Jake DeBrusk had the game’s first goal less than a minute into the second period and assisted on Charlie Coyle’s game-winning overtime goal a little past the midpoint of the extra frame as the Boston Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, in overtime at Amalie Arena Friday night.
Linus Ullmark (23-9-2, 2.58 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 36 games played) made 28 saves on 29 shots against in the win for Boston.
Tampa netminder, Andrei Vasilevskiy (35-16-5, 2.45 goals-against average, .917 save percentage in 56 games played), stopped 35 out of 37 shots faced in the overtime loss.
The Bruins cemented 3rd place in the Atlantic Division as a result of the win– gaining a one point lead over the Lightning in the standings with a 45-21-5 record (95 points) to Tampa’s 43-20-8 record (94 points).
Boston trails the Toronto Maple Leafs by three points for 2nd place in the Atlantic with the two clubs set to meet in the regular season finale on April 29th at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
The B’s, Bolts and Leafs each have 11 games remaining in their 2021-22 regular season schedules and are vying for home ice advantage behind the Atlantic Division leading, Florida Panthers, who’ve amassed 106 points so far with a 50-15-6 record (both are Panthers franchise records) in 71 games.
As a result of Friday night’s win, the Bruins clinched their regular season series against the Lightning– finishing 3-0-1 against Tampa in the 2021-22 regular season– marking the first time that Boston beat the Bolts overall in their regular season matchups since 2017-18, when the Bruins went 3-1-0 against Tampa before losing in five games in the 2018 Second Round to the Lightning.
Boston did not play Tampa last season as a result of the condensed 56-game regular season schedule and temporarily realigned divisions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The B’s went 2-0-1 against the Bolts in 2019-20.
The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), David Pastrnak (undisclosed) and Hampus Lindholm (lower body) on Friday.
Trent Frederic returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday night’s, 5-3, loss in Detroit with an upper body injury.
As a result, B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, promoted Marc McLaughlin to the second line right wing with Frederic and Nick Foligno returning to their usual roles on the third and fourth line respectively.
Tomáš Nosek was relegated from the second line back to his regular spot as the fourth line center– flanked by Foligno and Curtis Lazar on his wings as Jack Studnicka, Josh Brown and Anton Blidh served as Boston’s healthy scratches in Tampa.
On defense, Mike Reilly suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing with Lindholm out of action, while Connor Clifton joined Derek Forbort on the third pairing.
Among injured players, Lindholm is closer to a return than Pastrnak and may be ready to go in Washington, D.C. on Sunday afternoon.
Reilly caught Corey Perry with a high stick to kick things off at 2:18 of the first period– yielding the night’s first power play to the Lightning as a result.
Tampa, however, failed to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Midway through the opening frame, Matt Grzelcyk cross checked Brandon Hagel and cut a rut to the sin bin as a result at 11:33.
The Bolts’ power play was cut short when Alex Killorn tripped Forbort at 11:50.
After a span of 1:43 at 4-on-4, the Bruins had an abbreviated power play with Killorn in the box, but Boston couldn’t take advantage of their short skater advantage.
Entering the first intermission, the score remained tied, 0-0, despite Tampa outshooting Boston, 11-10, in shots on goal.
The Lightning held the advantage in blocked shots (6-3), giveaways (2-1), hits (12-10) and faceoff win percentage (53-47), while both teams had one takeaway each.
Tampa was 0/2 on the power play, while the Bruins were 0/1 heading into the middle frame.
Reilly’s indirect pass intended for Brad Marchand bounced off the boards shortly after play resumed for the second period, whereby Patrice Bergeron was able to scoop up the loose puck and enter the attacking zone with Marchand in tow.
Together, the two forwards worked their way towards the slot before Bergeron sent the puck to Marchand that Marchand quickly one-touched a pass over to DeBrusk (22) as No. 74 in black and gold crashed the net and slid the rubber biscuit through Vasilevskiy’s five-hole on a backhand shot.
Marchand (41) and Bergeron (36) had the assists on DeBrusk’s goal as the Bruins took a, 1-0, lead 47 seconds into the second period.
Boston’s lead, however, wasn’t for long as Tampa mounted a surge in momentum that road on the coattails of a long shift for the Bruins as the B’s failed to clear their own zone.
Perry received a pass from Jan Rutta and sent the puck across the slot to the opposite circle whereby Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (8) one-timed a shot past Ullmark– tying the game, 1-1, in the process at 3:28 of the second period.
