TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Victor Hedman scored the lone shootout goal, and the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Bruins’ postseason hopes were dashed midway through the third when Pittsburgh claimed the final Eastern Conference wild card by beating Buffalo 2-0. Boston had made the playoffs in each of the previous seven seasons.
Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who finished second behind Atlantic Division winner Montreal. Tampa Bay (50-24-8) reached 50 wins for the first time and will play Detroit in the first round of the postseason.
Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins, who ended the season with three straight losses. Tuukka Rask finished with 23 saves while tying a team goalie record by playing in his 70th game this season.
The Lightning also got a goal from Nikita Nesterov, and Ben Bishop had 36 saves in his career-best 40th win.
Nesterov gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead with his third of the season at 5:12 of the third. The Lightning appeared to be on their way to a regulation win before Marchand scored his 24th of the season with 1:06 left.
After Marchessault, recalled from the Syracuse of the AHL before the game, opened the scoring with first NHL goal 5:08 into the second, Eriksson tied it at 1 just 52 seconds later.
Rask stopped Brian Boyle on an early third-period short-handed breakaway.
Vladislav Namestnikov needed assistance off the ice after taking an illegal check to the head from Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid at 13:13 of the first. The Lightning center did return to the game.
NOTES: The other Boston goalies to have played 70 games in the same season are Ed Johnston, Jim Henry and Jack Gelineau. … Tampa Bay LW Jonathan Drouin didn’t play because of flulike symptoms. … The Bruins assigned D Joe Morrow to Providence of the AHL.