There was once again scoring in the early going, with the Bruins striking first just a minute into the game. With the puck in the corner, the Lightning player defending Milan Lucic got picked by referee Stephen Walkom. Hedman, seeing things, went to pick up Lucic. The problem with the play was David Krejci was wide open in front of the net, and Lucic found him with a perfect pass, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning carried the play in the early going, getting quite a few opportunities, but Boston goalie Tim Thomas had an answer for them all.
In the second, the Lightning would get their chances on the power play, but still had no luck solving Thomas, and that would be a theme as the night rolled on.
Into the third, the Lightning continued to pepper the Bruins with shots, but most of the shots came from the perimeter, and the Lightning did not do a good enough job in front of the net. In previous games, the Bolts won when they won the battles in front of the opposing goaltenders, something they will need to do in game four on Saturday afternoon.
“We knew this game was going to be like this,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. "These are games that we usually play well in, one-goal games, we usually win them. Give them credit, they played good defensively as well and Thomas played good when he had too. We need to find a way to generate goals."
The Lightning also needs to do a better job generating the rush out of their own end. Many times tonight, the Bolts had a chance to break out, only to see an errant pass or a giveaway. They were never able to really use their speed advantage and transition through the neutral zone. That is something they will have to correct going into game four.
“One bad mistake cost us and then we were chasing the rest of the game,” head coach Guy Boucher said. “But I think it looked a lot more like the type of game that people were expecting. And their goaltender made some great saves in key moments and we couldn’t get that goal back. But yeah, obviously both teams were a lot more structured.”
The Lightning will have to try to generate more offense on Saturday when they take on the Bruins in game four. It is an early afternoon start, with puck drop at 1:30pm.