Lightning bar Bruins apparel in some sections of arena

Tuukka Rask tossed a broken skate blade up the ice in frustration, but hardly lost his cool.

Correction: A previous version of this story indicated Ryan Donato had not yet played for the Bruins in the playoffs, when in fact he played in Game 2 of Boston's series against Toronto. "If I threw it at somebody, I'd like to apologize, but I didn't". And I'm glad I could make it tonight.

Boston destroyed Tampa Bay, 6-2, in Game 1 on Saturday afternoon so you had to know that the Lightning would do everything in their power to win Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Monday night.

After a slow start in Game 1, Boston doubled down on that poor approach as Tampa Bay outshot them 10-0 over the first 13 plus-minutes and grabbed a 1-0 lead on rookie forward Yanni Gourde's goal.

"We didn't start the way we needed to at all", Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. We weren't executing very well.

The third goal came from the Lightning capitalizing off of the Bruins lack of turnover. The Kucherov-Stamkos pairing, on the other hand, has been completely silent, mustering just one point - an empty-netter from the captain to close out Wednesday's win. He was helped on a delayed penalty when Brent Burns cleared a puck off the goal line and when James Neal hit the post on a power play in the first period.


"He's going to make his decisions as a coach and we're the players", Backes said of Cassidy's possible lineup changes.

The Bruins actually haven't been all that proficient when they have had the puck, either: Through two games, they've attempted 75 shots, only 44 of which have reached Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning, in the conference semifinals for the third time in four years, remain confident. "Guys have been in this position before", center Tyler Johnson said. Then with just 2 minutes left in the game, Charlie MacAvoy tied the game at one. "It's the same thing". Face-off Tuesday night is just past 7 p.m., and Game 4 will take place in Boston on Friday.

Anthony Cirelli scored his first career National Hockey League playoff goal - with an assist from Yanni Gourde, whose wife gave birth on Tuesday - giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead late in the first.

He wasn't alone. The Lightning are playing for each other and playing like a team that's going to be awfully hard to put down. They're capable of playing better than they have in this series. "They've played on Olympic teams, World Cup teams, and every time you look up and Canada is winning, usually Marchand or Bergeron had something to do with it", Cooper added. They've committed 32 infractions for 64 minutes of sin bin time thus far: 16 in their five wins, 16 in their three losses, with 29 of those 32 being minors. It also sounds like an area of focus will be matching Tampa Bay's level of physicality. Is there stuff we can build off this game? "We'll assess them in the morning, and we'll probably tinker (with the lineup), but I'm not going to tell you who is going in or out now because we've got to get the healthy guys sorted out first, and then we'll go from there". But Krejci and Nash - especially Nash - have made a habit of not finishing their chances this postseason (and in Nash's case, in other postseasons too), and at a certain point taking a bunch of shots stops being a silver lining and not scoring on those shots becomes a reason you could find your season on the brink. The teams also met in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, won by Boston in seven games.

  • Gwendolyn Kim