Even if the Bruins had won, it wouldn’t have mattered thanks to a Penguins’ win against Buffalo.
Regardless, the Bruins lost 3-2 in a shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game number 82 and missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years. In the first period, the Bruins came out with a jump in their step, but struggled to score, failing on two power plays. The Bruins also killed off one Tampa Bay power play that was called after Adam McQuaid collided with Vladislav Namestnikov and sent off for two minutes for an illegal check to the head.
Just over five minutes into a scoreless second period, Jonathan Marchessault scored his first career NHL goal to put the Lightning up 1-0.
The Bruins tied the game 52 seconds later thanks to Loui Eriksson’s 22nd goal of the season.
Late in the second period, still tied 1-1, Brad Marchand sent a pass to a wide open Torey Krug, but he was unable to get a stick on it with a wide open net staring him down. Tied 1-1 after two periods, the Bruins were out-shooting the Lightning 20-17.
As the third period began, it didn’t really matter if the Bruins won or lost. The Penguins had clinched the final playoff spot with a win over the Sabres. The final 20 minutes were meaningless for the Bruins, although they had playoff standings implications for the Lightning. The lack of meaning seemed apparent with a terrible giveaway by Torey Krug when the Bruins had an early third period power play.
The Lightning regained the lead with a goal from Nikita Nesterov 5:12 into the third period.
With just over a minute left in the third period, Brad Marchand tied the game 2-2 with his 24th goal of the season, prolonging the meaningless season just a few minutes longer.
Overtime was scoreless, so the Bruins season ended in fitting fashion: the shootout. And in classic 2014-15 Bruins fashion, they lost it.
In the spirit of ending my first season of Boston.com Bruins GIF recaps, here is a lighter moment from early in tonight’s game where Patrice Bergeron’s attempt to avoid contact made it look like he was doing the worm. Have a great offseason!