When you win the Presidents’ Trophy by a comfortable margin, you’re probably doing more than one thing right. The Bruins put multiple strengths on display in winning Game 1 3-2 against the Lightning, thus taking a 1-0 series lead.

Maybe chalk it up to the “feeling-out process,” but most of the first period of Bruins – Lightning Game 1 was pretty quiet. Despite getting a power play almost immediately, the Lightning weren’t quite clicking early on.

Then, late in the first period, Charlie Coyle took advantage of some nice work from Brad Marchand to deflect a 1-0 goal past Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tampa Bay found its game in the second period, but a nice David Krejci pass opened up a power-play goal for David Pastrnak. While the Lightning managed an 18-7 shots on goal advantage, that Pastrnak goal was the only tally of the second period.

Even so, the Lightning had to feel at least a little bit heartened by improved play … until a spirit-breaking play to open the third.

After Brad Marchand created a bit of havoc, Patrice Bergeron took the puck from Ryan McDonagh, then Pastrnak immediately sent another great pass to Marchand for the 3-0 goal. Sometimes star players make game-breaking plays, and the Bruins’ “Perfection Line” accomplishes that time and time again.

If fans were bummed out about a lack of drama once the score was 3-0, Victor Hedman and the Lightning triggered a late push. Hedman scored two goals during the third period, with the first happening midway through, and a second happening with Tampa Bay’s net empty. In each case, Charlie McAvoy was unlucky enough to deflect both Hedman goals past Jaroslav Halak.

Even with those two Hedman tallies in mind, Halak was fantastic in Game 1. He made 35 saves, looking like more than just a Plan B for Tuukka Rask. The Lightning must find ways to get to Halak sooner, and if they can’t totally smother the Bruins’ top scorers, they’ll at least need to make it more of an even battle.

Game 1: Bruins 3, Lightning 2
Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 4: Friday, Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET – USA Network
*Game 5: Sunday, Aug. 30 – TBD
*Game 6: Tuesday, Sept. 1 – TBD
*Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 2 – TBD

*if necessary

MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

October not the time to make final decision: Tokyo 2020 CEO

TOKYO — Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said on Thursday that October is not the time for the Olympics organizers to make a final decision on whether the Games can be held in 2021. John Coates, chairman of the International…

‘Significant’ virus spread could thwart NBA restart: Silver

LOS ANGELES – NBA commissioner Adam Silver reiterated Tuesday that a “significant spread” of coronavirus could burst the league’s safety “bubble” and cause a second shutdown of the season. Silver said he fully expects some players who gather in Florida…

Rose still confident over making England’s Euro 2020 squad

Danny Rose is confident he is still in England boss Gareth Southgate‘s thoughts for Euro 2020 after making his loan move to Newcastle. The full-back, who started his country’s autumn qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, joined the Magpies from…

WATCH: MMA fighter disqualified after SHOVING referee repeatedly and REFUSING to let go of chokehold

Al Darmaki submitted Bogdan Kirilenko by sinking in a rear-naked choke in the first round in Abu Dhabi, but refused to release his grip from around his opponent’s neck even after he had clearly tapped. Veteran official Goddard – who…