Bolts win a feisty game against Boston

by Gary Shelton on March 8, 2020

in general

Cirelli scored a shorthanded goal /CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

This one should have been played in Cell Block C.

Over here would be the Birdmen of Alcatraz. Over there would be the Hole in the Wall Gang. Most games have a referee. This would needed a warden and a parole board.

Yeah, this was one of those fights where a hockey game breaks out in the middle of it. The Tampa Bay Lightning got a measure of revenge for a 2-1 loss earlier in the week with a 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. The teams are tied with 43 wins each, but because of more ties, the Bruins have a seven point advantage.

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Pauquette scored his seventh goal for Bolts./CHUCK MULLER

This time, it was a combative game between the teams. The Lighting and Bruins combined for 26 penalties (14 by the Lightning) and 94 penalty minutes (48 by the Lightning).

So what will you remember? That the Lighting scored two shorthanded goals in 62 seconds? Or Andre Vasilevskiy's save of David Pastrnak's shot with five minutes to go and a one-goal lead? Maybe Nikita Kucherov's steal of the puck and putting in the cinching goal with an empty-netter with 1:06 to play?

Or the fights? All the fights?

"The only thing I’m remembering right now is Vasilevskiy making a save on Pastrnak with five minutes to go and a one-goal lead," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

The game was a suggestion that perhaps the Bolts will be better prepared for the physical nature of the playoffs this time around.

"I can’t sit here and say I learned anything," Cooper said. "This is our team. We had two  pretty good hockey teams that wanted to win a game. Guys are sticking up for each other. iIt’s one of those games that you don’t see as much anymore, but intimidation is still a factor. When you look the tiger in the eye and don’t back down, everyone grows on the bench. We know we have that in us.

“It’s a close game in the third, and there was a melee in the second. How are you going to respond? The bottom line is we have to go out and win the hockey game. I thought aside from the Pastrnak breakaway, we controlled the third period. We didn’t give up too much. It's not always how. you respond physically. We did that part. But now go win the game. That’s what they did."

The Lightning built a 3-0 lead on shorthanded goals by Anthony Cicerelli and Mikhail Sergachev and Cedric Paquette's seventh goal. But the Bruins cam back strong and two whittled the deficit to one goal. Alex Killorn made it 4-2 with his 26th goal.

Kucherov finished it with his 33rd goal.

Goaltender Vasilevskiy stopped 35 of 38 shots for his 35th win. Victor Hedman missed most of the game with an injury.

The Lightning play again today against the Red Wings in Detroit. The puck is scheduled to drop at 5 p.m.


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