The Tampa Bay Lightning flew into Boston early this morning to take on the Bruins at TD Garden. This was the make up game for the one in February that was cancelled due to the snow storm they had. The Bolts wore Boston Strong stickers on their helmets, which are to be autographed and auctioned off to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
They came out strong and played hard the entire night. They dominated at times, but Tuukka Rask was all too quick tonight. The first period went scoreless. At 5:21 Chris Kelly took 2 minutes for hi-sticking. Benoit Pouliot and Andrew Ference got into a scrap at 14:00 and both received a 5 minute major. I know that they have to give the penalties, but I didn’t feel that it was deserved for Pouliot. Ference went after him like a rabid chihuahua. Pouliot held him off, only took a swing or two to avoid being clobbered. He clearly did not want it to be a drawn out fight. It didn’t look like just a hockey fight, this looked personal for Ference. He’s a piece of work anyway. Adam McQuaid finished off the period at 19:16 with 2 minutes for roughing. Shots on goal were Tampa Bay 9, Boston 4.
Boston came out with something to prove in the second period. At 4:22 Dennis Seidenberg got a slap shot past Anders Lindback, opening up the scoring. Patrice Bergeron shot the puck over the glass at 5:30 and received a delay of game penalty. The Lightning just couldn’t get one past Rask to make the power play goal, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The second and last goal of the game was scored by Daniel Paille at 13:31. He slipped in a wrist shot, raising the score to 2-0 Boston. Then at 17:22 Keith Aulie and Milan Lucic got into it, both getting a 5 minute major for fighting. This was just a good ol’ hockey fight. Well, not good for Aulie, who started it by a couple of harder than necessary crosschecks to Lucic. You know Lucic and his temper. He went crazy on Aulie, not even giving him a chance to remove his helmet which bears a visor. It was not pretty. Boston came on top of the fights tonight, that’s for sure. Keith deserved the penalty however, after the hard crosschecking. Shots on goal for the 2nd were Tampa 9, Boston 8.
The third period was basically Boston acting like they were on a penalty kill. There were no goals, and Victor Hedman took the only penalty of the period at 16:43 for hooking. The shots on goal were even at 12.
All in all it was a good game, entertaining to watch. The Lightning fell 2-0 to the Bruins, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. They skated fast, they handled the puck well. They took as many shots as they could but Tuukka Rask was a solid wall and made some amazing saves. Hey, you gotta give credit where credit is due. Lindback didn’t do so bad himself. Tampa’s defense looked great. I can really see the team coming together. Had this been a full season, the team would for sure get better and be a force. However they got hurt by the shortened season, as did a lot of teams. I’m getting excited for next season already! That doesn’t mean that I won’t be there on Saturday, giving my full support for their last game. Just because they didn’t make it to the playoffs doesn’t mean that they aren’t going give it everything they have on Saturday. Honestly, I am not displeased with the team at all for this loss tonight.