Lightning rally to eliminate Bruins from NHL playoffs

Los Angeles (AFP) –


J.T. Miller scored the go-ahead goal on the power play and the Tampa Bay Lightning punched their ticket to the NHL Eastern Conference Final with a 3-1 victory over Boston on Sunday.

After dropping the series opener 6-2, the Lightning won four straight to eliminate the Bruins in five games in the best-of-seven second-round series.

Miller scored at 14:00 of the second period for the Lightning, who reached the NHL's final four for the third time in four years.

Tampa Bay move on to play the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals series. The Capitals lead the Penguins 3-2 and can book their spot in the Conference final on Monday night.

Brayden Point, with his fourth of the post-season, and Anton Stralman also scored for the Lightning while goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves.

Boston forward David Krejci opened the scoring late in the first period on the power play after Tampa's Cedric Paquette was given a minor penalty for tripping.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 19 saves but ended up losing his last four starts against Tampa Bay. He made 34 of 36 stops to win the series opener but struggled since.

The Lightning came into game five with history on their side as no Tampa Bay team had ever blown a 3-1 series lead. The Bruins fell to 0-24 when trailing 3-1 in a series.

The Bruins played with shifty puck moving defenseman Torey Krug, who suffered an ankle injury in game four.

One day after being threatened by the league with sanctions after he "licked" Tampa Bay player Ryan Callahan during Friday's game, Bruins winger Brad Marchand had an uneventful game five.