NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Bolts strike in Boston, Sharks blank Vegas

Bolts strike in Beantown for a 2-1 series lead 

It seems like the Bolts figured out Boston after all, this is the second game where they have scored four goals and held Boston to 2 or fewer goals. The Bolts seem to be buying into the quick start, jump on them early mentality as game two of the first period was all Tampa and game three was no different as they registered 3 goals in the first and outshot the Bruins 19-14.

The first goal from Ondrej Palat his first of two, came off a broken play and one that Adam Grzelcyk definitely wants back. A simple dump-in by Stralman and Grzelcyk just loses the puck, falls on Johnsons stick to Palat goal, Bolts lead 1-0. The second goal for Tampa and the second goal of the game came off a tip from Palat. Hedman was just throwing the puck towards the net and Palat coming across the crease tipped it in and game over. Not really but still. The Bruins would go onto score off a broken play in front and Patrice Bergeron is in the right spot at the right time, cut the lead to one. Late in the third Anthony Cirelli scored his first playoff goal, off a rebound from his own shot, he follows up with it and slams it home for a 3-1 Tampa lead, end of first and the game. Just like the Lightning beat the Bruins in one period.

The second remained scoreless, the third the same before Steven Stamkos scored his first goal of the series on an empty netter and the icing on the cake. The Bruins are now in a do or die situation staying in Boston. Down 2-1, they lose game four and go back to Tampa down 3-1, this series could be shorter than we imagined people. The Bruins are will be fine, I don’t think there is any worry in this team and it is much like Nashville right now. Do or die game and they will pull it out game four.

Sharks blank Vegas to tie the series at two

There is literally no shot this series is not going seven games, and if the Sharks want to win this series they better hope they do not get Vegas in a game seven in Vegas. The Sharks despite losing game three in San Jose, came out firing this game and played with that do or die mentality. The reason playoff hockey is so great is for games like this. The Sharks took the play of Vegas, their quick, depth style of play and shoved it down their throat. The Sharks used Vegas’s own card against them and it worked out for sure.

Before we get into the action, these two teams are SO similar. They both have 1-2 defenseman who plays a solid game and are their anchors, and they also have a bunch of no-name forwards, with a few established forwards sprinkled in. San Jose may have Kane, Pavelski, Couture, Hertl but other than that, who are these guys? Eric Fehr? That guy ever leaving the NHL? Donskoi. Tierney, Lebanc, Karlsson, Sorensen, a bunch of up and coming forwards. Just like Vegas.

Anyways this game was clearly all Sharks as the Knights did not score a goal, probably the first time in forever this team has not scored a goal this year. The Knights were shutout 3 times this season in 82 games, the last time was February 19 vs Anaheim. Unreal. Anyways the Knights and Sharks registered the same amount of shots 34-34, the only difference, not a big one but the Sharks capitalized on one power play while the Knights capitalized on 0/5 they had. Not a good thing for the Knights but every chance they did have a power play they did cause some havoc, just could not bury the puck.

The Sharks first goal came off the stick of Sorensen, a beautiful lone effort, from behind the goal line to weaving his way out of Knight players, working his way to the front for a last-ditch effort, falling forward he rifled it home for a Sharks 1-0 lead. The Sharks would go onto score one more in the first off the stick of Donskoi. Not the most beautiful goal and one Fleury probably should have had, but a shot through the defenseman’s legs, Donskoi used the defenseman as the screen and late in the first the Sharks lead 2-0. The Sharks would strike again in the second just five minutes in off the stick of Tomas Hertl, a denied shot at the wrapped around chance Hertl gathered the puck once more and slammed it home, 3-0 Sharks. To add insult to injury the Sharks scored once again in the third off a redirected shot from Joe Pavelski, 4-0 Sharks, and that’s the game.

The Sharks now head back to Vegas tied two, an ideal situation would be for the Sharks to win game five here and head back to San Jose up 3-2 with a chance to end the series but how many of us actually believe that will happen. Not many, Vegas will take this game five. Sharks game six. Then it is game seven time. I’m amped to say the least.

 

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