The Thunder Rolls in Boston!

Kevin Flannery

By Jake Ricker


The Tampa Bay Lightning played a fantastic game tonight and it showed, despite having a tough time on the power play. As for the Bruins, they could just not stop the Bolts offense, and the few chances they got where shut down by Vasy. The Bruins also looked very slow and frustrated the whole game. Things once again got physical in this one and both teams took their fair share of fighting penalties. Also to no one’s surprise, the officiating was once again shakey. Overall the Bolts dominated this game and never looked back. The Bolts have now taken a 2-1 series lead after tonight’s big victory in game 3. Let’s take a look at how we got here period by period.

First Period

The Bolts got off to a good start as they got to the puck early and played with some good speed. The Bruins had a good start as well though but it would quickly fade. The Bolts second line would pick things right where they left it in game 3. Anton Stralman would flip the puck into the Bruins zone where they would fumble the puck. Johnson quickly stole the puck for a 2 on 1 where he passed it to Palat who lifted it home for an early 1-0 Bolts Lead! The Bolts weren’t done there though as they just kept on pushing. Just a few mins later on an offensive push Point threw one on net that deflected off Palat and ended up in the back of the net, to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead! Things did not get better for the Bruins as Nash would get 2 for interference. Rask would come up big as Miller nearly scored on the PP but he kept it out. The Bruins would successfully kill off the rest of the penalty. The Bruins started to get a little momentum but the Bolts D looked great and shut them down. Things started to get very chippy and the Bruins would pay for it as McAvoy would get called for roughing just over halfway into the period. The Bolts got some great chances but Rask was stellar and somehow kept it at a 2 goal deficit. The Bruins would then get their first PP of the night as Stralman would get 2 for tripping. The Bruins quickly got to work as they got some shots early. Bergeron then found a big rebound and put it past Vasy to make it a 1 goal game. The Bruins got a few more chances with their new momentum but Vasy turned them all away. The Bruins momentum didn’t last long though as the Bolts pushed right back. after a shot to the net, Cirelli would grab the rebound and get his first NHL playoff goal, which gave the Bolts a 3-1 lead! Both teams would get a few more chances but the Bolts would take a 3-1 lead into the locker room, what a start it was for the Bolts!

Goals: 3-1 Tampa Bay

Shots: 19-14 Tampa Bay

Second Period

Boston came out swinging early as they got most of the offensive chances but Vasy and the Lighting D played well and kept the Bruins from getting a puck in the back of the net. The Bolts 4th line kept up the physical attack on the Bruins and really helped set the tone of the game. The Bruins had the momentum though as they spent lots of time in the offensive zone getting chance after chance. Hedman, McDonagh and Vasy stopped everything thrown at them though and preserved the Bolts 2 goal lead. Both teams were playing a very disciplined game as there were no penalties through the first half of the second period. The Bolts second line started to turn thing around though as they dominated play and drew a penalty for the Bolts. Krug would sit for holding and the Bolts PP unit would go to work. The Bolts still couldn’t convert though as the Bruins killed it off and kept it at a 2 goal deficit. Things then started to get ugly as Paquette and Backes drop the gloves after a hit from behind by Backes. Backes was supposed to get a boarding penalty but apparently, it is now a penalty to stick up for your teammate so we would play 5 on 5. The Bruins did not help themselves as Marchand smacked Stralman’s hands and would have to go sit in the box for 2 min. the Bolts would get their 4th PP of the night and look to finally converting with the man advantage. Now Kuch would high stick Chara and not get called but, Chara also shoved Kuch to the ice so that probably should have been a roughing call anyway. The Bolts would still not be able to convert on the PP though and the score remained 3-1 Bolts. Neither team would get any last-second goals so the Bolts were up 2 after 2!

Goals: 3-1 Tampa Bay

Shots: 30-22 Tampa Bay

Third Period

Both teams got off to a good start as they both got a few quality chances, but the netminders turned them all away. Then Boston would send off a few quick shots but Vasy stood tall and make some great stops, including a point-blank shot from nash. Things were in a gridlock as time flew by with no stoppages of play. Neither team could get any big chances as they had a hard time entering the offensive zone. The Bolts would then get their best chance of the period a Kuch sped off on a breakaway. Kuch took his shot but it would go wide and the score remained 3-1 Bolts. The Bruins then got another big push but Vasy was not phased as he continued to make great stops. Both teams continued to play with discipline in the third as time continued to wind down. Time flew by and with just under 3 min to go the Bruins pulled Rask for one last shot at tieing this game. The puck was then sent down the ice and Cirelli chased after it and was tripped, so the Bolts would get one last PP. The Bruins kept Rask on the bench and the Bolts took advantage. STAMERTIME was back, Stammer flung one into the empty net to give the Bolts a 4-1 lead! THEN WITH SECONDS LEFT THE BOLTS WOULD GET THE WIN IN GAME 3!!!

Goals: 4-2 Tampa Bay

Shots: 36-29 Tampa Bay

3 Stars

  1. Ondrej Palat (2G)
  2. Andri Vasilevski (33SV, 1GA)
  3. Victor Hedman (2A)

Up Next and Final Strike

The Bolts played their best game of the series tonight and it showed. The second line was once again stellar as the Bruins could not stop them. Vasy played a great game tonight stopping 33 of 34 shots faced and is really starting to heat up. The Bolts defense also looked great as they did not let the Bruins get many things going, quickly shutting them down. With that said, The top line is still struggling and the PP was not good as they went 0 for 5 tonight. I expect The Bolts to come out strong again on Friday and for that top line to get going.

The Bolts will look to take a huge 3-1 series lead in Boston, Friday, May 4th at 7:00 PM


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