Resilient Lightning rebound to defeat Bruins 4-2 - Taipei Times
Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Resilient Lightning rebound to defeat Bruins 4-2

AP, TAMPA, Florida

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point scores an empty-net goal in the third period of Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference second-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, on Monday.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been just as resilient in the Stanley Cup playoffs as they have been all season.

Challenged by coach Jon Cooper to compete harder and raise their level of play after dropping the opener of their second-round series against the Boston Bruins, the top seeds in the Eastern Conference responded with a 4-2 victory in Game 2 of the best-of-seven matchup on Monday night.

Brayden Point had an empty-net goal and three assists. He also teamed with Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat to slow down Boston’s high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.

“It feels good. I thought we played well,” Point said after posting just the third four-point game in Tampa Bay’s history. “We had a tough night in Game 1. I thought we came back tonight knowing we’d end up better.”

Point assisted on Tampa Bay’s first three goals before sealing the win with his empty-netter with 25.2 seconds left.

Yanni Gourde had a first-period goal, while Johnson and Palat also scored for the Lightning, who rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Game 1.

“We needed to have a bounce back, we needed to have an answer, and I thought we did that,” Johnson said. “I thought we competed really hard, I thought we played well and we got rewarded with some chances and some opportunities.”

Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand combined for three goals and 11 points in the opener, with most of the damage coming while Point’s line was trying to contain them. They had four more points in Game 2, but were unable to take over the game.

Cooper said he never considered changing the matchup against Boston’s top line.

“I honestly didn’t... We know they can do it. We have faith in them, and I thought they were outstanding tonight,” Cooper said before turning his attention back to Point.

“The kid’s a hockey player and he competes hard,” Cooper said. “Trust me, if there was any talk of pulling him off that line, I think those three guys would have marched right into my room and said: ‘What are you doing?’”

Charlie McAvoy scored for the Bruins late in the first period. Torey Krug’s late goal trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2 with just more than four minutes remaining.

Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots. Tuukka Rask finished with 27 saves for Boston.

“They lost 6-2 at home and didn’t feel good about their game. So, you’ve got to expect they’re going to come out and play hard,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I expect it in Game 3 going forward. They’ll play hard and so will we.”

Game 3 is tonight in Boston.

The Lightning had nearly twice as many scoring opportunities as the Bruins in the series opener and controlled play early on Monday night, getting off the first 10 shots of the game and taking a 1-0 lead on Gourde’s power-play goal at 11 minutes, 47 seconds of the first period.

With the exception of failing to taking advantage of a long five-on-three power play, the Bruins made the most of limited chances, with the Bergeron line leading the way.

McAvoy’s goal, with Bergeron and Marchand assisting, made it 1-1. Pastrnak and Marchand set up Krug’s goal to keep the Bruins close.

The Bergeron line has 12 goals and 41 points in Boston’s five playoff wins. The four assists on Monday night are the only points the trio has delivered in four losses.

“I know they had a good game, but I think it’s more on us,” Pastrnak said of the play of Point’s line. “We’ve got to be better Wednesday.”

This story has been viewed 1444 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top