If you have been following my game recaps over the last few months this one is going to be a little different. The Bruins entered game 3 on the second night of a back to back with several roster changes. Bjork and Clifton were taken out of the lineup while Kuraly was out with an injury. In their places were Lindholm Lauzon and Moore with the Bruins dressing seven defensemen. There was some question about who would be in the net but Halak got the start in the end. So let's just get right into how the game went.
A recurring theme for the Bruins this series another early penalty less than a minute in. Fortunately, the Bruins are able to kill it off. Both teams got off to a slow start offensively with very few scoring chances through the first half of the period. With just under eight minutes to go, Tampa goes back on the power play. This time they would convert on a Palat shot that deflected off of Chara’s stick and over the shoulder of Halak. Just fifteen seconds later Gourde was one on one with Lauzon but one of the refs was right in Lauzon’s way. The pick leaves Gourde alone against Halak and he moves across the crease getting him out of position and scores 2-0 Tampa. The Bruins look better over the final five minutes but we head to the second with the score still 2-0.
Remember that early penalty theme from the first period? Just over a minute in this time Bergeron is called for a high stick. You could say Tampa’s first power-play goal opened the flood gates. About a minute into the power-play Sergachev fires a blast from the point that beats Halak glove side 3-0 Tampa. A few minutes later the Bruins get an opportunity with their first power play. Just like last game, Marchand gets behind the defense next to the net but it's Krug with the slap pass. Marchand tips the puck home getting the Bruins on the board now 3-1. With over eleven minutes left Tampa goes on yet another power play. A rebound off Halak is loose in front. Before the Bruins can clear it a falling Killorn backhand's it into the net for Tampa’s third power-play goal 4-1 Tampa.
With just under nine minutes to go the Bruins pull Halak and Dan Vladar makes his NHL debut. Unfortunately, the Bruins’ defense didn't give him much help. Point gets a break away from the neutral zone and dekes the rookie out of position making it 5-1 with just under five minutes left. At the same time, Krug took exception to a hit by Tyler Johnson and they drop the gloves. A few minutes later yet another breakaway this time for Gourde who misses wide. Unfortunately, the puck comes out around the net right to Killorn and Vladar can't get across to stop the shot 6-1 Tampa. The team's head into the third with Tampa dominating and the Bruins looking as interested as they did in the round-robin.
Third Period/ Three Stars
Outside of four minutes in where Kucherov scored on Vladar making it 7-1 not much happened. A few penalties, Vladar making a stop on a Coleman breakaway and that was about it. Tampa never let the Bruins build momentum and it didn't look like the Bruins really tried to. Here is what coach Cassidy had to say after the game. This was an embarrassing loss for the team and hopefully, it fuels them in game 4
The first star of the games goes to Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov scored a goal and added three assists for four points in the lopsided victory. The second star if the game goes to Mikhail Sergachev. The young defenseman scored on the power play and added two assists as well. Finally, the third star goes to Brayden Point. With a goal and two assists, he continued to show why Tampa is still so dangerous even without Stamkos.
Game 3 was rough to watch for all of us. Bad breaks on the first two goals clearly set the team back and their undisciplined play made a comeback impossible. With the league postponing games because of recent events in Wisconsin hopefully, the Bruins make good use of their extra time. Now with game four on Saturday the team will be rested and hopefully still angry after how they played in game 3. Sometimes a team needs a loss like this to wake them up let's hope they are awake now. As always stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!!
Featured image courtesy of Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP.