The Boston Bruins picked up another couple of victories last week against teams that featured some familiar faces of "Bruins past" and they were well earned. They are now keeping pace with some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Those games were simply tune-ups to the game that they were set to play on Monday afternoon. They were prepared to go into battle with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the best team in the conference. Ironically, Monday was Veteran's Day and many fans were anticipating a war between these two teams.
This was the third meeting of the season between the Bruins and the Lightning with Boston emerging victorious in the first two games by just allowing one total goal combined. Was this the game that the Lightning would get over the hump and knock off the Bruins on their home ice?
Tuukka Rask was back between the pipes for the B's. Adam McQuaid, who has a lower-body injury, did not skate in this game. He was replaced in the lineup by Matt Bartkowski. As it turned out, the depth that the B's have on the blue line proved to be the deciding factor.
Does anyone remember that brief hiccup that the Bruins experienced in their schedule last week? Well, that seems to be in the rear-view mirror. The B's knocked off the Lightning Monday afternoon by a final score of 3-0. This was by far one of their best and most complete 60 minute performances of the season. Every player skated well in both zones and were solid at the face-off circle. Gregory Campbell recorded an assist on Daniel Paille's goal, which just so happened to be his first point of the season.
The Bolts held their breath during this game when Steven Stamkos had to be stretchered off the ice. It looked like that the All-Star center broke his leg when he charged the net in pursuit of a puck. If that is the case, then he will be out for quite some time and Tampa Bay could be in trouble.
The Bruins will wrap up their five-game homestand on Thursday night when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Gold Star: Tuukka Rask...He stopped all 28 shots he faced en route to his second shutout of the season. In three meetings with Tampa Bay this season, he has stopped all but one shot.
Black Star: Shawn Thornton...This did not turn out to be a game where he could have been used effectively.