Bruins edge Lightning in SO, Stamkos tossed for stick throw

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It wasn’t long ago that it looked like the Boston Bruins might miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007, but their playoff chances are very good after winning six of their last seven games, including tonight’s 3-2 shootout victory over Tampa Bay.

The Bruins and Lightning traded pretty goals in the first period with Boston’s Ryan Spooner executing a great pass across the crease to David Pastrnak, whose skate hit the puck to beat goaltender Ben Bishop.

Steven Stamkos later stole the puck from Zdeno Chara and flung it past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to net his 37th goal of the campaign.

The Lightning superstar also had a pretty big low moment. With the contest in overtime, Stamkos angrily threw his broken stick, which ended up into the stands. He received a 10-minute misconduct for his actions.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each found the back of the net in the shootout as Rask outdueled Lightning forwards Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin.

With those two points, the Boston Bruins have maintained their six-point edge over the Florida Panthers (which also won tonight) in the fight for the second Wild Card spot. With just 15 contests remaining on each team’s schedule, that’s a big edge for Boston to possess.

Tampa Bay’s four-game winning streak is over, but with a point gained it has moved into a tie with the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division, although Montreal still has an edge as it has played in one less game.