Bruins, Lightning 'start over again' in series opener

30 April, 2018, 03:54 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Credit Maddie Meyer  Getty Images

The honey badger and his linemates David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron started Game 1 against Tampa Bay just like they did in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs - with a bang. I'll never forget this series just in general, first playoffs.

Boston has been very good on offense during the postseason so far as they rank 2nd in scoring at 4.25 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots taken (33.6 spg) and 1st in power play conversions, converting on 36.4% of their chances.

The Bruins, who couldn't finish the Leafs until they won the last period of the series on Wednesday, are at a slight competitive advantage as a result.

The Lightning, No. 1 in the conference and Atlantic Division until dropping those two games to the B's in March, answered with a 4-0 win in Tampa on April 3.

With 2:49 left, Nash did what he does best - scored a power-play goal on a tip-in from the slot. Round one games were split between six networks, including NBC, NBCSN, USA, NHL Network, Golf Channel and CNBC.

"Any time you get emotional like that and attached to the game like he was, it gives you extra energy and I thought he was great".

That's a quote saved for any streaky scorer, including Nash. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara spent much of this season defying Father Time, but really wore down as the first round progressed. Nor did it find a way to beat goalie Tuukka Rask, who was not particularly sharp during the Bruins' seven-game first-round series against the Maple Leafs.

Infuriated, Rask hobbled off to pick up the useless skate blade, held up the damning piece of evidence for the world to see and then chucked it into an open space of ice.

"It was fun to watch, I guess".

"I think the guys are excited", Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

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Louie texted Jake before Game 7 to tell him to channel his best Justin Williams. From his strong rebound control to his solid post-to-post movement, the 2014 Vezina victor outdueled Vasilevskiy en route to a 34-save outing in one of his better performances this postseason.

Patrick Marleau, with two, Travis Dermott and Kasperi Kapanen replied for the Leafs. "We did some good things, but our game was not at a playoff level like the other team that had just played in a Game 7 and that's what we have to bring (Monday) night or it's going to be a (short) series for us". "You try to come out on top in the first game and try to take the lead, and that's where my focus was...trying to give my team a chance to win".

When asked how his team could stop that line, Cooper said, "You got to be hard on it".

The Lightning's top-line of J.T. Miller, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov are as good as you'll find in the National Hockey League, but if there's one line that can expose the Lightning trio, it's Brad Marchand, Bergeron, and David Pastrnak.

"Of course they would, but then you trade Rask there and you become Philly and don't have a goalie forever", he said. The Boston top line has now accounted for 41 points in the postseason, all of those coming in the five playoff wins the Bruins have registered.

"Uh, it went pretty well", he said sheepishly.

Since Nash's arrival in Boston, he has sliced off a little bit of the complaint pie that's typically fed to Rask.

Keeping things simple doesn't mean that the trio can't show creativity.

Marchand struck 3:32 into the third and Bergeron added some insurance at 10:11 of the period.

The idea of 2018 Girardi logging double-digit even-strength minutes against a Marchand or Pastrnak should be enough to make Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy drool, by the way. So, what would DeBrusk have for an encore? The Golden Knights' four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings ended up averaging 9,486 ERs per game (third-highest figure of any series). But his grit and determination to stay with the play, block a shot, and clear the puck out of the zone after three attempts resonated with his teammates.

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