The Boston Bruins (13-2-2) were working overtime this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-10-1). Special teams on both clubs played an important part of today’s game. The Bruins were out to play a tough physical game today, but sometimes that physicality ends up costing them. An interference call against Milan Lucic set the Tampa Bay Lightning up for a power play goal against Anton Khudobin at 5:32 in the first. Steven Stamkos got his fifteenth goal of the year on that drive. A few minutes later, a tripping call against Andrew Ference left the Bruins short handed again. This time, Alexander Killorn got one past the Bruins for the Lightning to take an early two goal lead against the Bruins.
The Bruins are not a team to panic in the clutch. Once again, the Bruins rose to meet a challenge with one of their own. In the second period the momentum shifted back towards the Black and Gold. The Bruins found themselves in a power play situation with an interference call against the Lightning’s Eric Brewer. That set up a rare power play goal from Tyler Seguin. Seguin, scoring his fourth of the year showed us the hands that did so much damage for us last season. (Dougie Hamilton and David Krejci were credited with the assist.) The Bruins kept the pressure up in the second. A mere seventy seven seconds later found Rich Peverley letting one fly through Mathieu Garon to tie it all up at two.
Today was also a serious penalty fest for both squads. Seventeen penalties were called against both teams, for a total of fifty minutes in all. It also had a decent fight card with Adam McQuaidand Gregory Campbell racking up five for fighting. (One would argue that these two men aren’t afraid of dropping the gloves, but nearly the entire team will drop and pound for the right reason.) Those penalties added up to a total of four power play goals, with each team scoring two. The final Bruins’ power play goal came from our leading scorer and most consistent sniper, Brad Marchand.
The Bruins were on the power play due to a double minor called against Brendan Mikkelson. Mikkelson hit Lucic in the face with his stick, and it turned to be the final game changer. Patrice Bergeron set up Marchand for an easy goal(Marchand’s team leading eleventh of the season.) on the empty side of Garon’s net. That easy goal happened because Stamkos attempted a short handed goal, but a lucky bounce left the Lightning open for a shot that gave the Bruins the go-ahead goal and the win.
Marchand complemented his teammates for the goal and the win. Don’t get me wrong, I love the instigating, chirping Little Ball of Hate as much as anyone. I have to say though, I like this mature Marchand better. He’s got a better team mentality and all the tomfoolery of the last two seasons has been replaced by a desire to get his team points in every game.
The Bruins are now 14-2-2. Those thirty points are good enough to return the B’s back to first place in the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference. That standing will be tested tomorrow as they take on the Montreal Canadiens in the Garden. This should be one of the more interesting games of the season as ancient rivals once again square off for dominance in the division.