Bruins advance with win over Maple Leafs in Game 7

Credit Rob Carr  Getty Images

Credit Rob Carr Getty Images

But as has been the case with much of the National Hockey League this season, the game did not end without some in-game controversy. The Bruins live. Their next foe is the Tampa Bay Lightning, which means another chance to see the Bruins' exciting cast of early-twentysomethings under the bright lights of the Stanley Cup tourney.

But whether it's 5-on-4 or at even strength, they're going to have their work cut out against this Tampa Bay defense - not to mention Vasilevskiy, who appears to have returned to the form he showed during his brilliant first half of the regular season campaign. These are two very imperfect teams, which could make for an entertaining and raucous Round 2.

The Bruins are headed to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four seasons but you wouldn't know it with all the Tuukka Rask bashing that took place before, during and after the B's thrilling 7-4 game seven win over the Maple Leafs. This is a team that can overwhelm its opponents with an embarrassment of riches up front. After a stunning regular season, Vegas was expected to be in tough against the heavier, more experienced Los Angeles Kings in the first round. The guys want to get back into it. They were deadly in the faceoff circle against the Devils, which realistically probably isn't going to be the case against the Bruins. Here is the schedule for the Lightning and Bruins series, with national television information. David Pastrnak rifled a shot from the blueline and Nash was able to deflect the puck into the net.

"They're good. They've played together for a while and they know where to find each other", Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Boston's top line.

This is a man who also thrown milk crates across the ice, though that honestly sounds much safter. Only Rick Middleton has recorded more points through the team's first eight games of a postseason (19, 1983). He had issues getting the puck on net and was struggling to maintain possession of the puck. Zdeno Chara keeps on ticking for Boston's defence at 41 years of age, while Torey Krug was a beast at both ends of the ice against Toronto.

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Entering the final stanza of play with a one-goal lead, Boston's top line put an end to any hope of a Tampa rally, with Marchand and Bergeron each lighting the lamp to put the game out of reach.

One player worth watching for the Lightning is Victor Hedman, who produced two goals and an assist against the Bruins.

Toronto forced Game 7 after falling behind 3-1 in the series with a 4-3 victory in Game 5 where Andersen stood on his head with a 42-save performance at TD Garden before picking up 3-1 win on home ice in Game 6.

Five Things To Watch 1.

Cassidy chose his words carefully speaking about Rask after the game, saying, "We play for one another, we have all year". There hasn't been a ton of certainty surrounding his health and the Bruins are a decidedly easier out without him in the lineup.

Stephen Curry out for Game 1, Kerr expects him back Game 2
Curry was questionable to play in game one on Saturday night but the Dubs chose to hold him out and not rush him back too quickly. Jrue Holiday chipped in 41 points plus eight assists, E'Twaun Moore added 14 and Nikola Mirotic had 10 points plus 11 rebounds.

This is what the Bruins expected when they traded for Nash.

How do the Lightning slow them down?

Or if that allegedly "better" option (if such a thing exists for the Lightning) can even slow this group down.

In Stamkos, right winger Nikita Kucherov and left winger Alex Killorn, the Lightning have one of the best offensive trios remaining in the playoffs. The team's had to kill penalties just 6.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

THN series prediction: Lightning in six.

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