The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to get the last licks on the Boston Bruins at home.
Dan Girardi scored 3:18 into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over Boston on Friday night in a game that featured more face-licking from Brad Marchand but left the Lightning with a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals as they return to Florida for a potential clincher in Game 5.
”It’s going to be the hardest game of the series Authentic Max Domi Jersey , and it always is,” said Tampa Bay wing Ryan Callahan, who was swabbed by Marchand’s tongue in the second period – the second straight opponent to complain about the tactic by the Bruins’ forward.
”It’s unfortunate that he goes that low to do that, but doesn’t take us off our game,” Callahan said. ”Hopefully, the league looks at it. I don’t know if there is discipline for spitting in someone’s face, but to me it’s worse if not the same.”
Tampa Bay jumped ahead 2-0 for the second straight game. But this time Boston answered with three straight goals, including a short-handed score by Patrice Bergeron – his second of the game – to break a third-period tie.
Steven Stamkos tied it 3-all with seven minutes left in regulation after Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy turned the puck over behind the Boston net after he appeared to be pulled down from behind. Girardi ended it when he got a stick on a pass from Alex Killorn that was deflected off Brian Gionta’s skate in the crease.
A two-time NHL goal-scoring champion, Stamkos had just one goal in the playoffs before adding an empty-netter in Game 3.
”It was like Stam said, `I’ve had enough,”’ Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. ”It was just a matter of time, but we needed him Joel Armia Jersey Kids , and he was there for us.”
Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves.
Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for the Bruins. Torey Krug, who was helped off the bench to the locker room in the third period and did not finish the game, had a pair of assists, as did Marchand.
But Marchand – whose nickname ”Little Ball of Hate” even made its way to President Barack Obama when the Bruins visited the White House after their 2011 Stanley Cup win – was the talk of the postgame more for his penchant for licking opponents.
Marchand went nose-to-nose with Callahan after a whistle with 1:21 left in the second, then leaned in and tried to lick Callahan’s face. The Lightning forward pushed him away.
”He punched me four times in the face,” Marchand said. ”He just kept getting close. Nothing big.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs also complained about the tactic during their first-round series with Boston. Told that Callahan compared licking to spitting and said it should be penalized accordingly, Marchand said, ”That’s cute. Good for him.”
Two nights after scoring twice in the first 3:19 for a lead they would never relinquish, the Lightning again opened a 2-0 lead. Point scored about five minutes in when he split defenders Zdeno Chara and McAvoy at the blue line and then faked out Rask in the crease.
With the Bruins already a man down, Chara then backhanded the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt for another penalty. It was back to 5-on-4 when Kucherov made it 2-0 midway through the period on a power-play one-timer from the faceoff circle.
But David Pastrnak one-timed a golf-shot into the net to make it 2-1 after one, and then the Bruins tied it early in the second on a give-and-go from Bergeron to Krug and back to Bergeron. Boston was back on the penalty kill six minutes into the third when Marchand chased down a puck in the Lightning end and then delivered a cross pass that Bergeron redirected into the net.
Tampa Bay tied it with seven minutes left after Kucherov appeared to pull McAvoy down behind the Bruins net. The puck worked its from to J.T. Miller and then Stamkos in the slot for a one-timer to tie it 3-all with seven minutes left in regulation.
”It looks like he reached around and pulled him down Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey ,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”Charlie’s a strong guy. But it wasn’t called, and it’s in our net. The non-call impacted the game directly.”
NOTES: Bruins Hall of Famer Ray Bourque was in the crowd. … Referee Francois St. Laurent took a spill in the first minute of the third period and crashed head- and shoulder-first into the boards behind the Lightning net. He remained in the game.
Six years ago, quarterback Robert Griffin III was a lock to start in Washington. Now, he’s merely trying to stay on the roster in Baltimore.
He seems unfazed by the challenge.
Describing himself as an “old, young guy” of 28, Griffin took some of the second-team reps on Thursday, along with rookie Lamar Jackson. But, as Mike Jones of USA Today notes, during some segments of Thursday’s practice, Griffin “merely split a handful of snaps with fourth quarterback Josh Woodrum.”
Thus, as Jones points out, Griffin may not even make the team. Jackson’s arrival via round one presents the biggest threat to Griffin’s status Womens Evander Kane Jersey , but Griffin doesn’t come off as jealous or resentful.
鈥淲hen they drafted Lamar, I didn鈥檛 look at it as a shot at me or a shot at Joe [Flacco],鈥?Griffin said. 鈥淚t was 鈥極K, Lamar is coming in here, and it鈥檚 our job to help him learn the offense and help him compete.’ So, for me, my job is to show them that I鈥檓 an asset to the team and not a detriment. . . . One [reporter] asked me if I was trying to showcase for other teams. No, my focus is, 鈥業鈥檓 a Baltimore Raven. I鈥檓 showcasing to them that this is where I鈥檓 supposed to be.'”
He seems to be prepared for the adversity that may come.
鈥淚 feel like the chips have been stacked against me numerous times throughout my life, not just my career,鈥?Griffin said. 鈥淭he biggest thing I learned last year was, whatever your first instinct is to do when you are faced with an obstacle Braden Holtby Jersey , when you face a challenge in life, that鈥檚 who you are. I feel like I鈥檓 a fighter. My first instinct is to continue to keep swinging, continue to keep trying, perfect my craft as best I can.
鈥淎 lot of people, their first instinct is to quit or to say, 鈥業t wasn鈥檛 me, it was that.’ You remember the stories of the guys in the bar who are telling stories of what great players they were in high school? And, 鈥業t wasn鈥檛 my fault.聽It was this and that.鈥?That鈥檚 never my reaction. My reaction has never been to do that.聽It鈥檚 been to go lift more weights. I go throw passes.”
Whether he’ll be throwing passes during the regular season for the Ravens or anyone else remains to be seen. But Griffin needs to be ready for anything, because as the last six years have proven, anything can happen.
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