Lightning take control of series in 4-1 win

By Ken Filler
May. 04, 2018

You had to like what you say from the Tampa bay Lightning in their 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins last night. The Lightning needed this win in this building, after not winning a game in Boston all season going 1-3 against the Bruins and 0-2 in Boston.

The lightning were 6-31-5 all time in Boston before last night’s win. The lightning defensively played the type of game that you have to play if you want to win against the Bruins.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding as usual as he turned aside 29 shots in the win.

The lightning jumped on the Bruins early and often as they built a quick 2-0 lead. The line of Palat, Point, and Johnson contined to be the best line in this series so far as they combined for 2G and an assist.

How about the play of rookie Tony CIrelli. he has been very good on special teams this series so far, and he tallied his first playoff goal last night.

There have been many unsung hero’s for the Lightning in this Stanley Cup run. After the debacle in game 1 which you could attribute to the long lay-off, Braydon Point has been playing some of his best hockey of the season. Yanni Guarde, Tony Cirelli, and Ryan Callahan have made contributions in the last two games That don’t necessarily show up on the score sheet.

The defense has really tightened up after game 1 and kept the line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak in check. You may not keep them completely off the score sheet, but if you don’t give them a lot off open ice space and be physical with them, you can eliminate their effectiveness which is what the Lightning have done.

We are seeing now how good Ryan MacDonagh, and Dan Girardi can be. Yzerman picked them up for these type of games and they are really playing well. Add in Norris candidate Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman and the Lightning have the best defensive group of any team left in these playoffs.

The one Achilles heel has been special teams. The PK and the PP. No team is perfect Right? The Lightning were 1/5 on the PP last night and are 3/12 in the series. The Lightning were up 2-0 and had a couple of good looks on two power play opportunities but couldn’t cash in. Had they scored on one of those PP that would have sent a dagger right through the heart of the Bruins.

The Bruins are 2/5 on their PP chances and they seem to win the face off to start the PP and before you know it it’s in the back of the net. The Lightning have dominated the face offs so far, but the ones they have lost have cost them at least 2 goals.

At some point the top line of Stamkos, Kucherov, and Miller will have to get going. Outside of a Stamkos EN last night, this line has done nothing this series. At some point in the playoffs, the Lightning is going to need this line to contribute.

It’s evident that the Lightning is the much quicker team as this series has gone on. The Bruins were chasing the Lightning last night, which helped wear down the Bruins.

The most important game of the series is coming up tomorrow night and the Lightning will have to be ready for the Bruins to throw everything at them. The first 10 minutes will be crucial to the outcome. The Lightning will need to withstand that initial storm and maintain their composure.

I think the game will be much closer than the last game, but I think the Lightning will win a 2-1 game And come back home with a chance to wrap up the series at home on Sunday afternoon.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports