The third place Boston Bruins capitalized on a golden opportunity to move up in the standings, winning in overtime against the second-place Florida Panthers and first-place Tampa Bay Lightning.
Panthers vs Bruins
On Monday, the B’s played the Panthers, trailing them by just one point in the standings. The Bruins took the lead on a goal from Patrice Bergeron just 34 seconds into the game and looked to be in control early on, building their lead to 3-0 before Aleksander Barkov scored to put the Panthers on the board.
Bergeron would score another to send the Bruins to the dressing room up 4-1 after the first period. However, the Panthers came out flying in the second period and eventually tied the game in the third. The action would go to overtime, tied 4-4.
In the final minute, Lee Stempniak scored his first goal in a Bruins uniform to claim two important points for the team.
Lightning vs Bruins
Feeling confident after their big win, the Bruins travelled to Tampa Bay to play the division-leading Lightning Tuesday. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask took a rest after facing a 51 shots Monday, leaving fresh backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson to start the game.
Gustavson made a career high 42 saves to shutout the Tampa Bay offense. At the other end of the ice, the Lightning’s Ben Bishop also played an unbelievable game, stopping 32 out of 33 shots.
Goaltending was the story of this game, as neither team found the back of the net in 60 minutes of regulation play. Still, this was arguably the most exciting game the Bruins have played all season, featuring end-to-end action, huge hits and outstanding goaltending.
Going into overtime, the Bruins scored an emotional goal right after the face-off on a tip-in from Brad Marchand, his 34th of the season.
The Bruins look to continue their strong play as the playoffs get closer. With only 14 games remaining, B’s fans are starting to believe that Boston could have a run at the Stanley Cup this year.