Lightning knock out Bruins, advance to conference finals

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Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy assisted on Krejci's goal, but Vasilevskiy came up big against the high-scoring line with four huge saves - one on Bergeron's point-blank shot - in the closing minutes while Tampa Bay was killing off Boston's last power-play opportunity.

Especially after Boston won the series opener by a 6-2 count.

Going into the series, this was where the Lightning were most vulnerable. The team continues to win games in the postseason after a spectacular regular season, and it may take a superior effort from the Sharks or the victor of the Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators series to keep the Golden Knights from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Bruins forward Brad Marchand was minus-1 with one shot attempt and no shots on goal. On the other side, guys like Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point have helped carry the Lightning during the top lines struggles. The first they were outplayed all game. It came on a mesmerizing sequence where J.T. Miller and Nikita Kucherov traded the puck back and forth while skating around the right circle before Miller ripped home a shot while Zdeno Chara helplessly watched it happen.

"They're an outstanding team, they took away the second and third chances", Bergeron said.

Perhaps the desperation of their playoff demise will push the Bruins to an even higher level and they can do to Tampa what Toronto did to them in the first round by prolonging the series to seven games.

Marchand didn't score a goal in Game 5. From Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk sparking the youth movement to Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak forming the top line in the National Hockey League and a solid veteran core, the Bruins have themselves a nice blueprint for the future.




It's obvious that goaltending is a key element in a strong playoff team.

With Marchand and General Manager Don Sweeney hearing from the league, head coach Bruce Cassidy hoped his talented, but edgy forward could still get under the Lightning's skin - but in a good way - heading into Game 5. Tampa's puck handling is too good for mistakes like that to be made. He fired a pass in front of the net, putting it past defenders and Rask.

As mentioned in the series preview, Boston had largely dominated the Lightning in the regular season.

"We need to get focused on the things that we did well because I thought it was a better game for us overall".

Krug, 27, has been an offensive sparkplug this season and postseason. The Lightning adapted to their New England opponent quickly and shook the past right off their backs. Instead, the Lightning continued their power play, forcing the Bruins to continue playing short-handed. It wasn't enough to move them past Tampa.

The Boston Bruins are on the verge of elimination, and they'll have to try to keep themselves afloat without one of their top power-play contributors.

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