BOSTON — When a reporter asked what Dan Girardi was doing near the net at the end of Game 4, teammate Steven Stamkos didn't hesitate to offer a wisecrack.
"Scoring goals," Stamkos chirped.
Only this comedic remark was no fib. It was the truth. The Lightning defenseman found himself in an unusual spot, but he beat his man down the ice and decided he'd stick around the net for a little while.
The result was a game-winning goal, 3:18 into overtime, igniting the Lightning to a come-from-behind, 4-3 win to take a commanding 3-1 series edge.
"I was deep in the zone and I saw they made a good play at the blue line to have control," Girardi said. "I kind of just beat my guy up the ice a little bit, got on the right side of him and (Alex Killorn) made a great slice at the net there and it luckily hit my stick."
Coach Jon Cooper said it would typically be Yanni Gourde scoring a goal near the net like that, but in this case it was Girardi, and Gourde was the set-up man.
"Usually that's Yanni's spot," Cooper said. "Yanni has 25 goals, and I don't even know if they add up to 25 feet."
Girardi, meanwhile, who only had six goals during the regular season, has two now against the Bruins. His strike in Game 1 was his first playoff goal since 2014, but the longtime New York Ranger continued his recent hot streak Friday night.
He was simply in the right place at the right time, but he maximized the opportunity and sent his team back to Tampa feeling awfully good about itself.
"I was kind of set up in my office in front of the net there," Girardi said.
Girardi credited his teammates for sticking to the game plan and remaining aggressive after the Bruins surged ahead 3-2 in the third period.
The Lightning has been in situations like this all year, and this one was simply one more comeback.
This team has proven time and time again that several playmakers can do the job. Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point are elite goal scorers, but there are plenty of other players up for the task.
Even a defenseman who celebrated his 34th birthday this week.
"If you want to keep going in the playoffs, you need everybody," Cooper said. "We've gotten it from everybody."