit where it’s due: Tampa knew what was on the line. Both sides gotta go do this again in 18 hours, and they showed up ready to absolutely destroy, and destroy they did. Boston outside of individual efforts just couldn’t match the blinding pace that the Lightning were willing to go at, and spent a good portion of this game in their own end, and to nobody’s surprise, it did not pay off at all.
- While tonight definitely didn’t give the impression they should continue to stay the course, given the quick turnaround I would be super surprised if tomorrow’s game was the Playoff debut of Dan Vladar. The NBC crew wasn’t especially keen on it, and didn’t see much to say otherwise, and Cassidy said he didn’t have a concrete choice on who was the starter for Game 3, so we’ll have to see.
Boston plays tomorrow at 8pm EST. We’ll see you there.