The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Power Play unit shines as the Lightning defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 at the TD Garden in Boston.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has been on quite the winning streak as of late. As the Tampa Bay Lightning charged into the TD Garden in Boston tonight, the Bolts would be looking for their sixth-straight win. Unfortunately, there are quite a few people who would have something to say about that, a little hockey team known as the Boston Bruins. This is the third time this season these two teams have met.
Tonight’s encounter with the Bruins is no ordinary contest. The two points up for grabs in tonight’s encounter could be a game changer for either one of these teams. Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins are battling for position in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. Right now, the two teams are neck and neck with 74 points each. Both are also chasing the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to be charged up when they hit the ice at the TD Garden, but unfortunately, it would be the Boston Bruins who would strike first blood in tonight’s encounter. It would be Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller who would make his way past Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop and open up the scoring for the Bruins. This would be Miller’s fifth goal of the season.
Through the halfway point in the first period of play, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins would be all tied up at six shots on goal apiece. This speaks volumes for the Lightning defense to be able to hold of a team like the Boston Bruins and keep them away from the net for a good portion of the period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a pretty big scare in the first period. Just past the halfway point in the period, Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette would play the puck behind the net. Before Paquette even knew what happened, he was being slammed in the head by Bruins center Zac Rinaldo. As Lightning broadcast director Matt Sammon said on Twitter after the hit, we’ll never understand why teams continue to play Rinaldo.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, after making his way off the ice, Cedric Paquette headed right down the tunnel and back to the Tampa Bay Lightning locker room. As you can imagine, this left Lightning fans with a bit of worry in their hearts.
Just about everyone here in the Bolts Nation waited with bated breath to find out the status of Paquette and whether or not he’d be returning back to the game. We would be slightly surprised if the hit isn’t reviewed by the NHL Department of Player Safety; especially considering the fact Zac Rinaldo has a record three miles long filled with dirty hits.
After the hit to Paquette, Rinaldo would be sent to his reserved seat in the penalty box for two minutes, giving the Tampa Bay Lightning an opportunity with the man advantage. Less than a minute into the Power Play, the Tampa Bay Lightning would make the Bruins pay for the hit where it matters most, on the scoreboard.
It would be Lightning center Alex Killorn who would sink the puck past Tuukka Rask with the assists from Anton Stralman and Ryan Callahan. The Power Play Goal would serve as Killorn’s 12th goal of the season.
Just over three minutes after the Alex Killorn goal, the Tampa Bay Lightning would go on the offensive once again. Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid blew a tire just inside the Lightning’s defensive zone. This lead to a two-on-one breakaway for Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn. After a back-and-forth pass, it would be Ryan Callahan who would put the puck in the back of the net.
When the buzzer would sound to end the first period of play, the Tampa Bay Lightning would lead the Boston Bruins 2-1. Surprisingly enough, the Lightning would outshoot the Bruins 14-11 in the first period. Unfortunately for the Lightning, when these two teams would come back out for the second period of play, the Boston Bruins would have a full two minutes of Power Play time to work with.
On the bright side, the Tampa Bay Lightning would receive some good news as they made their way back out to the ice. After passing the concussion protocol in the Tampa Bay Lightning locker room, Cedric Paquette would rejoin his teammates on the bench. The sound you heard is the collective sigh of everyone here in the Bolts Nation.
Little did Tampa Bay Lightning fans know heading into the second period that Paquette’s return was just the beginning of what would prove to be an incredible second period for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
At 8:11 in the second period, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron would be sent to the sin bin for two minutes for Interference after colliding with Lightning netminder Ben Bishop. This would open the door for Ryan Callahan to tip in a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and score his second goal of the night. The secondary assist on the play would come from Anton Stralman, who would pick up his second assists of the night.
