Ok, first the good news. The Lightning won their 50th game of the year and earned 108 points in the regular season – both franchise records. Ben Bishop was in terrific form, stopping 36 shots through regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout. And the Amalie Arena crowd saw Jonathan Marchessault, who was recalled earlier in the day from Syracuse, score his first NHL goal and add his first NHL assist.
However, this game was not a Picasso. Lightning players talked about how they wanted to fine-tune their game heading into the playoffs. But this was not the Lightning’s best performance. They were inconsistent with their puck management and weren’t able to regularly get pucks deep in the Boston end. Instead, the Bruins had much of the puck possession during the game – and enjoyed a large advantage in shot attempts. Boston attempted 75 shots and put 38 of them on net. And finally, the Lightning surrendered a late goal during a Boston sixth-attacker situation, preventing the Bolts from closing out the game in regulation.
It’s true that the Bruins were a desperate team, needing a win (and help) to avoid elimination. The Lightning weren’t in the same situation, which might explain why the game unfolded the way it did. Once their first round playoff series with Detroit begins, however, the Lightning and Red Wings will both be in postseason, high intensity mode.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
Bishop’s late third period save on Milan Lucic.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
1.Ben Bishop – Lightning. 36 saves for 40th win.
2.Jonathan Marchessault – Lightning. First NHL goal and assist.
3.Matt Carle – Lightning. Assist.