Palat’s OT goal lifts Lightning over Bruins 4-3 in Game 2

Sports

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with center Patrice Bergeron (37) after scoring on Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) as Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) watches during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — The pressure of overtime hardly fazes the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have been as resilient as any team in the NHL playoffs.

Ondrej Palat scored less than five minutes into yet another extra period for the second-seeded Lightning, who beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Tuesday to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

Tampa Bay improved to 4-0 in overtimes games this postseason, including a five-OT win during the team’s first-round victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Lightning overcame one-goal deficits twice, had a first-period score reversed and relinquished its first lead of the series with under four minutes left in regulation.

“Any time we hit adversity in this game, I thought we had an answer,” said Tampa Bay’s Blake Coleman.

Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy had 22 saves and became Tampa Bay’s all-time playoff leader with 22 wins.

“He’s been our best player all playoffs, kept us in games and given us a chance to win,” defenseman Zach Bogosian said of Vasillevskiy, a finalist for the award as the league’s top goaltender again this season.

Now the teams face the challenge of a short turnaround for Game 3 of the best-of-seven matchup, which is Wednesday night in Toronto.

“Sometimes it’s good to get right back at it when you lose a hockey game,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’ll see.”

Coleman had two goals and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay. Kucherov tied it 2-2 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second period, ad Coleman’s second of the game put the Lightning ahead with 9:20 left in the third.

Brad Marchand’s second goal of the night, off a nifty feed from Sean Kuraly, tied it 3-3 with just under 4 minutes to go in regulation.

The Lightning outshot the Bruins 40-25, including 9-1 in overtime.

“I think they had the mindset that they were going to pound the puck at us all night and get to the net,” Cassidy said.

Nick Ritchie also scored for the Bruins, and Jaroslav Halak finished with 36 saves.

David Pastrnak, the league’s leading scorer during the regular season, had the primary assist on Marchand’s power-play goal at 14:33 of the second period. He picked up another assist on the goal that tied it in the third.

The Lightning, who trailed 3-0 before scoring in Game 1, had a goal by Barclay Goodrow disallowed in the opening period when the Bruins successfully challenged that Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point was offside seconds before the apparent score that would have have erased Boston’s early 1-0 lead.

Instead of dwelling on the reversal, the Lightning kept working until Coleman’s diving shot off a feed from Bogosian made it 1-1 at 12:42 of the opening period. It remained tied after Marchand scored for Boston and Nikita Kucherov countered for Tampa Bay within a 55-second span of the second period.

“We were playing well enough that it really didn’t faze us,” Coleman said. “We thought it was just a matter of time before we would score again.”

The loss stopped Boston’s four-game winning streak since starting goalie Tuukka Rask opted out of the playoffs.

NOTES: The Lightning played without D Ryan McDonagh, who was injured during the third period of Game 1. Coach Jon Cooper inserted both Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn into the lineup, electing to go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Neither Coburn nor Schenn had appeared in the team’s first nine playoff games. … Boston’s David Krejci’s career-best playoff point streak (three goals, seven assists, 10 points) ended at seven games. It was the team’s longest since Patrice Bergeron had a seven-game streak in 2014. … The Lightning have gone seven consecutive games without a power-play goal, going 0-for-15 during the stretch. They were 0-for-2 Tuesday night and are 2-for-20 this postseason.

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