It was not a good night for the Boston Bruins, to say the least.
Boston dropped Game 3 of its second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-1 on Wednesday night.
It was an all-around ugly game for the B’s on their second night of a back-to-back. They never could seem to get things going, save for Brad Marchand’s power-play goal.
But what was the most disappointing part of the loss?
Allow head coach Bruce Cassidy to explain:
“The response, obviously the first period we were fine,” Cassidy said during his Zoom postgame press conference. “I think if you look at all the numbers pretty even. Obviously, couple of breaks didn’t go our way, couple of questionable calls in my estimation obviously didn’t help, and then you chase the game. That’s tough, three in four, no excuses, but it’s tough you get behind in this league against a good team it’s hard enough to catch up. I just think if you look in the regular season when you’re playing three in four back-to-backs there’s not a lot of comebacks, it’s going to be especially magnified in the playoffs.
“But clearly after that we lost our composure at times and didn’t do enough to get back in the game. You kind of got to bear down at the start of the second period, first 10 minutes, and we weren’t able to do that, sort of tilt the ice back in our favor and they took full advantage of the opportunities given to them in the first period and after for that matter. So then it gets away from you and I think you’re just starting to build your game for game four more than anything.”
Boston will have to clean up its game if it wants to knot things up Friday night.
Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s Bruins-Lightning Game 3:
The NHL continued to play, but Cassidy said he would have supported his players no matter what their decision would have been.
“I would’ve supported our group whatever they decided, 100 percent behind them,” he said.
— Daniel Vladar made his NHL debut in the second period after Jaroslav Halak surrendered four goals.
“I’m glad he got an opportunity to play,” Cassidy said. “I don’t wish it in that circumstance but it is what it is and he got him some work. Hopefully he’s better off for it down the road.”
— Marchand’s goal continued to put him in with some elite company.
— The Lightning’s second goal came with a bit of help from the officials when one of the linesmen essentially picked off Jeremy Lauzon, which resulted in a clear path to the net for Tampa Bay.
“… Second goal, I mean come on, the linesman runs our D out of room,” Cassidy said. “Good for Yanni Gourde for taking advantage of a break given to him. But I mean, when do you see that play happen in the National Hockey League?…”
— The Bruins now look to even things at 2-2 on Friday night. And Cassidy knows his team needs to make some adjustments.
“Well I think you got to say something, you can’t just throw it out,” he said. “We’ll make some adjustments. They moved (Nikita) Kucherov to his forehand side the other night so we’ll look at how we need to sort of handle that. Power plays generally you’re trying to limit who has the puck, who it runs through if you can, who’s doing the shooting, so they did a good job with it.
“So like I said typically we’re really good on the kill so we’ll talk about that. Five-on-five how we can obviously generate more offense, we talked about it before, we want to get our D involved a little more, find ways to get pucks through to the net, so that’s an area we can talk about. We’ve got guys in the middle of the lineup we challenged to be better, to drive the bus on a night like tonight where young legs matter. Clearly that didn’t happen enough and we’ll continue to push that message. But as a whole let’s face it, they were better than us in every facet of the game so we got our work cut out for us but it’s one loss and put our best foot forward in Game 4 try to even the series then by playing a lot better and a lot smarter.”
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.