Lightning score seven, top Bruins in Game 3 for Eastern Second Round lead


Nikita Kucherov had one goal and three assists to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Boston Bruins 7-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday.

Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist after scoring 4:40 into overtime of a 4-3 win in Game 2 on Tuesday, Alex Killorn had two goals and an assist and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves for the Lightning, the No. 2 seed in the East.

Dan Vladar relieved Jaroslav Halak to make 12 saves in his NHL debut for Boston, the No. 4 seed. Halak was pulled at 10:18 of the second period after making 12 saves on 16 shots.

The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series with Game 4 in Toronto, the East hub city, on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Teams that win Game 3 after a Stanley Cup Playoffs series is tied are 218-107 (67 percent) winning a best-of-7 series, including 3-1 this postseason.

Palat put the Lightning ahead 1-0 with a one-timer on a power play at 12:46 before Yanni Gourde made it 2-0 at 13:01 of the first period. Those goals, scored 15 seconds apart, were the fastest pair in Lightning playoff history.

Mikhail Sergachev scored a power-play goal, extending the lead to 3-0 at 2:14 second, before Brad Marchand cut it to 3-1 on a power play at 4:56 of that period.

Killorn made it 4-1 on a rebound at 8:35 and, after Brayden Point pushed it to 5-1 on a breakaway at 15:23 against Vladar, extended the lead to 6-1 on a backhand at 18:01 of the second.

Kucherov went five-hole on a backhand, making it 7-1 at 3:58 of the third period. He has 33 goals in 76 postseason games, tying Martin St. Louis for the most in Lightning history.

Vladar is the first Bruins goalie to make his NHL debut in a Stanley Cup Playoff game, the first in the NHL since Jake Allen for the St. Louis Blues in the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals, and the 11th in history.

Bruins forward Sean Kuraly was unfit to play. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

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