On Monday night at Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning played a spirited, physical sixty minutes en route to a 4-2 victory to even up their best-of-seven series with the Boston Bruins at one apiece.
Brayden Point led the way with four points, including an empty netter with less than 26 seconds left, to seal the deal for the home team.
The Bolts started out fast, outshooting the Bruins 9-0 through the first eleven minutes, but the 10th shot was the one that put the Lightning out in front.
After Torey Krug was whistled for slashing, the Tampa Bay power play took advantage as Yanni Gourde took a pass from Brayden Point and beat Boston netminder Tuukka Rask to give the Lightning a 1-0 edge.
The Bruins had a great chance to tie the game in the first with almost two full minutes of 5-on-3 power play time, but Andrei Vasilevskiy stood tall, the Bolts blocked shots and David Pastrnak fired a one-timer that clanged off of both posts.
It looked to be a one-goal advantage for the Lightning heading into the intermission, but Charlie McAvoy took a feed from Patrice Bergeron in the slot and fired it past Vasilevskiy with just 90 seconds left in the opening stanza to knot the score at one.
The middle frame was very even for the most part, but the Lightning finally broke the 1-1 tie just past the midway mark of the period.
Just moments after being taken down on a scoring chance by Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy, Tyler Johnson made the most of his second chance and buried a feed from Point past Rask high to the blocker side to put the Bolts up 2-1.
Ondrej Palat scored at the 14:08 mark to give the Lightning a two-goal advantage, but that goal seemed to give some momentum to the Bruins. Torey Krug scored off the faceoff just 1:50 later to make it 3-2 and Boston was still threatening before the Point goal put the Bolts on top for good.
Vasilevskiy at times went long stretches without seeing a shot, but he was solid in net stopping 18 of 20 shots. Rask came up big with some big saves throughout the night but ultimately let in 3 goals on 30 shots.
1. Tampa Bay - PPG - Gourde - (Point, Sergachev) - 11:47
2. Boston - McAvoy - (Bergeron, Marchand) - 18:30
1. Tampa Bay - Johnson - (Point, Palat) - 10:14
1. Tampa Bay - Palat - (Point) - 14:08
2. Boston - Krug - (Pastrnak, Marchand) - 15:58
3. Tampa Bay - Point - (Hedman) - 19:34
1. Boston - Backes - (Roughing) - DOUBLE MINOR - 5:30
2. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (Roughing) - 5:30
3. Boston - Krug - (Slashing) - 10:00
4. Tampa Bay - Johnson - (Roughing) - 14:02
1. Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Holding) - 10:31
1. Boston - Miller - (Boarding) - 3:18
2. Boston - Krug - (Roughing) - 3:18
3. Tampa Bay - Stralman - (Cross Checking) - 3:18
4. Tampa Bay - Gourde - (Roughing) - 3:18
5. Boston - Pastrnak - DOUBLE MINOR - (High Sticking) - 7:31
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action Wednesday night as they travel up to Boston for Game 3 of this best-of-seven series. Puck drop is slated for 7pm with the pregame show starting at 6pm on Newsradio 970WFLA.