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game recap

Lightning defeat Bruins in Game 4 of Eastern Second Round, extend lead

Palat scores twice, Vasilevskiy makes 29 saves to push Boston to brink

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Palat opens the scoring

TBL@BOS, Gm4: Palat roofs nice feed from Point

R2, Gm4: Ondrej Palat takes a great pass from Brayden Point and sends the puck into the top corner to open the scoring

  • 00:37 •

Ondrej Palat scored twice to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Boston Bruins 3-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves, and Nikita Kucherov had two assists for Tampa Bay, the No. 2 seed in the East, which leads the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series 3-1.

"The talent they have over there, they're an exceptional team," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the Bruins. "They had to play a lot of their players a bunch of minutes to get themselves back into it. We weathered the storm when they were pressing. … On our side of things, guys were committed. Guys were blocking shots. Guys were committed to our structure in the neutral zone."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Bruins highlights]

 

Jake DeBrusk scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves for Boston, the No. 4 seed, which has lost three straight games. The Bruins have been outscored 10-2 in the past two games, including 7-1 in Game 3 on Wednesday. 

"The other day, I do feel those games happen from time to time where the other team is better and they take advantage of opportunities," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "They keep getting opportunities and taking advantage of them. So I don't think we had our legs in Game 3. This one, I thought we did. We had our energy level. 

"We were competing hard, winning our share of races, winning pucks. To score goals, we have to hit the net more often."

The game was rescheduled from Friday after the players on the eight remaining teams decided not to play as a form of protest against systemic racism and police brutality. 

Game 5 is in Toronto, the East hub city, on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

Teams that have a 3-1 lead are 284-29 (90.7 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL series, including 6-0 this postseason. 

Palat put the Lightning ahead 1-0 at 8:59 of the first period with a snap shot before scoring on a one-timer from the high slot, making it 2-0 at 12:29 of the second. He has four goals in three games after having a goal and an assist in Game 3, and scoring in overtime of a 4-3 win in Game 2.

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm4: Palat blasts one-timer for second goal

Palat did not have a goal in his first nine games this postseason.

"I think I'm playing the same game," he said. "I'm just happy it's going in, but I'm also happy with how the team is playing."

Victor Hedman scored with 28 seconds remaining in a five-minute major penalty against Bruins forward Nick Ritchie, extending the lead to 3-0 at 18:04 of the second when his slap shot hit off Bruins forward Par Lindholm and fluttered into the net.

"That was huge," Hedman said. "Big bomb from the blue line. Super excited that went in. So that was big for us. You have to capitalize when you have that opportunity on a five-minute power play. So that was huge."

DeBrusk cut it to 3-1 with a power-play goal through a screen at 7:04 of the third. 

"Obviously, [the Lightning] are a very good team," DeBrusk said. "We knew what to expect. They've got some big defensemen that can move. It's about trying to get to the inside and things like that. … There's sometimes, in this series so far, we've lacked the shot mentality, I guess, if that makes any sense. We have to give them credit. They've got good goaltending." 

Video: TBL@BOS, Gm4: DeBrusk buries PPG through screen

The Bruins outshot the Lightning 30-26. It was the first time they had the shot advantage this series after being outshot 108-80 the first three games. 

"Just have to stay with it," Bruins forward Charlie Coyle said. "They have a good goaltender over there. It's a great team. They're here for a reason. We've got to find a way. Get traffic in front. Get to the dirty areas. … That's where we have to play." 

NOTES: A moment of solidarity promoting racial equality was held before the game. … Lightning forward Yanni Gourde left at 13:32 of the second period after being hit into the boards by Ritchie, who was given a five-minute major boarding penalty. Gourde returned at the start of the third period. … Bruins forward Brad Marchand was held without a point after scoring four goals in his previous three games. He entered Saturday with 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past eight games. … Palat's three-game goal streak is one shy of the Lightning postseason record. Steven Stamkos (2015, 2018), Vincent Lecavalier (2007) and Martin St. Louis (2003) each scored in four straight games. 

NHL.com staff writer Mike Zeisberger contributed to this report

Video: Palat, Lightning defeat Bruins in Game 4, 3-1

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