Lightning come out swinging, knock out Bruins in first 3 minuntes


The Tampa Bay Lightning now have the upper hand in their Stanley Cup second-round series against the Boston Bruins. Join the Bolts by the Bay team! But Wednesday night, they grabbed it back and can now establish a stranglehold on the series with a win in Game 4 on Friday night. The most exhilarating action of the period came when David Backes hit Dan Girardi from behind and Lightning forward Cedric Paquette attempted to stand up for his defenseman.

Even looking back at their five game series with the New Jersey Devils in the opening round of the playoffs, power play opportunities were dead even at 19. A cheap slashing call on Krug in the first period was more mystifying when Marchand walked in on a possible tying breakaway right after Krug's goal and was hacked (an almost automatic penalty or even penalty shot) with no call. What Steve Yzerman and Julien BriseBois are willing to do more than most is look past some of the attributes a player doesn't possess - be it size, pedigree or hype - and focus instead on those they do.

The last chords of the national anthem were still reverberating through the house when the Bruins fell behind 2-0, the result of two bad defensive breakdowns in front of Rask. Whether he's in his worst slump of the season or still feeling the effects of the puck shot at his head that almost tore off his ear, Nash has been a shell of his former self and he has the one assist on his stat line to prove it. Heinen has scored just once and even earned a spot in the press box for Game 6 of the Toronto series.

Marc-Andre Fleury had 30 saves for Vegas, which took its first road playoff loss in four tries.

Vegas outshot San Jose in the third, trying everything to get back in the game. Sharks fans chanted "Fleu-ry, Fleu-ry" to mock the opposing netminder in the final frame, but they should have chanted their own goalie's name in praise-Jones was that good Wednesday night. It just wasn't the Golden Knights' night. But given the spark he provided in the regular season - five goals, four assists in 12 games - and his speed, giving him a longer leash is a no-brainer for Cassidy.

What a way to open the scoring.

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The Penguins now hold that 2-1 lead heading into the third period. He stopped all 34 shots he faced for his second shutout of the postseason.

The Bruins looked lethargic and out of sorts in a 4-1 Game 3 loss, never even so much as threatening the Lightning's win. They're just playing responsible and that's what you want.

Nashville couldn't have gotten off to a better start in enemy territory on Tuesday.

The league also said Aston-Reese made no sudden movement at the last second that made contact unavoidable, and pointed out several ways Wilson could have finished the play legally. The Predators held a 3-0 lead over the Jets in Winnipeg after the first period. Ryan Callahan, who has played such a strong two-way game in the series, took Palat's spot on the power play in practice.

"His attitude - he wants to belong, he wants to be a part of this team", said Cooper. Those two traits certainly don't help a team in the middle of a playoff game, and neither does flat-out quitting. The Jets, meanwhile, didn't: they were opportunistic and relentless. Boston cut the score in half on a Patrice Bergeron goal, but another Lightning goal by Anthony Cirelli made it a 3-1 game by the end of the first period.