Lightning take Stanley Cup playoff series lead on Bruins

Lightning take Stanley Cup playoff series lead on Bruins

May 3 (UPI) — Ondrej Palat scored two first-period goals, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup playoff series.

The 4-1 victory came Wednesday at TD Garden in Boston. Tampa Bay now leads the series 2-1.

“We tried to play a simple game, don’t turn the puck over and stay on top of them,” Palat told reporters. “I think the last two games we did a good job. When we play in their zone it’s good defense.”

Palat first lit the lamp 1:47 into the first period. Tyler Johnson slid the puck over to the left wing for a 1-0 advantage. Palat returned less than two minutes later for his second score in the opening 3:19.

That time, the left wing skated in front of the goal and redirected a Victor Hedman shot past Bruins net minder Tuukka Rask.

After the game Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked to describe what Palat means to the team.

“I can’t,” Cooper said. “He’s a beast. You probably get spoiled a little bit because I’ve watched that act happen before in playoff series in 2015 and 2016. Those guys that kinda go under the radar and don’t get the credit they deserve, but they never seek it, and they don’t care … That’s what you have in Ondrej Palat.”

Patrice Bergeron got one back for Boston 14:12 into the period, but Anthony Cirelli regained the two goal advantage for the road squad with a goal 2:31 later in the period.

Neither team found the net in the second frame. Steven Stamkos made a power-play goal with 42 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 28 saves in the win.

Game 4 between the Bruins and Lightning is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Boston.