TORONTO (AP) – The pressure of overtime hardly puts the Tampa Bay Lightning in trouble, which has been as tough as any team in the NHL playoffs.
Ondrej Palat scored under five minutes in another extra period for second seed Lightning,.
who beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game each on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay has improved to 4-0 in overtime this season, including a five-game extra win in the team’s first-round victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Lightning twice overcame the one-goal deficit, nullified a scoreline in the first quarter and abandoned their first-seed in the league with less than four minutes left in regulation.
“Every time we’ve encountered adversity in this game, I thought we had an answer,” said Blake Coleman of Tampa Bay.
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves and became Tampa Bay’s all-time playoff leader with 22 wins.
“He was our best player of all the playoffs, he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win,” said Vasillevskiy defender Zach Bogosian, finalist for the best goalkeeper award this season as well. .
The teams now face the challenge of a brief turnaround for Game 3 of the best of seven games, which takes place Wednesday night in Toronto.
“Sometimes it’s nice to bounce back when you lose a hockey game,” said Boston manager Bruce Cassidy. “We will see.”
Coleman scored two goals and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay. Kucherov drew 2-2 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second period, Ad Coleman’s second play put Lightning in the lead with 9:20 left in the third.
Brad Marchand’s second goal of the evening, on an elegant feed from Sean Kuraly, drew 3-3 with just under 4 minutes to go.
The Lightning beat the Bruins 40-25, including 9-1 in overtime.
“I think they had the mentality that they were going to hit the puck on 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 top scorer during the regular season, had the assist on Marchand’s power-play goal at 14:33 of the second period. He collected another assist on goal which tied him for third.
The Lightning, who was 3-0 behind before scoring in Game 1, had a Barclay Goodrow goal canceled in the opening period as the Bruins successfully challenged Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point to be out. game seconds before the apparent score that would have erased Boston’s first 1-0 lead.
Instead of dwelling on the reversal, the Lightning kept working until Coleman’s dive pulled over a Bogosian flow scored 1-1 at 12:42 p.m. of the opening period. It remained tied after Marchand scored for Boston and Nikita Kucherov answered for Tampa Bay within 55 seconds of the second period. READY Tom Cairney says Scott
“We were playing well enough not to bother,” said Coleman. ”
We thought it was only a matter of time before we scored again.”
The loss interrupted Boston’s four-game winning streak since starting goaltender Tuukka Rask decided not to make the playoffs.
NOTES: The Lightning played without D Ryan McDonagh, injured in the third period of Game 1. Coach Jon Cooper put Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn in the lineup, choosing to start with seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Neither Coburn nor Schenn had made the team’s first nine playoff games. … Boston’s David Krejci’s best playoff points streak (three goals, seven assists, 10 points) has ended in seven games. They were the longest team since Patrice Bergeron had seven straight wins in 2014. … The Lightning have gone seven straight scoreless games on the power play, going 0 of 15 during the streak. It was 0 for 2 Tuesday night and 2 for 20 in the playoffs.
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