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Talking Points: Vasilevskiy Outduels Ullmark, Lightning Win 3-2



Boston Bruins

Here are the Talking Points after the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a six-game wins streak for the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 win.:

GOLD STAR: Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a thorn in the collective side of the Boston Bruins since 2018, when the Lightning beat the Bruins in five games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He beat them again in the second round in 2020en route to the first of the Bolts’ back-to-back Stanley Cups. However, this season the Bruins had had their way against Vasilevskiy, lighting him up for five goals on 29 shots in a 5-3 win on Nov. 21, and then for two goals on 25 shots in a 3-1 win on Nov. 29. Well, ‘The Cat’, as he’s affectionately known by teammates and Lightning fans, was back to his usual self on Thursday night and one could argue that he stole this game from the Bruins. Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 39 Bruins shots in his 400th career game and was the difference in what felt like a playoff game at Amalie Arena.

BLACK EYE: This puck scribe has covered the NHL for over 20 years, and I can honestly say that Corey Perry is in the Top 10 of unlikable players not just on the ice for his opponents but off it dealing with media and people in general. In the humble opinion of yours truly, Perry doesn’t respect his fellow NHLer and has and always will be a dirty player. That’s why, I’ll admit, it wasn’t hard to watch Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton absolutely pummel the veteran Lightning winger after Perry laid a cheap shot elbow on him, and then tried to take Clifton’s head off with a two-hander that thankfully missed. Perry is one of the best competitors of his era and a Stanley Cup champion but too many times, he crosses the line.

TURNING POINT: It has been a rare occurrence this season, but the Boston Bruins had an absolute and complete breakdown in their neutral zone coverage on Victor Hedman’s game-winning goal with 6:41 left in regulation. Credit to the Tampa Bay Lightning for capitalizing on the absolute cluster-bleep the Bruins were in that sequence.

HONORABLE MENTION: While his stats and the fact he reached 25 wins faster than any NHL goalie in history are amazing, one thing that’s been just as impressive has been the fight in Linus Ullmark. That fight has given the Bruins a chance to win every game, and Ullmark did that again on Thursday, stopping 32 of 35 Lightning shots. It was clear that his teammates weren’t as sharp as they usually are in front of him but Ullmark wasn’t going to allow that to be an excuse for a not so great night from him. Instead he continued to look like the Vezina Trophy candidate he is.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – In five out of their six regulation losses, the Boston Bruins have not led at any point in the game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was a great game wasn’t it? I thought it was back and forth all night long. I think the biggest difference and where we can grow is there’s a couple details in goals against where we made mistakes in how we wanna play things and it’s an opportunity. That’s a difference in the playoffs and that’s a playoff type game, and you need to execute and make moments and tonight, unfortunately we didn’t. It’s an opportunity for us to learn and grow, and get better.” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery in his NESN postgame show.

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