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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 02:24

Boston Bruins Clinch Playoff Berth with 4-0 Win Over Lightning

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Boston Bruins Clinch Playoff Berth with 4-0 Win Over Lightning NHL.com

With their sixth straight win, the Boston Bruins will be heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2013-2014 season. With the win over Tampa, the Bruins guaranteed themselves a spot in the top eight for the right to bring home Lord’s Stanley Cup.

Tuukka Rask earned his eighth shutout of the season on 28 shots in guiding the Bruins to victory.  Rask has been spectacular ever since he sat out the game against the Islanders in Brooklyn. He is 4-0 in his last four starts with a .972 save percentage and 0.75 goals against average during the winning streak.

 

The Bruins came out in the first looking to take control of the game. With a playoff like atmosphere at TD Garden, it took some time for the Bruins to get going. David Krejci had an exceptional first period as he was all over the ice. He had the best chance to score as well, but unfortunately it was blocked out front.

 

As the first period was coming to an end, the Bruins dealt with some adversity. Brad Marchand was called for a five minute spearing penalty as he stick struck Jake Dotchin where the sun doesn’t shine. Marchand was tossed from the game and would miss their leading goal scorer for the rest of the game. Marchand might be hearing from the Department of Player Safety as he has a history of questionable actions. Here is a look at the Marchand spear.

 

 

The Bruins did an excellent job of killing off over four minutes of the Marchand penalty in the second period to keep the game tied. Then, the offense was able to notch the first goal of the game. Drew Stafford potted his first goal in 12 games as he corralled a rebound on his backhand and roofed it over Andrei Vasilevskiy’s glove for the 1-0 lead.

 

Later in the period, the Bruins were able to extend their lead. Adam McQuaid and Luke Witkowski were both sent to the box for matching roughing penalties. During the four on four play. Kevan Miller did an excellent job of skating the puck into the offensive zone to set up the play. Riley Nash was able to get the pass from Miller in a dangerous area. Nash was able to pass the puck backdoor through the defender’s league to David Pastrnak. Pastrnak ripped a one time shot past Vasilevskiy to score his 33rd of the season and extend the lead to two.

 

The Bruins entered the third period at 33-0-2 when leading after two period. The Bruins were looking to keep the undefeated streak alive, but had 20 minutes to do so. With the two goal lead, the Bolts were pressing to try and make it a game. Their best chance came off the stick of Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov, who scored three in the last meeting, took a shot that rang off the crossbar to keep it a two goal advantage.

 

Bruins caught a break as Yanni Gourde took an offensive zone penalty on Torey Krug. Gourde’s stick came up and caught Krug in the face and he was sent off for high sticking. The powerplay was able to use their only chance of the game to add an insurance goal. The second unit puck movement was incredible as the captain got his 10th of the season. Every player seemed to touch the puck before Zdeno Chara’s blast beat Vasilevskiy five hole.

 

The Bolts puled their goalie down by three, but could not do much to make the game interesting. Pastrnak was able to seal the deal with an empty netter and his 34th goal of the season to send the Bruins faithful home happy.

 

 

The Bruins playoff seed is yet to be determined as they will finish the season with two more home games. The next game will have huge factor on determining who the Bruins will play as they will host the Ottawa Senators Thursday night at TD Garden. The Sens have owned the B’s this year with a 3-0 record this season. Puck drop is at 7:00PM.

 

Michael Settipani

Michael Settipani joined CLNS Radio in July 2015 as a Bruins Beat columnist. Since then, Michael has also joined the Red Sox Beat team, and started the Bruins Beat podcast. In addition, Michael is a sports productions professional, and has held positions at HockeyTech Inc., Entercom Communications and NESN. 

Michael is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he obtained a B.A. in Communications. 

Follow Michael on Twitter @MikeSetta22 and the Bruins Beat Podcast @Bruins_Beat