Extra Beats: Bruins, Rask Tuukka Away Game 1 From Lightning

Bruins' Insider, Jimmy Murphy gives you his key "beats" from game 1...

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The Boston Bruins achieved what they needed to in Tampa Bay Saturday, taking away home advantage from the Lightning with a 6-2 win at Amalie Arena. With the doubt sharks still circling over Tuukka Rask, the embattled Bruins goalie came up huge time after time, finishing with 34 saves and allowing his teammates to eventually bust the game wide open with three third period goals. The Bruins will now try to take a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 Monday night in Tampa.

1.) Despite #BladeGate, Rask Was Clutch

Rask may need a new skate rep after Game 1 but he and the Bruins will take a lost skate blade in exchange for the performance they got from him and a 1-0 series lead. In a zone and frustrating the potent Lightning offense, Rask lost a skate blade just over 13 minutes into the second period, and was unable to get the referees – who were not obligated to stop play – to blow the whistle and allow him to get to the bench to put on a new one. Understandably distracted, Rask lost track of the play in front of him and Mikhail Sergachev scored cutting the Bruins’ lead to 3-2.

Rask remained calm though, stayed the course and made some timely saves to preserve the lead before the Bruins took over in the third period in arguably his bets game of the playoffs.

2.) The Best Line in The NHL Was The Best Again

After being held pointless in three of the seven games during the Bruins’ opening round win over the Leafs, the best line in the NHL was the best once again. The B’s top trio of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak dominated the game and combined for three of the team’s six goals and 11 points total. Marchand had a goal and three assists, Bergeron had two goals and an assist and Pastrnak was dishing beauties with four helpers. The three stars were clearly back in sync and there wasn’t much the Lightning could do to stop them as they ate up the Bolts’ top shutdown players like Brayden Point and Victor Hedman.

3.) Rick Nash Gets The Monkey Off His Back

After hitting numerous pipes and basically not being able to shoot the puck in the ocean for the previous five games, Rick Nash got the monkey off his back with two lamplighters in Game 1. Nash gave his team a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 17:11 of the first period and then made it 3-1 at 12:33 of the second period with his third goal of the playoffs.

4.) McAvoy Finding His Game?

Bruins rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy may have finally found his game that helped him to a brilliant 32-point rookie campaign before suffering a sprained MCL late in the season. McAvoy entered the series with just one assist in the playoffs but in Game 1 he helped set up two goals and if he’s about to bust out, it couldn’t come at a better time as the Bruin try to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. McAvoy played 22:29 in Game 1 and was a plus 2.

5.) Bruins Shutdown Lightning’ Top Line

The Bruins were able to hold the Lightning’s top line of J.T. Miller-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov pointless in Game 1. A heavy dose of a Selke candidate like Begeron tends to do that! Kucherov and Stamkos were only able to get off two shots a piece and did not look like the scoring weapons they can be. Stamkos was a plus-1 and Kucherov was a plus-2. Miller was a plus-1 with three shots.

6.) DeBrusk Battles Through

Bruins rookie forward and round 1 hero Jake DeBrusk appeared to be laboring throughout the third period from an injury suffered blocking a shot early on in the period.

DeBrusk even went to the dressing room at one point in the final frame but came back and ended up scoring the Bruins final goal of the game, an empty-netter at 13:41 of the third. It was DeBrusk’s sixth goal of the playoffs and the rook just continues to shine in big moments.