Advertisement

NHL playoffs: Lightning strike quickly, beat Bruins 4-1; Sharks shut out Golden Knights to even series

Ondrej Palat scored twice in the first 3:19 of the game, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Wednesday night to open a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight since losing the series opener at home.

Advertisement

Anthony Cirelli scored his first career NHL playoff goal — with an assist from Yanni Gourde, whose wife gave birth on Tuesday — giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead late in the first.

Patrice Bergeron scored his fourth goal of the playoffs for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 33 saves.

Game 4 is Friday night.

Palat scored just 1:47 in after Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk settled the puck with his glove in his own end, then appeared to lose track of it and skated away, leaving the Lightning with an easy 2-on-1 opportunity.

Palat made it 2-0 just 92 seconds later on a shot that deflected off Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and into the net.

It stayed that way until the Lightning picked up a power play in the final two minutes when Krug tripped Cirelli as he chased after the puck with an empty net in front of him.

The Lightning made it 4-1 anyway when Steven Stamkos found the empty net on the power play with 42 seconds left.

at San Jose 4, Vegas 0: Tomas Hertl scored his team-leading fifth goal of the playoffs, Martin Jones made 34 saves for his sixth career postseason shutout and the San Jose Sharks evened their second-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights with a 4-0 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

Marcus Sorensen and Joonas Donskoi scored in the first period to allow San Jose to play from ahead and Joe Pavelski added a power-play goal in the third to help the Sharks rebound from an overtime loss at home in Game 3.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves and Vegas failed to convert on all five power-play chances to lose for the second time in eight games this postseason.

The teams have now alternated wins through four games, heading into Game 5 on Friday night in Vegas.

Each team has a shutout and an overtime win so far this series, which is now a best-of-three for a spot in the Western Conference Final.

Jones was sharp from the start, tying Evgeni Nabokov's record for most saves in a playoff shutout in Sharks history.

He robbed Reilly Smith early in the game and delivered big saves throughout. He was helped on a delayed penalty when Brent Burns cleared a puck off the goal line and when James Neal hit the post on a power play in the first period.

Advertisement

But he also delivered some big-time saves, including back-to-back stops against William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault on a Vegas power play in the final minute of the second period. Jones then turned aside Smith on a power play in the third.

Advertisement
Advertisement