|Tuukka Rask doing what he does best. (photo via: Along the Boards)|
It was an exciting contest at the Garden in Boston tonight as the Bruins took out the Lightning 3-2 in a shootout.
The Bruins struck first and it was the young guns stamping their mark early in the game. A quick two on one finds Ryan Spooner being just patient enough and finds David Pastrnak who puts it past Ben Bishop for a one nothing Boston lead. Milan Lucic also assisted on the play. Stamkos would tie the game eight minutes later as Dougie Hamilton took an awful dive, leaving Stamkos to dance around the top of the hash marks and snipe one past Rask to the top right corner. Rask was solid in the first, turning away eight shots, including a beautiful kick save in Tampa's lone power play of the period. The power play came after a questionable goalie interference call on Loui Eriksson. There appeared to be no contact to Bishop on the play, further proving there needs to be video replay on goaltender interference calls.
The second period was all about Tuukka Rask and his best friends, the left and right post. The Lightning fired sixteen shots and really brought the pressure. Rask made several wonderful saves to keep Boston in the game. Excellent puck handling skills by Jonathan Drouin and great passing all around led to plenty of zone time. Fortunately for the Bruins, Tampa Bay couldn't finish and they entered the third period tied at one goal a piece.
The Bruins got right back to work in the third with Patrice Bergeron scoring the go ahead goal. Reilly Smith provided an excellent, physical net front presence as Dennis Seidenberg found an open Bergeron for the goal. Rask continued to make some great saves until Vladislav Namestnikov beat Rask to the five hole off of a rebound. Moments later, Soderberg was able to find some space on a delayed penalty and had a small breakaway on Ben Bishop, but was denied by the left post. In the final two minutes, both teams exchanged thrilling chances to try and sink the game winning goal. The third period would come to a close with some last second shots, however overtime would be needed to decide this one.
Overtime got to see some 3 on 3 action as Chris Kelly and Alex Killorn each got matching minors. David Pastrnak had quite an opportunity to end the game but Bishop was able to stack the pads and keep it out. Bartkowski took the Bruins second penalty of the overtime period with a holding call, giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 power play. Tuukka Rask comes up with a huge glove save on Tyler Johnson with 2:08 to play, flashing the leather to keep the game going. With 1:01 remaining, Stamkos is penalized with a ten minute game misconduct penalty for playing the puck with a broken stick. This game was destined for a shootout though as the final shots ended 37-30 in favor of Tampa Bay.
Boston opts to shoot first and send out Bergeron to do what he does best. Score. Rask stuns Kucherov. Pastrnak gets an opportunity but misses wide. Drouin, the rookie, rings it off the bar and out. Marchand steps up and beats Bishop five hole and that seals it.
Excellent team effort from the Bruins and that puts them within two points of the Capitals for the seventh seed. Great game!
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