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NHL Game Night: 3-17-18 Bruins at Lightning

Lightning get a glipse of how tall the mountain is.

BOS-3
TB-0

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss. The Lightning could've used at least one more big situational save to at least give themselves a chance in the game, but there's not a lot of blame you can heap Vasiy's way in this travesty.

First Period
3:07 BOS Pastrnak (28), (Krug, McQuaid)
10:54 BOS Backes (12), (Krug, Marchand)(PP)

Second Period
12:33 BOS Riley Nash (14), (Rick Nash, Krug)(PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Boston's been arguably the best team in hockey over the past couple of months while the Lightning have been skating by with some bad habits on talent alone. Tonight those chickens came home to roost and the Lightning have to confront a pretty daunting fact: they have a ton to do over the next dozen or so games to get ready for the playoffs or they risk getting bounced hard when they get there. Boston was actually playing without four of their regulars, and then lost David Backes to a leg laceration to boot, and still completely humiliated the Lightning with a clinical victory that highlighted the differences between the two sides.

Boston has a structure, their players understand their roles, and they play that structure and those roles with discipline. They don't shirk their responsibilities. The Lightning coaching staff has a structure, but these players don't always seem to accept their roles and they don't play with discipline. Too many times you see forwards flying the zone and hanging their defensemen out to dry. Too many times you see the resulting turnovers and the Lightning's inability to sort out defensive zone coverage in those moments. They can't win faceoffs. Their penalty kill is a disaster.

People treated the McDonagh acquisition as if it was the panacea. It likely wasn't. People are already making Ondrej Palat's return the new panacea. It won't be either. The only elixir for what we saw tonight was for these players to recommit and buy into the structure and their roles and to begin to play that structure and those roles with greater discipline. It's just that simple, and conversely, just that complex.

Anthony Cirelli had 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 10:47. He was also 60% on 5 draws.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 5 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 11:27. He was, perhaps, the only silver lining in this otherwise appalling game.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.