GOLD STAR: Blake Coleman was a scrappy, speed force for the Lightning that made things happen during regulation and allowed the Lightning to end up in the overtime situation.
On the first goal he dove at a nifty zone entry and dish from Zach Bogosian motoring into the offensive zone, and on his second goal he managed to beat Jaroslav Halak five-hole after breaking in behind Zdeno Chara and Connor Clifton. Coleman finished with four shots on net, five shot attempts and six hits along with the two goals and the plus-2 rating in 21 minutes of ice time.
That’s exactly why Tampa Bay gave up a first round pick to the New Jersey Devils to get him in the first place and why the Bruins were one of the teams trying to trade for him at the deadline as well.
BLACK EYE: Brandon Carlo hasn’t been at his best in these playoffs, and that was certainly the case in the Game 2 loss to the Lightning. Carlo threw a blind clear up the boards on the final shift that didn’t get out of his end when he might have had a chance to make a different play, but that was among several clear attempts that didn’t get out of the zone by the B’s fourth line and the pairing of Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug.
Carlo was also beaten on the first goal for the Lightning in the first period when Zach Bogosian, of all people, split through Carlo and Krug while making a D-man rush and then flipped to Blake Coleman for the score. Carlo hasn’t been his lockdown self in the defensive zone and hasn’t been able to step up and provide much offensive push at the other end of the ice, either. He certainly needs to be better.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were under siege in the overtime session while getting outshot by an 8-1 margin, and on the final shift the fourth line and the Krug/Carlo pairing couldn’t get out of the zone on an extended shift. It seemed like the B’s had all of the momentum heading into the extra session after Brad Marchand tied up the game late in the third period, but that wasn’t meant to be once the puck was dropped.
Instead, it seemed like the Bruins didn’t have much in the tank after battling with the Lightning through 60-plus minutes and didn’t have the desperation in overtime that Tampa did to tie up the series after two games.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand has been excellent for the Bruins throughout the actual playoffs and he was very good again in Game 2 against Tampa Bay. Marchand scored on the power play in the second period to give the Bruins a lead and he scored down low while battling 6-foot-7 Victor Hedman in the final minutes of the third period to tie up the game.
Both goals feature a player in Marchand that’s been playing much more around the front of the net than normal based on his new net-front role on the top power play unit. Marchand finished with the two goals, four shot attempts, two hits and one takeaway in 21 minutes of ice time while battling, scrapping and paying the price for both of his goals scored.
The Bruins' top guys have done the job in the first couple of games in this playoff series against Tampa Bay, and now it’s time for some of the secondary scoring to step up a little more beyond Charlie Coyle from the third line.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of goals for Nick Ritchie in the playoffs after he scored in the first period while taking a puck hard to the net and then crashing for a loose puck to squeeze past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We had the puck all alone and we rimmed it to nobody. We need to manage the puck better in those situations.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the final shift in overtime when Brandon Carlo made an ill-advised clear attempt among several that didn’t escape the zone before Tampa Bay scored the game-winner in overtime.