The Boston Bruins are on a roll after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. They dominated the Leafs last Wednesday, winning 7-4, which allowed them to move on to the second round against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Since the Lightning won first place in the Atlantic Division, they held home ice advantage. That didn’t stop the Bruins from coming out hard against the Lightning, winning Game 1 on Saturday with a 6-2 victory. Several key factors have come together for the Bruins, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Top Goal Scorers are Leading the Way
When the Bruins acquired Rick Nash from the New York Rangers, General Manager Don Sweeney had hoped the 6’4″, 220 lb left wingers’ veteran status would give their second line what they had been lacking. Nash didn’t disappoint in Saturday’s Game 1, with his strong effort being rewarded with two goals. His first came during a first period power play, while his next goal game during the second period with 12:33 left on the clock.
Nash isn’t the only left winger performing on all cylinders. Jake DeBrusk really dominated during the first round against the Leafs, and he brought that power straight into the second round. DeBrusk scored an empty-netter in the third period, securing a victory for the Bruins.
Lines are Working Together
Not only are Nash and DeBrusk leading the charge, but other top lines are performing well, too. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron had a total of 10 combined points, with Bergeron scoring two goals, Marchand nabbing a goal and an assist, and Pastrnak offering up four assists. They are the perfect match for the Lightning’s top trio of Nikita Kucherov, J.T. Miller, and Steven Stamkos.
Rask is Dominating in Net
Even though Tuukka Rask lost a blade on his left skate during the second period, leading him to give up a goal to Mikhail Sergachev, he still stopped 34 out of 36 shots. Despite being noticeably upset after his equipment malfunction, the 2014 Vezina trophy winner still delivered one of his most stellar playoff performances to date. The Bruins lead the series 1-0 with the second game scheduled for Monday.