The Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 today in front of a sold out TD Garden that included $2500 worth of tickets for serving US service members of the military on this, the only game scheduled for Veteran’s Day. The tickets were donated by the players to give back to those who serve.
The highlights of the game had serious overtones. Three players left the game injured for Tampa Bay to include Sami Salo, Keith Aulie and more seriously injured, Steve Stamkos! Prior to the start of the game, Stamkos was tied for most goals scored in the league and tied for most points. Late in the second period while back checking on a Bruins rush, he collided with his own net. He appeared to have injured his right lower leg and was removed from the ice on a stretcher to a standing ovation from the crowd. Early reports from TSN in Canada are that he broke his tibia in the right lower leg and will require surgery.
The first period seemed to be a repeat of Saturdays first period dominance. The Bruins buzzed the Lightning and out shot the Bolts 12-7. Jerome Iginla had a breakaway and clanged a shot off the right post. While Anders Lindback scrambled to make several big saves, Tuukka Rask seemed very reserved, calm and in control of his crease.
The Lightning came out with the jump in the second and helped by an early penalty taken by Dougie Hamilton seemed to find their game and rhythm. While the Bruins had some transition rushes on Tampa, they lacked the sustained time of possession inside the Tampa Bay zone. With the injury to Stamkos at about the 14 minute mark and a lengthy delay to attend to him, Tampa noticeably lost their tempo and the Bruins regained the momentum. Brad Marchand’s rush down the left side with a pivot and pass for a shot by Torey Krug, led to a scramble for the puck and Patrice Bergeron shoveled in the rebound which would turn out to be his second consecutive game winning goal. Off the face-off 20 seconds later, Greg Campbell chipped a pass off the left side boards to Daniel Paille, who out raced the Tampa defense towards the goal and created a 2 on 1 rush with Shawn Thornton. Paille swerved in from the left side and buried the backhand past Lindback. Two minutes later the Bruins were in the locker room with a 2 goal lead going into the third period.
The biggest feature of the third period was the grinding style of wearing down the Lightning with physical play and the B’s out hit the Bolts 31-25 over the game. Two players down starting the third period and losing a second defenseman midway through put a lot of pressure on the Tampa bench and as the period wore on Tampa’s tempo fell off. The KIL line of Krejci, Iginla and Lucic had a goal with about 3 minutes left to play called back for incidental goalie interference and the trio combined for the empty net tally with 59 seconds left in the game, Iginla getting the unselfish feed from Lucic for the goal.
Next up for the Bruins are the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at 7PM and the Bruins seem to be on a roll. They now sit in second place in the eastern conference and the first place team being the defeated Tampa Bay Lightning that Bruins have now beaten in 3 straight games and out scored 11-1 in those three game. Tuukka has now shutout Tampa for 149:28 consecutive minutes. The Bruins killed off another 4 minor penalties to bring the number of consecutive penalty kills to 22.
See ya next Time!