Ramblings: Another Lehner Shutout, Varlamov Continues to Shine, Palat Scoring on Top Line (Aug 30)

Ian Gooding


After a two-day pause to promote social justice and racial equality, NHL teams were back in action on Saturday with three games.

Tampa Bay 3, Boston 1 (Tampa Bay leads series 3-1)

After losing Game 1, the Lightning have struck for three consecutive wins and are now one win away from the Eastern Conference Final.

Ondrej Palat scored the Lightning's first two goals while taking five shots on goal. After a slow start to the postseason with no goals and two assists in his first eight postseason games, Palat has scored goals in three consecutive games and recorded points in four consecutive games. He's benefitting from both time on the top line with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov and first-unit power-play time. A Steven Stamkos return at some point might hurt his value, but for now he has the potential to roll alongside Tampa's big guns.    

The game really looked like it would really tilt in Tampa's favor late in the second period after Nick Ritchie was assessed a five-minute major for hitting Yanni Gourde from behind. Gourde was down on the ice for quite a while after this hit – at least enough time for the referees to make the right call. Fortunately, Gourde was eventually able to return to the game.