Lightning strike quickly, beat Bruins 4-1, lead series 2-1
Ondrej Palat scored twice in the first 3:19 of the game, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Wednesday night to open a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight since losing the series opener at home.
Anthony Cirelli scored his first career NHL playoff goal — with an assist from Yanni Gourde, whose wife gave birth on Tuesday — giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead late in the first.
Patrice Bergeron scored his fourth goal of the playoffs for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 33 saves.
Game 4 is Friday night.
Palat scored just 1:47 in after Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk settled the puck with his glove in his own end, then appeared to lose track of it and skated away, leaving the Lightning with an easy 2-on-1 opportunity.
Palat made it 2-0 just 92 seconds later on a shot that deflected off Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and into the net.
It stayed that way until the Lightning picked up a power play in the final two minutes when Krug tripped Cirelli as he chased after the puck with an empty net in front of him.
The Lightning made it 4-1 anyway when Steven Stamkos found the empty net on the power play with 42 seconds left.