Bruins

Bruins vs. Lightning takeaways: Game 2 struggles continue, Krejci line outplayed

Bruins
Ondrej Palat scores the winning goal in overtime of Game 2.
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The Boston Bruins were outplayed in Game 2 of their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning and still had a great chance to win Tuesday night.

The B's coughed up leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before falling behind 3-2 in the third period. Boston forced overtime when Brad Marchand scored late in regulation, but the Lightning ultimately emerged victorious when Ondrej Palat tallied the game-winner less than five minutes into overtime.

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The series is now tied at one win apiece and both teams have less than 24 hours to recover before Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Here are three takeaways from Game 2 (all stats via Natural Stat Trick). 

1. Bruins still struggling to win Game 2s The Bruins have won five consecutive Game 1s of playoff series, but they've been unable to consistently carry that momentum into the following matchup. Boston has now lost five of its last seven Game 2s. 

Here's a recap of the last seven Game 2s played by the B's:

2018 Second round: 4-2 loss at Lightning 2019 First round: 4-1 win vs. Maple Leafs 2019 Second round: 3-2 loss vs. Blue Jackets in 2OT 2019 Conference Final: 6-2 win vs. Hurricanes 2019 Stanley Cup Final: 3-2 loss vs. Blues in OT 2020 First round: 3-2 loss vs. Hurricanes 2020 Second round: 4-3 loss at Lightning

 

The Bruins lost Game 2 to the Lightning in their 2018 second round series and Tampa Bay won the next three games to advance to the Conference Final. Game 3 isn't a must-win for the Bruins, but they are under the most pressure entering Wednesday night. The Lightning have now won five of seven meetings between these teams this season, and if they win Game 3, Tampa Bay would be heavy favorites to take the series.

2. Lightning played with more urgency The Lightning deserved to win this game -- just look at the stats. 

They dominated puck possession with an 86-54 edge in shot attempts (73-47 at 5-on-5) and a 40-25 advantage in shots on net (35-21 at 5-on-5). Scoring chances were 33-26 in Tampa Bay's favor (28-22 at 5-on-5), and the Bolts also held a 15-6 lead in high-danger scoring chances (14-5 at 5-on-5). The overtime period was all Lightning. They had a 13-2 margin in shot attempts, outshot the B's 9-1 and earned a 6-0 edge in scoring chances. Palat's goal was well-deserved for the Lightning given how well they started the extra frame.

Halak faced an average of just 24.3 shots per game in his three starts during Round 1 against the Hurricanes. The Bruins have allowed an average of 38.5 shots on net over the first two games of this series versus the Lightning. Boston has one of the league's best blue lines and a forward group that plays a responsible defensive game, so it's a little concerning that the B's have surrendered nearly 80 shots so far in Round 2. The Lightning are an elite offensive team and ranked among the highest-scoring teams in the league during the regular season. Giving up so many shots and scoring chances is a recipe for disaster against this Tampa Bay squad.

3. Second line way too quiet David Krejci's seven-game point streak was snapped, but his entire line didn't generate much offense in Game 2. 

Krejci, Jake DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase were all held without a goal or an assist and combined to tally just three shots on net. This trio also got dominated in the puck possession battle versus Tampa Bay's top line of Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point. 

Here's a look at the shot attempts for (CF) and shot attempts against (CA) for the Bruins when Krejci was on the ice against the Lightning's top line during 5-on-5 play, per Natural Stat Trick

We've said it a bunch of times and will continue to say it -- the Bruins need forwards outside of the top line to score goals if they are going to beat the Lightning. The second line must be part of this effort, but so far, DeBrusk has two goals in seven playoff games (both came in Game 4 versus Carolina) and Kase is still searching for his first playoff tally. Secondary scoring will make or break the Bruins in this postseason run.