Ondrej Palat's OT Winner Powers Lightning to Game 2 Win vs. BruinsAugust 26, 2020
The Tampa Bay Lightning evened their second-round series against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 2 during what's already become a drama-filled matchup.
Ondrej Palat scored the game-winner to move the Lightning to 4-0 in OT this postseason. For the Bruins, it's just the third loss in 31 playoff games where Brad Marchand has scored.
Before the final result, Game 2 saw two goals, two hot-headed penalties, one goal called back and one coach cussing out the referees all in the first 15 minutes.
The Lightning could have ended the opening frame with a 2-1 lead but had their first goal overturned on an offside call that head coach Jon Cooper had a fair reason to be upset with. The officials had to go back well before the play developed to notice Brayden Point had barely jumped offside before the puck was put in the net. Point never factored into the play but was found to have crossed the blue line early.
The ensuing face-off produced matching penalties for slashing and roughing, sparking a Tampa Bay swing that led to an equalizer minutes later.
The remaining two periods only heightened the intensity from there.
Blake Coleman, C, Tampa Bay Lightning: 2 goals, 4 SOG, 6 hits
Ondrej Palat, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning: 1 goal, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 3 hits, 20:10 TOI
Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins: 2 goals, 3 SOG, 2 hits
David Pastrnak, RW, Boston Bruins: 2 assists, 5 SOG, 1 block
Tampa Bay Scores Superman Goal
The Lightning put together one of the best goals of the postseason, and neither the primary assister nor the goal-scorer had their feet on the ice during the play.
Midway through the first period—not long after Tampa Bay's goal was called back—defenseman Zach Bogosian took an outlet pass from Barclay Goodrow and began skating the puck from his own end all the way past the Bruins' blue line.
The longtime Boston foe immediately drew two defenders over to him off the rush, leaving one defenseman between Bogosian and Blake Coleman on the left wing. That turned out to be a massive overcorrection on Boston's part as the Bruins tripped up Bogosian as he slid the puck over to his teammate.
Except the puck was just a few inches ahead of Coleman's stick, forcing the center to dive forward and shovel the puck forward and right past goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Bogosian, 30, has been in the NHL for more than a decade now but has hardly ever been known as a puck-mover on the back end. That change came this week, apparently.
Asked during the intermission when the last time he took the puck end-to-end was, Bogosian laughed and said he did it during Monday's practice.
That gave him the confidence to skate through the Bruins, keep his cool when he attacked the defense and fire a near-perfect pass that Coleman was able to bury for the Lightning's first of the game.
After the overturned goal minutes earlier angered Tampa Bay's bench, the play was a massive momentum swing the Lightning desperately needed. It also sparked Coleman, who entered the night with one goal this postseason.
The 28-year-old scored his second of the game in the third period on a breakaway pass from Victor Hedman that completely fooled Halak once again.
Lightning Power-Play Woes
For a team with the one of the best offenses in hockey, Tampa Bay's power play has become a major problem.
Heading into Game 2, the Lightning had scored on just two of 18 power-play opportunities this postseason—both coming in the round-robin portion. After Tuesday's win, Tampa Bay has now wasted 15 straight power plays.
That wasn't the case during the regular season when the Lightning scored on 23.1 of their man-advantage opportunities (fifth-best in the league), but there's a massive difference between then and now: Steven Stamkos.
The Lightning captain hasn't been fit to play during the restart, and his teammates are feeling it. Even Cooper acknowledged that taking Stamkos out of the lineup has a big impact on special teams, but he called on his players to step up and adjust.
That hasn't happened yet.
"You're not getting any rhythm. I think that's tough for the power play," Cooper told reporters. "You go in game getting four, five [power-play opportunities], all it takes is one goal and all the sudden your guys are feeling good about themselves, so that's a part of it. I know our stat line is going to say 0-for-10 [on the power play in the first round], but we've had some pretty darn good looks and nothing [has gone] in for us. The fact that we didn't get much opportunity has been tough on our guys."
With Stamkos out, it's now on Cooper to figure out how to get the puck to his next-best special teams scorers, Point and Alex Killorn.
Game 3 between the Bruins and Lightning is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN as the series continues from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.