The Lightning didn’t just beat the Bruins on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Tampa Bay blew Boston’s doors off.
The Bolts scored in all three periods, including four goals in the second frame, en route a 7-1 victory over the B’s. The lopsided affair saw Boston pull starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the second period, paving the way for Dan Vladar, who made his NHL debut in the Eastern Conference semifinals, of all times.
When asked after the game if Game 3 was a “statement win,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper somewhat danced around the question and avoided giving the Bruins any real bulletin-board material. More than anything, Cooper was pleased with his team’s success on the power play, as Tampa cashed in on three of six man-advantage opportunities.
“I think the statement is we have a pretty good hockey team, and the other statement is the team in Boston has a pretty damn good hockey team, too,” Cooper said, per a Bruins-provided transcript. “Pucks went in for us on the power play. To be honest, we haven’t, I don’t know what we ended up with in power plays tonight, but that’s probably cumulative what we’ve had in the five prior games put together. So you need special teams at points to win the game for you, but in the end, it’s what you keep out of your net and not always what you put in their net, and we’ve been keeping the puck out, and we did tonight, and I think that was a big reason why we won.”
The Lightning now own a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven set. The Atlantic Division rivals will meet Friday night for Game 4, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. ET.