One team was fresh off a grueling seven-game, first-round series. One team had been resting and waiting for a week.
But rest didn’t serve the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins on Saturday at Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay came out of the gates aggressive, but the Lightning were unable to put one past Tuukka Rask early in the game.
And then the Bruins took over.
Rick Nash scored toward the end of the first period to open the scoring, and from then on the Lightning played a game of catchup that they were unable to win, as Boston pulled away to win 6-2.
Nash scored two goals, as did Patrice Bergeron. Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk each potted one apiece for the B’s.
The Bruins now lead the series 1-0.
Here’s how it all went down:
The Lightning were crisper and more aggressive in the first period, but Rask stopped everything that was sent his way to keep the game scoreless in the early going.
Boston got the first power play of the series when Ryan Callahan was sent to the box for tripping at 17:03. Tampa Bay ranked 28th in penalty kill during the regular season, and the B’s made them pay with the man advantage. Eight seconds after Callahan was sent off, David Pastrnak sent a rocket toward the net that was redirected by Nash to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins came out of the first intermission with purpose, as Boston’s top line put them up 2-0 at the 0:42 mark in the period. Pastrnak drew the defense to him and found Bergeron with a slick no-look pass, and the veteran center did the rest.
NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT
Amalie Arena was quiet after Bergeron’s goal, but it didn’t stay that way for long. The Lightning cut into the lead a few minutes later when Dan Girardi laced a rocket at Rask that deflected off Matt Grzelcyk and past the B’s netminder to cut the lead to 2-1 at the 2:31 mark in the second.
The Bruins’ 33-year-old winger was brilliant in his playoff career against the Lightning, and he found the net again with his second goal of the game at 12:33 in the second period.
LOOK MA NO BLADE
The B’s held a 3-1 lead for a little less than a minute. DeBrusk was sent off for interference at 12:41 and the Lightning capitalized when Rask lost a skate blade and Mikhail Sergachev sent a rocket into the back of the net.
Boston boosted its lead back to two early in the third period. Charlie McAvoy unleashed a rocket that was tipped home by Marchand at 3:32 in the period.
Boston secured a Game 1 win when Bergeron scored his second goal of the game at 10:11 in the third period. Marchand dropped a pass to Bergeron and the center ripped a one-timer past Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. DeBrusk later added an empty-netter to make it 6-2.
The series will resume Monday night at Amalie Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images