Though the Bruins recovered from a poor start on Wednesday against the Lightning, Tyler Johnson broke a 2-2 tie with just 1:27 left in regulation to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win in their Stanley Cup round robin matchup. Tampa is now in the driver’s seat in the play-in round, while the Bruins can no longer win the No. 1 seed and are in danger of ending up in fourth.
The first period went about as poorly as one could expect for the Bruins, as the Lightning drew first blood 7:33 into the game. After a 3-on-2 rush by Tampa, every Bruin on the ice lost sight of the puck underneath Tuukka Rask’s pad. Lightning center Brayden Point took advantage and whacked the loose puck through Rask and in to give his team the 1-0 lead.
Just under three minutes later, the Lightning struck again. As the Bruins served a too many men on the ice penalty, Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman fired the puck from the high slot and it deflected three times – off Sean Kuraly’s stick, off Point’s stick, and off Alex Killorn’s skate – before hitting the back of the net.
In the second period, the Bruins avoided back-breaking mistakes and cut the Tampa lead in half. Torey Krug teed the puck up for Charlie McAvoy up high, who blasted a one-timer off Andrei Vasilevskiy and in to make it 2-1.
The Bruins finally found their equalizer just minutes into the third. Chris Wagner scored his second goal of the round robin after a Zdeno Chara shot trickled to the goal line, poking the puck home to tie the game 2-2.
Things got chippy in the third after the Bruins tied the game. And it got carried away when Tampa’s Barclay Goodrow delivered a hit to the head of Anders Bjork. He received only a two-minute minor for the hit.
The Bruins will face the Washington Capitals in their final round robin game on Sunday. The time is to be determined. Tune in to 98.5 The Sports Hub, 985TheSportsHub.com, and the Sports Hub app for the broadcast.