By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The quickest two postseason goals in Lightning history were all the Bolts needed to take a 2-1 series lead over the Bruins on Wednesday night. But that didn’t stop them from beating the bag out of the Bruins in a 7-1 final.
On their second penalty kill of the period, a bad bounce off Zdeno Chara’s stick off an Ondrej Palat was enough to put the Bolts on the board, beating Halak at the 12:46 mark of the period. And then a linesman’s collision with Jeremy Lauzon gave the Lightning’s Yanni Gourde an easy path to the net, and he didn’t miss, making it 2-0 just 15 seconds later.
That set the new franchise record for the two fastest playoff goals in club history, beating the previous mark of 19 seconds, which was set on May 14, 2011…. at Boston in Game 1 of their Conference Final series.
But the Bolts’ power play awakening was just beginning, really, with a Mikhail Sergachev power-play shot beating Halak low glove-side just 2:14 into the second period, and Alex Killorn’s rebound-and-putaway strike on the man advantage at the 8:35 mark ending Halak’s night with 12 saves on 16 shots.
For the Lightning, who started the postseason 0-for-15 on the man advantage,
The Bruins scored a power-play goal of their own — another one off Brad Marchand’s skate and past Andrei Vasilevskiy — in between those second-period power-play tallies by Tampa Bay. But it was meaningless by the time Halak exited and paved the way for the 23-year-old Daniel Vladar’s first NHL action.
And the Bruins gave Vladar absolutely no support.
After stopping his first NHL shot faced, Vladar surrendered two goals before the period’s merciful end, with Brayden Point beating him on a breakaway and before a soft clear to nowhere ended up in the back of Boston’s net for Killorn’s second of the game.
Nikita Kucherov kicked the point-after to make it a 7-1 game at the 3:58 mark of the third period, and that was more than enough. Probably more cruel than anything else, in fact.
Vladar finished with 12 stops on 15 shots in his first 27 minutes and change of NHL work.
Vasilevskiy, meanwhile, finished with a 21-for-22 line for his second straight victory.
This six-goal loss was the B’s worst postseason defeat since a 9-3 loss to the Sabres in Game 6 of their first-round series in 1992. (The Bruins rebounded from that loss with a 3-2 win in Game 7, in case you’re wondering.)
The Bruins will look to even this series with a 7:30 p.m. puck-drop in Friday night’s Game 4.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.