Hope springs up in an unexpected place.
Petr Budaj allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Not his best effort losing his net on Boston's third goal, but in all he allowed the Lightning to keep contact during the game and shut the door once they finally got the lead.
1:33 BOS Pastrnak (32), (Bergeron, Spooner)(PP)
2:17 TB Point (13), (Palat, Dotchin)
7:50 BOS Chara (8), (Nash, Moore)(SH)
8:14 TB Kucherov (35), (Drouin, Hedman)(PP)
13:18 BOS Nash (5), (Moore, Miller)
14:53 TB Stralman (3), (Palat, Point)
4:12 TB Drouin (18), (Killorn, Dotchin)
10:11 TB Kucherov (36), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
18:03 TB Kucherov (37), (Palat)(EN)
Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin were the game's first and second stars. Kucherov's hat trick puts him 3 shy of the 40 goal plateau for the first time in his career and back within distant shouting distance of the league lead. Drouin's GWG, which was one through Rask that probably should've been stopped, puts him 2 shy of the 20 goal plateau for the first time in his career.
Three times in this game the Lightning were offered the opportunity to give up on their season. Three times they showed resiliency immediately. It may not matter much in the end equation, but Jon Cooper can rest a little better at night knowing his team has a lot of character and refuses to give up. And, at the very least, the Lightning dealt a blow to Boston's playoff hopes tonight, which is good for the soul.
Luke Witkowski had 1 shot and 2 hits in 9:11.
Jake Dotchin had 2 helpers and was +2 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 17:26. Played a really strong two-way game, and I'm thinking we may have learned that although Jake can play more minutes, this is more his sweet spot.
Gabriel Dumont had 4 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 10:31. He was also 58% on 26 draws.
Yanni Gourde was -1 with 2 shots and he was 29% on 14 draws in 12:22.
Adam Erne was -1 with 2 shots, 5 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:45.
Joel Vermin was -1 in 9:17.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.