BOSTON (CBS) — With an emphatic 7-1 victory in Game 3, the Tampa Bay Lightning seized a 2-1 series lead over the Boston Bruins. With an exclamation point.

The Lightning scored twice in the first period, four times in the second period and once more in the third period for good measure, making Wednesday evening a nightmare for the Bruins.

It was the Bruins’ largest margin of defeat in the playoffs since 1992.

Jaroslav Halak lasted just half the game after allowing four goals on 16 shots faced, making way for Dan Vladar to make his NHL debut. Vladar allowed three goals on 15 shots. For Tampa, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 22 shots faced.

The Lightning  jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two goals in rapid succession midway through the first period. The first one came with Nick Ritchie in the penalty box for slashing Pat Maroon. Just 29 seconds into Tampa’s second power play of the night, Ondrej Palat’s shot from the right circle deflected off Zdeno Chara’s stick and over the shoulder of Jaroslav Halak.

The Lightning then scored on a rush off the ensuing faceoff, thanks in large part to linesman Devin Berg standing in the way of Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. The D-man collided with the official, opening up a free lane to the net for Yanni Gourde, who skated across the crease and lifted a shot past Halak just 15 seconds after Palat’s goal.

Things got worse for the Bruins in the opening minutes of the second period. Patrice Bergeron went to the box for high-sticking, and Mikhail Sergachev fired a one-time bomb from the high slot that beat Halak to the glove side to put the Lightning up 3-0.

The Bruins got on the board when Brad Marchand scored an identical power-play goal to the one he scored in Game 2.

But the Lightning turned it back into a three-goal lead, with Alex Killorn surprising Halak by backhanding a loose puck while falling to the ice on the power play.

Bruce Cassidy opted to replace Halak with Dan Vladar after the midway point of the game. It was Vladar’s first career NHL appearance, and just minuted after entering the game, he was beaten by Brayden Point on a breakaway. That goal gave Tampa a 5-1 lead.

The Lightning then made it 6-1 after a complete defensive breakdown led to consecutive chances for Tampa. Killorn scored on the second one, turning the game into a full-on blowout.

Killorn finished with two goals and assist, while Nikita Kucherov turned in a four-point night with a goal and three assists.

Torey Krug fought Tyler Johnson late in the second period, while Charlie McAvoy was given a 10-minute misconduct for roughing in the third period.

The Bruins underwent some major lineup changes between Games 2 and 3. Sean Kuraly was out for Game 3 with an undisclosed injury, while Connor Clifton and Anders Bjork were healthy scratches. Par Lindholm entered the forward lineup, while John Moore and Lauzon dressed, giving Boston seven defensemen.

Historically, when an NHL series is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the series 67.1 percent of the time. Game 4 will be played Friday night.


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