A week ago at this time, the Bruins held a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Today, they are headed home for summer vacation.
The B’s fell, 3-1, to the Lightning on Sunday and ultimately lost the semi-final series, 4-1.
After pumping in six goals in Game 1 on April 28, the Bruins could not find the scoring touch the rest of the series as they were stifled by Tampa Bay’s defense and goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky.
Scrambling late in Sunday’s game, Patrice Bergeron had a great scoring opportunity on a feed from David Pastrnak with 2:20 left but Bergeron couldn’t get enough muscle behind it and the puck was gobbled up by Vasilevsky. Moments later, Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman scored on an empty-netter to ice the Bruins’ 2017-18 campaign.
After giving up five goals in Game 1, Vasilevsky was dominant the rest of the series as he allowed just two Bruins goals in Game 2, one goal in Game 3, and three goals in Game 4.
With the win, Tampa Bay advanced to its third Eastern Conference Finals in the past four seasons.
The Bruins were optimistic for a victory early in Sunday’s game as in the previous four contests the team which scored first had won. David Krejci went top shelf on Vasilevsky with 42 seconds left in the first period to give the B’s a 1-0 advantage. Tampa Bay immediately responded in the second period, however, as Brayden Point and JT Miller each beat Tuukka Rask (21 saves).
Given the low expectations to start 2017-18, this will be regarded by most as a strong season by the Bruins. They finished with 112 points in the regular season – second most in the Eastern Conference to the Lightning.