Perry (18) and Rutta (14) notched the assists on the goal.
Midway through the middle frame, Anthony Cirelli tripped Marchand and presented the Bruins with another power play at 11:21.
Less than a minute later, though, Erik Haula was assessed a roughing infraction for exchanging pleasantries with Rutta at 12:08.
After 1:14 of 4-on-4 action, the Lightning had an abbreviated power play come and go with no result to show on the scoreboard.
Late in the period, Foligno tripped Zach Bogosian, but despite their fourth power play of the night at 17:20 of the second period, the Bolts weren’t able to capitalize on the special teams action.
Through 40 minutes of play, the score was tied, 1-1, while the Bruins outshot the Lightning, 26-17, including a, 16-6, advantage in the second period alone.
Tampa held the advantage in blocked shots (11-5), takeaways (4-3), hits (22-21) and faceoff win% (55-46), while both teams managed three giveaways aside.
The Bolts were 0/4 and the B’s were 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame of regulation.
Reilly cut a rut to the box for catching another Lightning skater with a high stick– this time Ondrej Palat– at 1:33 of the third period.
Boston’s penalty kill, however, stood tall once more.
The two teams swapped chances as they went up and down the ice– end-to-end– at blistering speeds as Ullmark and Vasilevskiy wracked up save after save.
Ullmark denied Brayden Point with his left pad on a breakaway almost midway through the third period after Boston had sustained offensive zone time, but couldn’t muster anything past Vasilevskiy at the other end.
Palat tripped Marchand at 15:45 of the third period, but the Bruins couldn’t beat the Lightning’s penalty killing units.
Overtime became a necessity with the score still tied, 1-1, after regulation.
Boston outshot Tampa, 36-28, despite both teams managing to amass 11 shots on goal each in the third period alone.
The Bolts led in takeaways (6-3), giveaways (6-5), hits (35-32) and faceoff win% (51-49) after 60 minutes. The B’s led in blocked shots (13-7).
As no penalties were called in the extra frame, the Lightning finished the night 0/5 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0/3.
Cassidy sent out Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy to begin overtime, while Tampa’s head coach, Jon Cooper, countered with Point, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman.
The Lightning recorded the first shot of the overtime period, but it was Boston that’d win the game.
After several short shifts, Tampa emerged with an upper hand in momentum as Kucherov and Point were back on the ice.
Point couldn’t get a shot off as a loose puck bounced before him on the doorstep while DeBrusk backchecked the Lightning forward and took him out of the play.
McAvoy skated up into the neutral zone with possession before dropping a pass back to DeBrusk as No. 74 rushed into the attacking zone– leading to a 2-on-1 with Coyle.
DeBrusk flipped a pass to Coyle for a one-timer that went wide and caromed off the glass behind the net where the two forwards worked to win a battle for the loose puck.
Coyle (16) wrapped around the net and got his own rebound to follow up with a second chance shot that hit the back of the twine– sealing the deal on a, 2-1, overtime victory for Boston as a result.
DeBrusk (14) and McAvoy (43) had the assists on Coyle’s game-winning goal at 3:37 of the overtime period as the Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 37-29, despite both teams managing to fire one shot on net each in the extra frame alone.
Boston emerged victorious with the all-important bonus point in the standings to separate themselves from Tampa, while exiting Amalie Arena with the advantage in blocked shots (13-9) by the end of the night as well.
The Lightning left their own ice leading in giveaways (7-5), hits (36-32) and faceoff win% (52-48).
Tampa is now on a four-game losing streak for the first time this season, while Boston improved to 9-0-1 in games following a game in which they’ve allowed five or more goals this season.
Ullmark, meanwhile, is 6-1-1 in nine games (eight starts) since March 1st– amassing a 2.02 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in that span.
The Bruins improved to 8-3 in overtime (10-5 past regulation) this season, while the Lightning fell to 9-3 in overtime (11-8 past regulation) n 2021-22.
Boston is now 15-5-2 (9-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 33-8-2 (18-4-1 on the road) when scoring first, and 13-4-0 (6-3-0 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.
As a result of the overtime loss Friday, Tampa fell to 13-7-2 (7-3-2 at home) when tied after one, 19-17-3 (9-5-3 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal and 11-4-2 (5-1-2 at home) when tied through two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins wrap up their four-game road trip (2-1-0) Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena against the Washington Capitals.
Boston returns to TD Garden for a three-game homestand beginning on April 12th against the St. Louis Blues.