David Pastrnak leads way as Bruins feast on Lightning in Game 1

Updates with new lead.

Although no polls were conducted among Bruins players, Tuukka Rask probably should've been the most eager to share a dressing room with Nash, and not just because of the offensive support and strong defensive-zone play the 6-foot-4, 211-pound power forward would provide.

"It's going to be tight, I think", Cassidy said. If I threw it at somebody, I'd like to apologize, but I didn't. These are two very imperfect teams, which could make for an entertaining and raucous Round 2.

After a week rest, the Tampa Bay Lightning was ready to start Round 2 of the playoffs against a familiar foe, the Boston Bruins.

Game 1 and 2 are Saturday and Monday in Tampa, with the next two games in Boston, before alternating the final three games if necessary. As we saw in 2017, when the Capitals and Penguins played in the second round, these division-rival showdowns have the potential to happen more often. We weren't executing very well. But what we didn't know is how well they would do in Game 1. Kucherov is fifth in playoff scoring but bear in mind that he's played two games less than those above him (Guentzel, Crosby, Pastrnak and Ovechkin). Marchand added his goal with 51 seconds left in the third.

"You need that on-ice awareness", associate coach Rick Bowness said.

Seven minutes later Patrice Bergeron fired a wrist shot from the slot that found its way past Vasilevskiy to put the Bruins up 5-2.

Marchand and Bergeron hiked Boston's advantage to three goals before Jake DeBrusk added an empty-netter with 6:19 remaining.

If momentum shifted in Tampa Bay's way you might've expected some harsher commentary on the situation, but with a big win it's just an odd blip in Bruins' history.

When asked about his play after the game Rask said, "It's a new series. It definitely gives us a lot of confidence". And Rask erased the memory of his shaky Game 7 performance against Toronto, at least for one day anyway. "It's the same thing".

Down 3-2 following a wild first period where they led twice, the Leafs tied things at 2:07 of the second when Dermott ripped a shot past Rask for the rookie's first playoff goal. The group combined for 11 points, highlighted by four-point nights from Pastrnak (four assists) and Marchand (one goal, three assists), and a three-point outing from Bergeron (two goals, one assist). The Lightning will counter with Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson, the line that shut down the Devils' top-line last series.

"They play both ends of the rink".

A freakish sequence allowed the Lightning to close the gap to one at 13:22 in the second period. Honestly, I can not see that being the case as they are well and truly dialled in at this time of year.

The Bruins went up 3-1 on Nash's second of the game at 12:33.

"We were battling for that first spot (in the Eastern Conference), so they were high intensity, especially ... in Boston", Rask said. Pastrnak let fly a wobbling, one-timed slap shot through traffic.

"Any time you get emotional like that and attached to the game like he was, it gives you extra energy, and I thought he was great". Andrei Vasilevskiy had 18 saves for the Lightning. Play was not stopped because losing a blade is not considered a safety issue.

The Bruins outshot the Leafs 195 to 162, and had more scoring chances as well, by a count of 177-167.

  • Salvatore Jensen