By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
After dropping their third straight game, this one by a 3-1 Game 4 final, the Boston Bruins are officially on death’s door.
And this one wasn’t much different than the two losses that came before, with bad breaks, ugly goals, and stupid penalties coming back to burn the Bruins again and again.
Boston’s newest nightmare began off a defensive-zone turnover, and with four B’s sweaters failing to converge on Ondrej Palat in the slot, which allowed the hot-handed Tampa winger to score his third goal of the postseason, at 8:59 of the first period.
That held as the game’s only goal through 20 minutes, but Palat pushed Tampa out to a 2-0 edge on a slapper that Jaroslav Halak simply missed with his glove. It was another sample of the kind of backbreaking goals that have become too common in recent games, and on another from-afar, glove-side beat against the 35-year-old Halak.
Then Nick Ritchie, who took a roughing penalty against the Bolts’ Cedric Paquette after Paquette (a dirtbag) boarded Karson Kuhlman without a call, decided to attempt to even the score with a massive hit on an unsuspecting Yanni Gourde. But the puck was nowhere near Gourde as the play had long advanced the other way, and it looked straight-up dirty.
A video review from the officials confirmed as much, and Ritchie was assessed a five-minute boarding major.
The Bruins failed to let that break them, though, and miraculously killed off the first 4:32 of that five-minute sentence.
But then came a pop fly that went off Par Lindholm’s stick and up and over Halak for a Victor Hedman goal.
Because of course.
Down 3-0 through 40 minutes of play, the Bruins got themselves on the board with a Jake DeBrusk goal at the 7:04 mark of the third frame, and with one second left on the power play, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Halak finished with 23 saves in a losing effort, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 29 for his third straight victory.
Connor Clifton returned to the Boston lineup after missing Game 3, and finished with three hits in 14:29. Karson Kuhlman, meanwhile, made his series debut, and landed three shots on goal in 12:26 by the night’s end.
The Bruins will look to stave off elimination in Game 5 on Monday night.
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.