The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their first game of their Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Boston Bruins, losing 3-2 on Sunday. Boston’s win was achieved behind goaltender Jaroslav Halak‘s 35 stops. This is his fourth-straight win as a starter since starter Tuukka Rask opted out of the playoffs.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots and set a franchise record in making his 37th career playoff start.
Boston’s coach Bruce Cassidy says that both goalies had very good performances, but Halak was just “one save better.”
Boston got on the board first with a goal from Charlie Coyle with 68 seconds remaining in the first period. After that, the Bruins increased their lead to two at the 4:34 mark of the second period. This time, David Pastrňák made the goal.
The Bruins were able to keep the Lightning from scoring in the first two periods. Midway through the second, Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn had a goal immediately waved off. This was because his goal came after teammate Tyler Johnson had his stick well over his shoulders in batting down a rebound into the slot.
Boston’s Brad Marchand made it 3-0 Bruins with a goal 1:17 into the third period but the Lightning made a game of it. They got on the board with 11:10 remaining in the game and got a second goal as well as Victor Hedman made both goals on shots from just inside the blue line. But after this, the team was not able to score again.
Cassidy also commented on how the team matched Tampa Bay’s physicality. He believes that it was not something that threw them off their game, and that he hopes that his younger players saw what it’s like to stay focused on the game.
“Nothing comes easy. It’s a good education for them [the younger players] and obviously we need to win while we’re doing it.” said Cassidy.
The Atlantic Division rivals will meet again on Tuesday for Game 2 of the series with a 7 pm start.