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04 May 2018, 12:04 | Nina Hammond
Statistically Speaking: Vegas, Tampa Bay advance
Boston skaters have been penalized 3.7 times per game in total this season, 3.6 per game over their last five outings total, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings.
Every cliche in the book has been bandied about when it comes to the state of officiating in these Stanley Cup playoffs, and these sobriquets and many more were thrown the Bruins' way following a less-than-stellar showing by the stripes in Boston's 4-2 Game 2 loss in Tampa Bay.
For the second straight game, the Lightning were clearly the better team and, while the concerns about Donato's NHL-ready defensive skills at this nascent point of his career are well-founded, the Bruins couldn't give up many more prime scoring chances than they did Wednesday night. The Lightning brought the same intensity to game three as they did in game two. He makes solid hits.
A stretch of games at TD Garden, however, ultimately provides Boston with the tools needed to capitalize on a potential shift in overarching momentum. Even with the game at zero, the Lightning appeared to be in command. No one does it better than Palat. "We know they're a good team, but we're a good team as well". The Bruins bounced back though with rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy's first career National Hockey League playoff goal late in the first but other than that their offense was stuck in neutral most of the night. One off a pretty feed by Tyler Johnson, who is becoming the Lightning's most clutch player in these playoffs. They are now 13-9 all-time in Game 3's and 7-5 in Game 3's on the road.
The goals pumped life and confidence into the Lightning and certainly sucked the air out of Boston's sellout crowd. They're just playing responsible. He's reached or eclipsed the.970 SP mark 10 times, all of those wins.
Not that it was all easy. If the Stamkos line gets rolling, Game 3's result could foreshadow what's to come for the Bruins as the series continues with Game 4 on Friday. Sorensen struck first, using a pick from linemate Eric Fehr to get loose from the corner and then skated around two defenseman to beat Fleury with his fourth goal of the playoffs. The Bruins finally sustained some pressure late in the period when Rask went to the bench for an extra attacker, but Torey Krug took a tripping minor that all but finished Boston's chances.
Killorn is one-third of a line along with Tony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde that has been as good as any for Tampa Bay in damaging the Bruins with the forecheck. But that's kind of the way it always is with Palat. Gourde, who scored his second goal of the playoffs in Game 2, was bedside with his wife for the birth and rejoined the team in Boston.
And while the Lightning plugged along without him, everyone inside the organization will tell you just how valuable he is to the team. Stamkos has 28 goals and 64 assists to his credit (and has notched a point in 57 games). But while the Bergeron line was on the ice for both of the B's goals, they were also on the ice for three against, including Palat's game-winner, as well as the empty-netter that sealed it. Rask gave the Bruins a chance to get back into the game on Wednesday night and that's really that the Bruins could have asked for.
Suddenly that game is not as critical.
The Lightning took advantage of a Matt Grzelczyk miscue to go ahead after just 1:47.
Tampa Bay came out of the gate ready to play and Boston looked to be on their heels.
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You work so hard to give yourself the opportunity to play in the playoffs and it's disappointing to lose it", Lillard said. We can watch Game 4, through the comfortable lens of a 3-0 Pelicans lead, as a possible deciding night for series MVP.