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game recap

Lightning score early to win Game 3 against Bruins, take series lead

Palat gets two goals in first 3:19, Vasilevskiy makes 28 saves for Tampa Bay

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Ondrej Palat scored two of the Tampa Bay Lightning's three goals in the first period of a 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Wednesday.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for the Lightning, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Palat scored twice in the first 3:19. They were his third and fourth goals in the playoffs this year.

"It's always nice to have a two-goal lead," Palat said. "I'm just happy it's going in. I thought the whole team played well."


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Bruins highlights | Complete Lightning vs. Bruins series coverage]


Tuukka Rask made 33 saves and Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston.

"We made a few mistakes early that unfortunately we couldn't crawl our way back from," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "But we had some pushes during the game where their goalie made some big saves. That's how it goes sometimes."

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Palat tips home his second goal

Game 4 is here Friday.

Palat gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Johnson 1:47 into the game with a snap shot from the left side of the slot. Palat scored again at 3:19 when he redirected Victor Hedman's shot to make it 2-0.

"You can't argue with the start," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "That really got everybody going right away. We really emphasize that in here, sticking to our system and our structure early on there and playing high percentage. There was nothing fancy. Just flipped pucks and our guys capitalized on some looks."

Bergeron's power-play goal at 13:43 made it 2-1. After Rick Nash tipped Marchand's shot to Vasilevskiy, David Pastrnak poked the rebound to Bergeron for a wrist shot from the slot.

Anthony Cirelli scored at 16:43 of the first period to make it 3-1. The Bruins turned over the puck in the neutral zone, and Yanni Gourde sent the puck to the middle of the offensive zone. Cirelli fanned on his first attempt and Rask stopped the second, but the rookie forward scored on the third try.

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Bergeron pounces on turnover for PPG

"They had a bit of momentum after getting that goal, but we didn't really back down," Cirelli said. "We just kind of stuck with our game plan, and I guess it's pretty important."

Steven Stamkos scored an empty-net goal at 19:18 of the third for a 4-1 lead. It was his second goal of the playoffs, first of this series.

"They're all big games. Boston came in and took one of our games at home, we had to come and win one on the road and we did that," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.


Goal of the game

Palat's goal at 1:47 of the first period.

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Palat bangs home early one-timer


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy's save against Jake DeBrusk at 10:00 of the third period.

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Vasilevskiy thwarts DeBrusk's one-timer


Highlight of the game

Cirelli's goal at 16:43 of the first period.

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Cirelli chips home his own rebound


They said it

"It's been amazing. I think it's just an awesome experience and I'm so glad I was able to be there for my wife. It was just an amazing experience and it's really cool I was able to make it for the game tonight and overall the last 24 hours have been really amazing." -- Lightning forward Yanni Gourde, who arrived in Boston on Wednesday following the birth of his daughter


"Obviously every time you get the puck on your stick in the slot, you want to put the puck in the net. It just didn't go our way. Just have to be a little better next time, sharper. Pick your spot and put it in the net." -- Bruins center David Krejci


Need to know

Palat also scored the game-winning goal in Game 2. Two Lightning players have scored the game-winning goal in three straight playoff games: Martin St. Louis (2003) and Brad Richards (2004). ... Bergeron has a four-game point streak (four goals, four assists).


Video: Dunkin Donuts Breakaways: Rask denies Kucherov


What's next

Game 4 of Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS)


Video: Palat, Lightning take series lead with win in Game 3



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