Lightning could push Bruins to the brink

Hertl helped give Jones a cushion with his goal early in the second.

The Bruins actually haven't been all that proficient when they have had the puck, either: Through two games, they've attempted 75 shots, only 44 of which have reached Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. His line had the unenviable task of trying to slow down Boston's top line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, and in Game 1 they failed miserably at it with Point finishing with a ghastly plus-minus of minus-5. "We know they're a good team, but we're a good team as well".

Tampa Bay's Anthony Cirelli scored his first playoff goal and Steven Stamkos collected his second, into an empty net in the last minute. The scores of the Bruins three games with the Lightning are not indicative of Rask's play, but Rask has done his part and has kept the Bruins in the game. The Lightning and the Bruins should only go further in the direction as their Eastern Conference semifinal clash transitions to Boston for game 3. He stopped all 34 shots he faced for his second shutout of the postseason.

Then there's the Bruins' bottom six. Seguin was pedestrian the rest of the way but his skill got them over a hump. The Jets woke up and outscored the Preds 7-1 in the game's final 40 minutes to take a 2-1 series lead.

"We're in the playoffs, you're not going to walk through teams", said Boston left wing Brad Marchand, who had a pair of assists in Game 2. Both lines have spent a lot of time hemmed in their own zone and each was on the ice for a Tampa Bay goal Wednesday. Bruce Cassidy said after the game that he had less of a problem with the opening mistake that led to the first goal and much more of an issue with the two goals that followed after the first.

The league also said Aston-Reese made no sudden movement at the last second that made contact unavoidable, and pointed out several ways Wilson could have finished the play legally.

With the series knotted at one game apiece coming home, the Bruins had the opportunity to take a firm hold of the series against a team they defeated three out of four times during the regular season.

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"That's a good question, I am concerned and we always look at we've got some guys that weren't dressed tonight that have played well for this team", Cassidy said. So we'll have the conversation tomorrow.

"I think last game was probably my worst game of the playoffs, without a doubt", Backes said. "If [Heinen-Nash-Backes] stay in, obviously, they need to be better".

"At the start of the game they actually had some better looks than we did". They allowed a whopping 19 shots on goal in the first period, and after 40 minutes they had surrendered 30. You don't have your A-game, so to speak, bring your B-game.

Either way, the Bruins can't expect Donato or Tim Schaller or anyone else who moves from the press box to the lineup to single-handedly change things. At this point, they're going to need it.

For the fourth line, go with Danton Heinen on the left or right side, Sean Kuraly in the middle and then take your pick of Noel Acciari, Tommy Wingels or Tim Schaller on the other wing.

Round two is well underway now in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and each of the four series has started the same way. The Krejci line is capable of scoring more. With the series tied and moving to Boston, the Bruins promised to gain momentum, with their home crowd behind them at TD Garden. Even with the game at zero, the Lightning appeared to be in command.

  • Stacy Houston