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game recap

Lightning score seven, top Bruins in Game 3 for Eastern Second Round lead

Kucherov has four points to tie Tampa Bay playoff record; Halak pulled in second for Boston

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Point sets up Kucherov

TBL@BOS, Gm3: Point, Kucherov link up for goal

R2, Gm3: Brayden Point goes between his legs to shake off a defender then dishes to Nikita Kucherov, who tucks the puck in five-hole

  • 00:43 •

Nikita Kucherov scored four points, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 7-1 in Game 3 to take the lead in their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday.

Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist after scoring 4:40 into overtime of a 4-3 win in Game 2 on Tuesday, Alex Killorn had two goals and an assist, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves for the Lightning, the No. 2 seed in the East.

Kucherov had a goal and three assists to tie Vincent Lecavalier, Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point for most points in a playoff game in Lightning history.

"Come on, let's be honest, this is an aberration," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, referring to the final score. "This doesn't happen in playoff hockey. They're the Presidents' Trophy champions. You turn the page on this one just like you turn the page on an overtime thriller. You can't hang your hat on that one.

"When a team has a clunker, you can't hang your hat on that one either. They're both just one win, and we're only halfway there. It's a funny game. You can't ride the emotions too high or too low."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Bruins highlights]

 

Dan Vladar relieved Jaroslav Halak to make 12 saves in his NHL debut for Boston, the No. 4 seed. Halak was pulled at 11:18 of the second period after making 12 saves on 16 shots after making 36 saves on Tuesday.

Game 4 of the best-of-7 series, scheduled for Friday, was postponed  and will be played Saturday (Noon ET; NBC, SN, TVAS) in Toronto, the East hub city.

"It's over. We're going to focus on Game 4," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "A loss is a loss. They're up 2-1. I think we've got a good group in there. I know we've got a good group in there. They're resilient. So like I said, we'll lick our wounds tomorrow and get away from the rink, and get ready for Game 4."

Teams that win Game 3 after a Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied are 218-107 (67 percent) winning a best-of-7 series, including 3-1 this postseason.

"We are going to have to move on from this game," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "Obviously, not our best game. We realize that was one of those games that nobody wants to look at, but definitely something we have to move forward from and get ready for the next one."

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Palat, Gourde score 15 seconds apart

Palat gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with a one-timer on a power play at 12:46 before Yanni Gourde made it 2-0 at 13:01 of the first period. Those goals, 15 seconds apart, were the fastest two in Lightning playoff history.

Mikhail Sergachev scored a power-play goal, extending the lead to 3-0 at 2:14 second, before Brad Marchand made it 3-1 on a power play with his seventh goal in seven games at 4:56 of that period.

Killorn made it 4-1 on a rebound at 8:35, and, after Point pushed it to 5-1 on a breakaway at 15:23 against Vladar, extended the lead to 6-1 on a backhand at 18:01 of the second.

"In these games when you get up six goals in the end, the type of hockey that's played is not the hockey that is going to be played on Friday," Killorn said. "You don't want to pick up any bad habits in that sense. We kind of have to switch gears, get back to playing the type of hockey we were playing at the beginning of the game and just adjust."

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm3: Killorn pots PPG while falling to ice

Kucherov went five-hole on a backhand to make it 7-1 at 3:58 of the third period. He has 33 goals in 76 postseason games, tying Martin St. Louis for the most in Lightning history.

Vladar is the first Bruins goalie to make his NHL debut in a Stanley Cup Playoff game, the first in the NHL since Jake Allen for the St. Louis Blues in the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals, and the 11th in history.

"He was obviously put in a tough position," Chara said. "But I think he made some big saves for us." 

NOTES: Bruins forward Sean Kuraly was unfit to play. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information. … The Lightning scored on three straight power plays after failing to score on their previous 17. ... Lecavalier had one goal and three assists in Game 2 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final; Johnson had two goals and two assists in Game 2 in the 2016 Eastern Conference First Round; and Point had one goal and three assists in Game 2 of the 2018 second round.

NHL.com staff writer Mike Zeisberger contributed to this report

Video: Kucherov, Point, Killorn fuel Lightning's Game 3 rout

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