Ondrej Palat, Mikhail Sergachev and Alex Killorn scored power play goals Wednesday night to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 7-1 defeat of the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their second-round NHL playoff series.
Killorn included a second goal and Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov additionally scored for the Lightning, which won for the second consecutive night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup between Atlantic Division rivals.
Game 4 is Friday night.
“Let’s be honest. This is an aberration,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the blowout, which followed Tampa Bay’s 4-3 overtime win on Tuesday night.
“They’re the President’s Trophy winner. … You turn the page,” Cooper added, “just like you turn the page on an overtime thriller.”
Kucherov helped on every one of the three power-play goals, getting done with a career playoff best four points as the Lightning finished a 0-for-16 drought in man-advantage circumstances that started in Game 1 of the team’s first-round triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“We lost our composure at times and didn’t do enough to get back in the game,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.
“But it’s over, we’re going to focus on Game 4. (Whether it’s) 7-1, 2-1 — a loss is a loss. They’re up 2-1,” Cassidy added. “I know we’ve got a good group. They’re resilient. We’ll lick our wounds … and get ready for Game 4.”
Brad Marchand had his fourth goal of the series for Boston, scoring on the power play at 4:56 of the second period.
However, by at that point, the Bruins followed 3-0 subsequent to yielding goals to Palat and Gourde inside a 15-second span of the opening period and Sergachev’s rankling shot that cruised past goalie Jaroslav Halak at 2:14 of the second.
Things truly turned crazy when Halak, following 4-1, was supplanted by 23-year-old Dan Vladar, making his NHL playoff debut.
Point scored on a breakaway and Killorn included his second goal the prior night Kucherov manufactured the lead to 7-1 at 3:58 of the third period.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had 23 puts something aside for the Lightning. Halak halted 12 of 16 shots before withdrawing halfway during that time period.
“We know this is going to be a long series,” Tampa Bay’s Kevin Shattenkirk said. “We’re not going to see that type of Boston team on Friday night.”