Lightning beat Bruins in double overtime to take series in five games

Lightning beat Bruins in double overtime to take series in five games

TORONTO — The Tampa Bay Lighting can book their flight to Edmonton.

Victor Hedman’s shot at 14:10 of the second overtime went in through a crowd as the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Monday to win their second-round series 4-1 and advance to the Eastern Conference final.

Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat scored in regulation for the Lightning, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 45 shots inside an empty Scotiabank Arena. Kevin Shattenkirk finished with two assists.

David Krejci, with a goal and an assist, and David Pastrnak replied for the Bruins. Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves.

On the winner, Hedman’s shot from the left circle got past Halak to send the Lightning streaming off the bench in celebration.

Tampa, which is in the conference final for the fourth time in the last six years, now heads to Alberta’s capital as the first team to qualify for the third round of the NHL’s pandemic-halted season.

The Lightning will take on the winner of the East’s other semifinal between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders lead that best-of-seven series 3-1 and can clinch Tuesday night.

The Stanley Cup final will also be played in Edmonton.

Minus No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask after the Vezina Trophy finalist left the bubble during Boston’s five-game victory in the opening round over the Carolina Hurricanes because of a family emergency, the Bruins never really got going in the restart after sitting first in the NHL when the schedule was halted by COVID-19 in mid-March, but put together their best effort of the summer in their final outing.

Boston, which lost to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup final, dropped all three games in the round-robin seeding tournament to fall from the No. 1 slot down to No. 4.

And like their five-game defeat to the Lightning in the second round in 2018, the Bruins won Game 1 before losing four straight.

Halak made a huge pad stop on Palat, who scored the winner in Tampa’s 4-3 OT victory in Game 2, one minute into the second overtime on a broken play as the Lightning came close before Maroon’s winner.

Boston came out flying to open the first overtime, forcing a couple of big stops from Vasilevskiy.

Krejci was assessed a tripping penalty to send the Lightning on the man advantage, but Halak made a couple of nice stops to keep his team alive.

The Lightning, who beat the Columbus Blue Jackets twice in overtime in the first round, including one that went five extra periods, went with 11 forwards and seven defencemen for the fourth straight game as blue-liner Ryan McDonagh returned after getting hurt in the opener. But they were down to 10 skaters up front when Nikita Kucherov left in the second period after taking a high stick from Zdeno Chara in the first.

After the teams traded goals in the second period, Cirelli gave Tampa the lead with 7:57 left in the third when he tipped Hedman’s point shot past Halak for his third.

The Bruins pushed facing elimination, and got a bounce with 2:33 remaining when Chara’s shot hit Palat’s stick and went right to Krejci, who buried his fourth into an open net with Vasilevskiy out of position for his team’s first goal at even strength since the third period of Game 2.

Boston actually had a chance to win it in regulation when Hedman went off for tripping with 1:56 left, but Tampa held on and forced the extra period.

Earlier in the third, Boston’s Karson Kuhlman raced around Tampa defenceman Luke Schenn, but Vasilevskiy, another Vezina finalist, outwaited the speedy winger to make the stop early in the third.

Boston then lost blue-liner Charlie McAvoy when Cedric Paquette drilled him from behind in the boards — a hit that went uncalled and had the Bruins bench steaming mad. McAvoy stayed down for a while before being helped to the locker room, but eventually returned to the action with his team desperate for that equalizer.

Tampa grabbed a 1-0 lead at 4:21 of the second when Palat bagged his fifth goal in the last four games after not scoring in the Lightning’s nine previous post-season contests. Shattenkirk took a shot from the point that Palat deftly redirected from the slot over Halak’s glove and off the crossbar.

Boston, which avoided elimination in last season’s first round at Scotiabank Arena in Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs before winning that series and going on a long playoff run, got even when its power play clicked for a fifth straight outing. Krejci faked a shot at the point and slid a pass to Pastrnak, who wired his third past Vasilevskiy from the left circle at 12:38.

Kucherov, who took that high stick from Chara in the first, was in the box for tripping and went to the Tampa locker room for a second time shortly after Boston tied it and did not return.

The Lightning, who dispatched Columbus in five games in the opening round, came close to regaining the lead moments later, but Halak denied Palat of his second with a great post-to-post save before Zach Bogosian’s point shot hit the post.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2020.

___

Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read