The Tampa Bay Lightning officially loses first place in the Atlantic in a frustrating 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had their say in the TD Garden tonight to face one of the toughest challenges of the season, the Boston Bruins. With the Bruins just one point behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division, a win for the Lightning would be crucial to keep at the top.
The Lightning has not the best luck against the Bruins this season. The Bruins outperformed the Bolts in their previous encounters this season with a 3-0 away win at the Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa on March 1
There was some good news for the Bolts in front of the puck Drop tonight. It was officially announced both Steven Stamkos, who missed Monday's game against the Arizona Coyotes due to "body care" and Victor Hedman, who was shaken late in the game on Monday night, would both be in the lineup today against the Bruins.
Between these two titans of the Atlantic Division, everything began quite evenly. Unfortunately, half of the period had a significant advantage in favor of the Bruins. The Lightning seemed to struggle to keep the puck out of defense, giving the Bruins far too many chances to score.
When time was ticking and the Lightning and Bruins were just behind the break, the Bruins were the Lightning 10-4 outshooting. As the old saying goes, "You fail at 100 percent of the shots you do not take." If the Bolts wanted to bring the two points home, they would have to be offensive aggressive.
Regrettably, the flash would be in the same darkness that clouded the last month of the game. With less than a minute to go in the first, the Bruins' first goal of the game, thanks to striker Tim Schaller, would absolutely break the net; something that lightning protection should never have happened.
This is right in the lap of Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh was all the way with the game, but did very little to keep the Bruins away from Andrei Vasilevskiy and the back of the net.
While this is not McDonagh's usual MO, if the Lightning will be successful in the postseason, that's something that just has to stop.
As the final seconds descended in the first period, it seemed as if the Bolts would finish the first and the second in the Penalty Kill when striker Alex Killorn got a hand – entering the bunker for interference against Bruins defender Matt Grzelcyk. Well … see …
The Bruins would definitely win the attack in their offensive zone and have two goals ahead of the Lightning within seconds. This time the goal went to winger David Pastrnak, who was his 32nd nd goal of the season. Small mistakes like these could cost the Bolts in the postseason everything.
The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to have caught a second wind in the second season. Lightning fans saw something that they had not seen in a long time, real unbridled emotions. We know … shocking, right?
At 1:18 in the second period, the Lightning would find themselves with their second power play opportunity of the night, when Brian Gionta was sent to the bunker to board Anthony Cirelli. The Bolts would make the most of the opportunity by scoring again with a goal from J.T. Miller
It would take a little more than seven minutes for the Lightning to get another chance on the Powerplay, but this time the Bolts simply could not complete the deal. Unfortunately, this seems to be the turning point at this time. It was a few minutes later when things got completely out of control.
Cory Conacher hurried to the ice to track Bruin's defender Brandon Carlo. Carlo would fall into the net and make contact with goalkeeper Tuukka Rask. Conacher would not be far behind but never really get in touch with Rask. Well … apparently, Rask has exempted himself from the collision and wasted no time in attacking Conacher.
Rask decided he did not have to discard his blockers before he started rocking at Cory Conacher. Let's ignore the fact that Razk conchers rattled most of the time. Conacher was in a headlock from behind and could not properly defend himself. The exchange ended with Coacher driven into the ice.
Lightning goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy hurried across the ice to get a piece of Rask, but Rask did not want to have anything to do with the Blitz netminder. He would prefer to throw Conacher instead of a 6 & # 39 ;, 207-pound Vasilevskiy at 5 & # 39; 8, but we can not say we disagree with his decision not a single piece by Vasy.
Here's a look at how things worked after the chaos.
It was all about fire from that point on the buzzer sounded to end the second period, the Lightning would do well in the Shots on Goal division, the Bolts would favor the Bruins 11-3 in the second round for a two-period total of 18-20 The Lightning had an excellent chance of tying things up in the third period, but the goal was almost immediately waived by the Refs as goalkeeper interference on Anthony Cirelli.Lightning head coach Jon Cooper would challenge the call on the ice,  but the omniscient "Ho ckeygötter "in Toronto decided that there were indeed goalkeeper interference and the Lightning lost their time-out.
This was probably one of the weakest shouts in the game, of which there were many. Unfortunately, you simply can not make valid logic from the office of NHL. Inconsistent is probably the understatement of the century when it comes to officials.
People can scream until they blush, but as long as the NHL gets their money, nothing will change. The best thing a team can do is adapt and move on.
Shortly before the 12-minute mark in the third half, the Bruins would again increase their lead over two with a goal from Patrice Bergeron; be 28 th gate of the season. Although Tampa Bay Lightning had two goals behind him at the time, he had not given up hope of clinching victory in Boston.
The lightning-defender Victor Hedman fired a shot from the penalty spot. At first it looked like Tuukka Rask was ready to make the rescue. Unfortunately for the Bruins, what Rask had not expected, was the puck that rolled from its blocker and into the back of the net.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Boston Bruins  4
Maybe we're just being petty, but we could watch Rask's reaction to the Hedman Gate for hours. He looked so completely disappointed with himself that he had missed such a simple block. There is no denying that is a goal that Rask will pursue for a long time.
The bolts would fight incredibly hard to tie up the game and put things in an overtime, bringing home at least one point. Unfortunately, that was simply not intended. An empty goal by Brad Marchand would basically put the nail in the coffin that held the hopes and dreams of the Lightning fans to victory.
When all was said and done, the Tampa Bay Lightning fell 4-2 against the Boston Bruins. Tomorrow morning it will be the first time since October 19 that players like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, who have been training their tails this season, wake up and are not in first place in the Atlantic Division.
This honor belongs to the Boston Bruins. All hope is not lost. The Blitz still has an encounter with the Bruins before the end of the regular season. The Bolts and Bruins meet again on April 3 in the middle of the ice. Their last meeting of the season takes place in the Amalie Arena.
Despite today's loss, both for the Bruins and for the top In the Atlantic Division we still have hope for the rest of the regular season. This is the most passionate we have seen in Tampa Bay Lightning for a long time. Since they've reached their playoff spot, it almost seems as if the Bolts have just made the moves. Your game tonight is different.
The Lightning got off to a tough start in the final minutes of the first half, but when they hit the ice for the second round, it was clear they were ready to play. The Bolts could not take a break tonight, and simple mistakes proved their downfall. This is something that can be corrected if handled properly. (Here you see Jon Cooper and Rick Bowness.)
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The Bolts will be out of Beantown tonight. Only 24 hours after the puck hit Boston, the Lightning will be back. This time around, they'll be in Madison Square Garden, where they'll compete against the New York Rangers. Let's hope the Lightning channel their emotions from tonight's loss and emit their discontent in the Blueshirts in the Big Apple every morning.