Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each collected a goal and an assist to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in Toronto to kick off their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves for the Bruins, who will look to extend their lead in Game 2 on Tuesday in Toronto.
The Bruins controlled the bulk of play to start and were rewarded when Charlie Coyle opened the scoring with 68 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Brandon Carlo sent a high point shot that Coyle deflected up and over Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Pastrnak doubled the Boston lead 4:34 into the second period when he finished off a surgical power play. David Krejci showed great patience to find a seam for the cross-ice pass, and Pastrnak blasted a one-timer from the left faceoff dot for the tally.
The Lightning, on the verge of letting the game get out of hand, regrouped and started generating chances of their own, but in the second period alone Halak came up with a handful of key saves, notably on Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov during one scramble, and then late in the frame against Barclay Goodrow.
Marchand struck a big blow to any Tampa Bay comeback hopes with an early third-period tally to make it 3-0. Patrice Bergeron stripped the puck from Ryan McDonagh, sent it to Pastrnak and he slipped it to a wide-open Marchand for the easy tap-in tally 77 seconds into the final frame. Marchand collected his 92nd career playoff point, which ties him for Bobby Orr for the seventh-most in Bruins history.
Victor Hedman did give the Lightning a bit of life when he put them on the board just before the midway point of the period -- his long wrist shot from the point beat a slightly screened Halak -- and then made it a one-goal game with 74 seconds left in regulation thanks to another long shot. But a comeback wasn't in the cards as the Lightning could not register any more goals.
Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots for the Lightning, who were without McDonagh for the final 11 minutes, after he reportedly left the team bench to head down the tunnel.
The Bruins made news off the ice, too. Netminder Dan Vladar, who has been serving as backup since Tuukka Rask left the team for the duration of the playoffs, signed a three-year contract extension.
--Field Level Media