After splitting the first two games of this five-game road trip, the Boston Bruins headed south to Tampa Bay on Thursday to take on the Lightning.
This was supposed to be the second scheduled meeting between these two teams, but a recent blizzard caused the first game to be postponed and later rescheduled. This was the first look at one of last year's Hart Trophy finalists, Steven Stamkos.
Heading into this game, it should have been obvious that the Bruins were going to stick their top defensive pairing of Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk with Stamkos. Even though the Lightning are currently fighting to stay in the playoff picture, this is a dangerous team that could hurt the Bruins in many ways.
Tuukka Rask was back in goal for the B's in this game. Milan Lucic made his return to the lineup after missing the last game for personal reasons.
The Bruins got things going early on in the first period by putting some serious pressure on the Lightning defense. This led to two goals in a three-minute span, recorded by Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron respectively. However, the B's could not keep that guy named Stamkos quiet for too long as he netted his 11th goal of the season to cut the lead in half.
After Tampa Bay tied the game in the second period, Brad Marchand put the Black and Gold right back on top and they never looked back. Horton scored his second goal of the game in the third period and that is how the game would finish. The Bruins won this game by a final score of 4-2. Four different Bruins players had multi-point nights and Rask finished with 24 saves in an all-around good outing.
The one issue that took place in this game was the condition of the ice. Pucks were not being passed along smoothly and players on both teams had a tough time keeping their footing. The outcome of the game may not have been affected by the ice, but certain players may have had other scoring chances if the puck bounced the right way.
The Bruins will be back in action on Sunday afternoon against the Florida Panthers.
Gold Star: Nathan Horton...He put together a strong performance in this game and it showed on the scoreboard with his two goals.
Black Star: Dougie Hamilton...Even though he finished the game with two assists, he was on the ice for both Tampa Bay goals. He also had a career-low 10 minutes of time on ice.