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Vasilevskiy & Bolts Blank Bruins 4-0

Tampa Bay Lightning

Needing a win to tie Boston for first place in the Eastern Division, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Bruins 4-0 on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.  Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves to record his eighth shutout of the season & Tampa Bay, playing without Captain Center Steven Stamkos, scored three times in the second period to secure their first win over their division rivals this year.

With two points separating the top two teams in the Eastern Division, many thought the game would have a playoff atmosphere to it & in the first period, the two teams didn't disappoint.  Within the first minute of the game, both teams got a shot on net & as the first period continued the teams were active in front of each goaltender.  

The Lightning shook up their defensive pairings with Victor Hedman & Dan Girardi playing on the blue line together.  And in the first seven minutes of the game, Hedman, along with Right Wing Nikita Kucherov, recorded two shots on net, with Kucherov having the best scoring chance in the first 10 minutes of the game when he picked the pocket of a Bruins defenseman, stealing the puck in the Bruins zone, but was unable to get the puck past Rask.  Meanwhile, the Bruins had quality scoring chances too, including Center Patrice Bergeron getting the puck past Vasilevskiy but having it ring against the post.

In the first period, the home team outshot the visitors 17-8, blocked eight shots & delivered 16 hits in an active first 20 minutes.  And with how little time Tampa Bay was spending in front of their own net, it was just a matter of time before they got the game's first goal.  And the Lightning did just that when Center Brayden Point snapped a wrist shot past Rask, just inside the far post, after a set-up from Kucherov, for his 31st goal of the season.  And leading 1-0 over Boston meant the Lightning had their first lead over the Bruins in their four matchups this year.  

Just over five minutes after the Point goal, the Lightning took a 2-0 lead after a blast from the left point by Hedman, giving him 16 goals on the year.  Hedman's goal was set-up by Defenseman Braydon Coburn, his second assist of the game.  And less than four minutes later, the Lightning, with some hard work by Right Wing Ryan Callahan & Left Wing Chris Kunitz in the Bruins zone, were able to put up their third goal on the board when Kunitz, in a middle of a scramble in front of Rask, was able to push the puck past the Bruins netminder.  The Bruins challenged the goal, claiming goaltender interference but the goal was upheld by replay.

In that second period, Tampa Bay outshot Boston 16-13 for a two period total of 33-21, but at the start of the third period had to kill off the remaining minute of a Hedman interference penalty.  The Lightning were successful in killing off the penalty & with under three minutes gone in the final period, the lead jumped to four when Center J.T. Miller, on a two on one break, came down the left side & ripped a shot over Rask, for his 23rd goal of the year & his 10th goal in 17 games with the Lightning. 

The Lightning wrap-up their regular season home schedule with a game against Buffalo on Friday night. Coverage begins on 970 WFLA at 6:30pm & the puck drops at 7:30pm.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD:

NONE

2ND PERIOD:

1. TBL- Point 31st Goal (Kucherov, Coburn) - 5:01

2. TBL- Hedman 16th Goal (Coburn, Callahan) - 10:59

3. TBL- Kunitz 13th Goal (Callahan, Giardi) - 14:27

3RD PERIOD:

1. TBL- Miller 23rd Goal (Unassisted) - 2:34

PENALTY SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD:

1. BOS- Heinen (Tripping) - 8:12

2. TBL- Sergachev (Tripping) - 13:41

3. BOS- Pastrnak (Tripping) - 19:53

2ND PERIOD:

1. TBL- Hedman (Interference) - 19:04

3RD PERIOD:

1. BOS- Marchand (Hooking) - 6:49

2. BOS- Schaller (Delay of Game) - 8:45


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