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Boston Bruins, Halak Withstand Late Lightning Surge For 3-2 Win

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The Boston Bruins withstood a late third period surge by the Tampa Bay Lightning and held on for a 3-2 win to take Game 1 of this Eastern Conference Semifinals series.

After Brad Marchand scored his first goal the series and fourth of the playoffs 1:17 to into the third period to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead, the Lightning got two quick goals from defenseman Victor Hedman to pull within a goal but Jaro Halak (35 saves) and the Bruins were able to hold on and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Marchand and David Pastrnak each finished with a  goal and an assist and Charlie Coyle found the twine behind Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished with 28 saves.

The third period fireworks began when Patrice Bergeron held the line on the forecheck to force a turnover and then dished it to Pastrnak who back-handed a saucer pass to Marchand who was wide open at the doorstep to deposit the gift-wrapped puck from his linemate.

Both teams battled it out until Victor Hedman finally got the Lightning on the board 8:50 into the final frame to cut the lead to 3-1.

Hedman then pulled the Lightning within one, when Vasilevskiy was pulled for the extra attacker with just under two minutes to go in regulation. Hedman’s shot from just above the blueline was deflected off Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and found the back of the net to pull the Lightning within one goal.

 

Prior to the chaotic finish, Halak and the Bruins had kept the Lightning off the board with some brilliant goaltending in the second period – when Halak made 18 saves – and some timely scoring. Coyle gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 1:08 left in the first period when he tipped in a Brandon Carlo shot from the blue line over the glove side of Andrei Vasilevskiy to give the Bruins the lead. That was Coyle’s third goal of the playoffs. Marchand got the secondary assist.

The Bruins extended their lead on the power play in the second period. David Krejci picked up the puck at the blue line, skated along the boards, and patiently waited for an opening to pass to Pastrnak. Pastrnak, who was camping out in the spot where co-Rocket Richard winner Alex Ovechkin loves to score from, one-timed Krejci’s pass past Vasilevskiy to extend the Bruins lead to 2-0 at 4:43 of the middle frame.

 

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