Well, that sure was a wild one.
In the end, however, the Lightning prevailed.
Tampa Bay defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout at TD Garden on Thursday night in the first of three meetings between the two squads this season.
Tuukka Rask pushed away 33 of the 36 shots he faced in regulation, while Andrei Vasilevskiy collected 34 saves.
The Bruins dip to 5-1-1, while the Lightning move to 4-2-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
KNOTTED AT ONE
This one went back-and-forth early and often.
Tampa wasted no time pressuring the net, outshooting Boston 7-2 in the first five minutes. Despite this, the Bruins were first on the board thanks to a power play goal from David Pastrnak, flicking a wrister past Vasilevskiy midway through the period to put Boston up 1-0.
This was Pastrnak’s fifth straight goal for the Bruins.
The B’s racked up two penalties of their own in the first, but Boston managed to keep Tampa at bay on both occasions.
That luck wouldn’t last long, however. The Lightning managed to tie things up with 1.6 seconds left on the clock on a Brayden Point breakaway.
And just like that, the B’s lead was gone.
The second period was much like the first.
After missing a few quality shots early, the Bruins regained the lead on yet another power play goal midway through the period.
This time, it was Patrice Bergeron’s doing, netting Boston’s second goal of the night off a sneaky feed from Pastrnak for the B’s second goal of the night.
It didn’t take long for the Lightning to strike back, with Mathieu Joseph potting a juicy rebound to tie things at two goals apiece midway through the period.
The B’s closed out the period with their fourth power play of the night, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. So, the period ended much like it started — all tied up.
IT DOESN’T END HERE
Both teams battled in the third, and it showed on the scoreboard.
Boston found a slight edge early, outshooting the Lightning 6-2 through the first half of the period. A Matt Grzelcyk hooking call gave the Lightning a window of opportunity midway through the period, but they failed to capitalize once again.
Things stayed tight through the latter half of the period until Kevin Shattenkirk flicked one past Rask to give the Lightning their first lead of the game with just 4:46 left to play.
But the Bruins didn’t panic, tying things up at three goals apiece with just 3:05 left to play on another power play goal from Pastrnak, his second of the night.
And off the B’s were to overtime for the first time this season.
STILL NOT DONE
A little extra time was needed to finish this one up, but neither team found an edge with five extra minutes on the clock.
The two squads went up and down the ice, trading shots each time. Grzelcyk had a chance to put things away, but failed to tip the puck five-hole on Vasilevskiy.
Rask was a brick wall, stopping the three shots he faced in OT, making some spectacular saves in the process.
So, it was decided in a shootout.
ENDING ON A SOUR NOTE
This certainly wasn’t the way the B’s wanted the shootout to go.
Neither team could find an edge through the first three rounds, forcing Boston and Tampa to go shot-for-shot. But Stamkos finally potted one for the Lightning in Round 4, something Jake DeBrusk couldn’t replicate.
So after a hard-fought battle, the Lightning emerged victorious.
The Bruins begin two straight games against the Maple Leafs on Saturday. Puck drop for Game 1 is slated for 7 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena, while Game 2 will be played back at TD Garden on Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images