With their backs against the wall, the Boston Bruins turned in a lackluster performance, falling 6-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins held the lead on three separate occasions in the second period, but they simply couldn’t maintain the edge. Boston received goals from David Pastrnak, Zdeno Chara and Riley Nash, but each B’s goal was answered quickly by a Lightning score.
Boston now has lost four consecutive games as it tries to hang on to an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
With the loss, Boston falls to 38-30-6, while Tampa Bay improves to 35-29-9.
Here’s how it all went down.
Both teams had a plethora of scoring chances in the first period, but neither made any noise on the scoreboard as the game remained scoreless after one frame. The squads nearly were even in shots on net, as Tampa Bay held a narrow 10-9 advantage over Boston. Each side also had a power-play opportunity in the opening 20 minutes, but neither could convert on the man advantage. In terms of puck possession in the opposition’s zone, the Bruins dominated. The B’s held the puck in the Lightning’s end for 9:33, while Tampa Bay only accounted for 6:24 in Boston’s zone.
GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
While the first period lacked scoring, the second frame held a much different tone. Under two minutes into the second period, Pastrnak put the Bruins on the board with a power-play score.
Boston’s lead didn’t last very long, though. Just 44 seconds after Pastrnak’s goal, the Lightning responded with a tally from Brayden Point.
The game remained tied for roughly five minutes, but the B’s would jump out again thanks to their captain. With Boston on the penalty kill, Chara laced a wrist shot into the back of the net to put the Bruins up 2-1.
Boston’s second lead of the game shockingly lasted shorter than the first. Just 24 seconds after giving up a shorthanded goal, the Lightning responded with a power-play score from Nikita Kucherov to even the game at 2-2.
The Bruins earned their third lead of the game thanks to Nash. After wrapping around the net, Nash banked the puck off of a Lightning defenseman and gave the B’s a 3-2 lead.
The theme of Boston not holding a lead manifested itself yet again. Just 1:35 after Nash’s go-ahead score, Anton Stralman roofed a wrister over Rask’s shoulder to pit the game at 3-3.
The Bruins struggled to maintain a lead in the second period, which proved costly in the final frame. Just over four minutes into the third period, a Justin Drouin goal gave the Lightning their first lead of the game.
Tampa Bay then opened the flood gates. Roughly six minutes after Drouin’s go-ahead score, Kucherov netted his second goal of the game to put Tampa Bay up 5-3.
Kucherov then earned a hat trick thanks to an empty-net goal, eliminating any chance of a Bruins comeback.
The B’s return to the ice Saturday night for a road matchup against the New York Islanders. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images