Lightning beat Bruins 4-3 in OT to take 3-1 series lead

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Dan Girardi scored 3:18 into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over Boston on Friday night in a game that featured more face-licking from Brad Marchand but left the Lightning with a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals as they return to Florida for a potential clincher in Game 5.

“It’s going to be the hardest game of the series, and it always is,” said Tampa Bay wing Ryan Callahan, who was swabbed by Marchand’s tongue in the second period — the second straight opponent to complain about the tactic by the Bruins’ forward.customized nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s unfortunate that he goes that low to do that, but doesn’t take us off our game,” Callahan said. “Hopefully, the league looks at it. I don’t know if there is discipline for spitting in someone’s face, but to me it’s worse if not the same.”127

Steven Stamkos tied it 3-all with seven minutes left in regulation after Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy turned the puck over behind the Boston net after he appeared to be pulled down from behind. Girardi ended it when he got a stick on a pass from Alex Killorn that was deflected off Brian Gionta’s skate in the crease.

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for the Bruins. Torey Krug, who was helped off the bench to the locker room in the third period and did not finish the game, had a pair of assists, as did Marchand.

But Marchand — whose nickname “Little Ball of Hate” even made its way to President Barack Obama when the Bruins visited the White House after their 2011 Stanley Cup win — was the talk of the postgame more for his penchant for licking opponents.

Marchand went nose-to-nose with Callahan after a whistle with 1:21 left in the second, then leaned in and tried to lick Callahan’s face. The Lightning forward pushed him away.

“He punched me four times in the face,” Marchand said. “He just kept getting close. Nothing big.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs also complained about the tactic during their first-round series with Boston. Told that Callahan compared licking to spitting and said it should be penalized accordingly, Marchand said, “That’s cute. Good for him.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Two nights after scoring twice in the first 3:19 for a lead they would never relinquish, the Lightning again opened a 2-0 lead. Point scored about five minutes in when he split defenders Zdeno Chara and McAvoy at the blue line and then faked out Rask in the crease.