The Bruins clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2014 with their win over Tampa Bay. To further break down his goals, nine of them have come on the power play while eight of them have been game winners. The Bruins clamped down on the Lightning attack behind strong goaltending and their reward was locking up a postseason berth for themselves thanks to a 28 save performance from Tuukka Rask who logged his 8th shutout of the year. "It's tough to hold that high standard of play for so long".
Now, if you have been a Tampa Bay Lightning fan for any period of time - hell, if you have been a hockey fan for just about any period of time - you know that since Brendan Shanahan left the NHL Department of Player Safety on April. 11, 2014, Player Safety has been inconsistent in their rulings, at best. Marchand received a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play. That would leave Tampa Bay needing at least three points out of their final three games to match Boston's point total.
Stafford was the first to beat him, backhanding in a rebound 5:56 into the second period. Jonathan Drouin made a nifty play to get around two Boston defenders and had a small amount of space to put a shot on net, but instead chose to blindly perform a drop pass hoping to catch Ondrej Palat streaking behind. After Tuesday's clash with the Lightning, the Bruins will take on Ottawa.
Just five days after Marchand paid his fine for the "dangerous trip", he was at it again with a similar play from behind on Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman.
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However, when it comes to Tuesday's all-important matchup, it could be vital that Tampa Bay not only wins the game, but does so in regulation.
"Marchand turns, opens up the blade of his stick, and delivers a forceful spear directly to the groin of Dotchin". The fourth goal was an empty-netter and had no effect on the game. There was no visible desperation from the Bolts and they were consistently outskated and outfought by a Bruins team that was clearly hungry.
"It could have cost the team a very important game", said Marchand of Tuesday's incident. Both Ottawa and Toronto could clinch playoff spots with just a bit of success, leaving the Lightning on the outside. "He's got to do a better job of that".
Moving to the hardwood, history was made in Oklahoma City last night as Russell Westbrook recorded his 41st career triple double, finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in a 110-79 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks.