Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Lightning 4, Bruins 3: Time for desperation mode

Sara Civian
May 04, 2018 - 10:16 pm

The Bruins had harped on the importance of starting stronger since the end of Game 3. They harped, and they tweaked -- inserting Ryan Donato and Brian Gionta into the lineup -- and still, they were lucky to get out of Game 4’s first period down 2-1.

To be fair, there was slight improvement. David Pastrnak even registered two early shots on goal! The B’s still allowed the first two goals.

Brayden Point is a man on fire. Neutral zone turnover and defensive lapse aside, there wasn’t much stopping him here:

Nikita Kucherov arrived to the series with his first point -- a power play snipe to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead halfway through the first. It was starting to playout like a twisted rendition of Groundhog Day that wouldn’t end well.

David Pastrnak’s fourth shot of the game found the back of the net (persistence, kids) at 15:28 to get the Bruins out of the first with a chance.

TD Garden still reeked of the previous game, so I can’t blame anyone for predicting a second period collapse. Instead we got a Bruins team back to dominating faceoffs, a 14-4 shot advantage, and this:

Tie game. Saved game. Oh, and Brad Marchand kissing Ryan Callahan just because he can.

These two teams that have seemed so hot and so cold at completely opposite times were even-matched as they’d been all series, just in time for the third period.

Of course it had to heat up with a penalty that shouldn’t have been called in the first place. Marchand must’ve been buzzing off all the love, because his shorthanded effort set Bergeron up for his second of the game:

The first stolen lead of this series was served with a little puck justice.

Not so fast. After Kucherov wasn’t called for hooking McAvoy, Rask had no chance against a Stamkos bomb. His second goal of the series -- and first that wasn’t a power play empty-netter -- tied it up 3-3 with 7:04 to play.

With these teams on the same page, this game was probably going into overtime anyway.

It's a shame what was finally shaping up to be quality hockey ended in a re-direct.

Dan Girardi was the hero, and the Bruins head back to Tampa trailing 3-1. 


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