So far, the otherwise ailing Tampa Bay Lightning power play unit has capitalized on both of their opportunities with the man advantage tonight in Boston. The Lightning has a mere two shots on goal between the two power plays, but both of them have managed to find their way to the back of the net. You can’t complain when success is prevalent.
Less than two minutes after the second Callahan goal, the Lightning would find themselves with another pretty decent advantage. Bruins left wing Brad Marchand would get called for Hooking on a Breakaway as he dumped Steven Stamkos on the way to the Bruins’ net. This would lead to a penalty shot for Stamkos.
Stamkos would take his position at center ice and begin his approach. Stamkos would hesitate ever so much as he made his final descent on Rask where Stamkos would pull back his stick and extend the Tampa Bay Lightning’s lead to 4-1 over the big, bad Boston Bruins. The Lightning and Bruins would be tied at 11 in shots on goal in the second period. Thankfully, the Lightning was making the most of their opportunities.
In comparison to the first two periods of play, the third period was rather calm. Through the halfway point in the period, neither the Tampa Bay Lightning nor the Boston Bruins had managed to make their way to the back of the net. At the same time, there was just one lone penalty in the first 10 minutes of the third period. The penalty belonged to Alex Killorn, who would be sent off for Hooking Bruins center David Krejci.
Unfortunately, things were not all wine and roses for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third period of play. Just a matter of moments after Adam McQuaid was sent off for High Sticking, Tyler Johnson would get crunched into the boards. Johnson had absolutely nowhere to go when the puck was fired his direction. The puck made direct contact with his face as Johnson went tumbling to the ground.
Johnson remained on his hands and knees for quite some time as his teammates called for Tampa Bay Lightning Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan. After being evaluated by Mulligan, Johnson would be helped to his feet. There was a rather large puddle of blood on the ice where Johnson was just kneeling. Tyler Johnson made it off the ice under his own volition, but rather than stopping at the Lightning bench, he made his way directly down the tunnel to the Lightning locker room.
As many people here in the Bolts Nation noticed, there was a significant amount of blood dripping down Johnson’s face as he made his way back to the Tampa Bay Lightning locker room. The head is one of those body parts that seems to bleed profusely at the slightest of injuries. Hopefully, for Johnson and the Lightning, the injury is much less severe than it initially looked.
The Boston Bruins would have one final attempt at the man advantage before the end of the third period, but the Bruins just couldn’t manage to put anything together. When the buzzer would sound to end the third and final period of play, the Tampa Bay Lightning would defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Beantown.
After a desperate push to regain momentum in the third period, the Boston Bruins would outshoot the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time tonight as they went 11-5 in shots on goal in the third. This would cause the Bruins to take over the lead and outshoot the Lightning 33-30. Thankfully, tonight was one of those coveted quality over quantity moments for the Lightning tonight.
Tonight was a pretty big night for a couple of Tampa Bay Lightning players. One of those players is Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. Counting Stamkos’ penalty shot goal in tonight’s game, Stamkos has scored a goal in each of his last six games. Stamkos also picked up an assist on Ryan Callahan’s power play goal in the second period.
Another standout in tonight’s game is Tampa Bay Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up two goals in tonight’s contest; one in the final minutes of the first period and the other on the power play in the second period. This brings Ryan Callahan to a total of 10 goals so far this season. He may have gotten off to a rocky start this season, but he is definitely making up some ground in the last couple of games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has seen more than their fair share of difficulties on special teams this season, but the power play unit really shined tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning capitalized on two of their three opportunities with the man advantage tonight. Hopefully, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be able to maintain the same level of competition tomorrow night as the Lightning take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As the NHL Trade Deadline comes to a close tomorrow afternoon, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be making their way to the Air Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given all the attention the Toronto media has given to Steven Stamkos over the course of the last few month, we are pretty sure we are heading face first into a three-ring circus tomorrow night.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m. EST tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre? Do you think the Tampa Bay Lightning will be able to extend their six-game winning streak to seven tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs? Let us know what you think in the comments below.