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Lightning rookies beat Bruins in overtime

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

For the second day in a row, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects played to a tie after regulation, forcing an extra session at the NHL rookie showcase hosted by Nashville.

Sunday’s result, however, was more palatable for the Lightning.

Skating 3-on-3 in the overtime session, defenseman Kodie Curran, a rookie camp invitee by way of the University of Calgary, scored from the slot to lead the Lightning past the Boston Bruins rookies 3-2 in overtime at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tenn. Jonathan Drouin and Brayden Point assisted on the game-winning goal.

“It was definitely one of the cooler experiences of my life,” Curran said. “It was fast paced though it’s definitely a step quicker than college hockey and being fortunate to be playing with such good players, I got a great pass from Drouin there and I was able to capitalize so it was good.”

With the score tied 1-1 after two periods, Michael Aviani, another invitee, put Tampa Bay ahead for the first time in two games with a third-period goal. Aviani was set up by Cody Kunyk, who was quick to a Bruins’ turnover in their own zone and spotted Aviani for the go-ahead score.

Tampa Bay couldn’t make the lead stand, though. Bruins defenseman Frankie Simonelli had a wide-open look at the Bolts’ goal on a power play and beat goalie Kristers Gudlevskis high to his blocker side to tie the game 2-2 and send it to overtime.

Gudlevskis played the entire game in goal for the Lightning and stopped 23 of 25 shots.

Boston grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the opening period on a goal from Ben Sexton, assist to Matt Lindblad. Nikita Nesterov drew the Bolts even in the second when his slap shot from the blue line eluded Bruins goalie Adam Morrison. Drouin and Point were credit with assists on Nesterov’s goal. In two games, Point, the Lightning’s third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, has scored a goal and assisted on two others.

“I thought we came out hard,” Lightning forward Tanner Richard said. “We talked about that (Saturday) and this morning before the game that we wanted to get a good start to the game, come in hard, get pucks deep and just let them know we’re here to play.”

The Bruins outshot the Lightning 25-23. Both teams committed seven penalties and had 14 minutes of penalty time.

The Lightning rookies practice Monday morning and have the rest of the day off. The 1-1 Bolts will try to finish the three-game tournament with a winning record when they play Florida at 10 a.m. Tuesday in their final game before returning to Tampa. Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to go the distance in goal for the Lightning on Tuesday.

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