Bruins Beat: Bruins: The Beat Goes On

In a game that if it had a soundtrack, it could be…The Four Seasons’ “Oh What A Night.” The Tampa Bay Lightning proved to not be a very nice host as they took on the visiting Bruins, toyed with them, and then ended the game with the home team winning the two points in overtime. The Bruins’ entourage included the players’ fathers who accompanied the team on the annual “Dads Trip.” For the team it was a struggle right to the end. Discipline was lacking from the locals who drew seven penalties, two in the third period, giving an edge to the Lightning who had boasted success on their power play with a 34% average. Boston’s Penalty Killing crew was diligent while killing five of six Tampa extra man advantages. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery liked the resilience of his team, fighting back, but he was not happy that they also squandered two third period leads. Monty’s words did not fall on deaf ears, as Charlie Coyle, who posted his sixth goal of the season added – “You’ve got to play to the end and it’s a shame we couldn’t pull it off. We had a couple of third period leads and we can’t afford to give those up. We’ve got to make sure we play the right way and we’re doing the right thing, especially with a lead.” Even more frustrating was the fact that Boston took just five shots in the third period, and scored on three of them, only to go on to lose.

In a surprising move, Montgomery chose to play Jeremy Swayman in back-to-back games, for the first time this season, moving away from his usual alternating two-goalie system. Swayman carried the heavy load on a busy night; setting a career high by stopping 41 of 46 shots he faced in the 5-4-overtime loss. The game-winning goal came off the stick of Brandon Hagel who took advantage of a poor line change by Boston, scoring on a breakaway just 1:19 into the overtime on the only shot taken in the overtime period. The Tampa opportunity came about when Steven Stamkos took a slick pass from Nikita Kucherov and put the puck behind a helpless Swayman with less than five seconds remaining in regulation time, to earn the tie and the overtime session. While overtime had not been a positive thing for the 9-6-4 Lightning, having lost their previous four overtime opportunities, they were able to notch their first OT winner in this one. Tampa was able to score in each of the four periods (1-1-2-1) as they exhibited good puck management throughout the game. Bruins scorers on the night were Pavel Zacha (7), David Pastrnak (12), John Beecher (2), and Coyle (6). Pasta’s goal and assist on the night continued his seven-game point streak with 15 points total on four goals and 11 assists.

The Bruins’ Florida road trip continues tonight (Wednesday 7:00pm) with a final stop to take on the Panthers who are currently riding a two-game win streak. Florida with 25 points to date is tied with the New York Rangers for second place in the Eastern Conference, behind the Bruins’ 29. The Detroit Red Wings will be at TD Garden for a Friday 1:00pm matinee, and the Bruins head back on the road for a pair of stops in New York on Saturday at 1:00pm, and then on Monday, 7:00pm, they will be hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets who have lost four games in a row, and stand in last place of the Metropolitan Division, and the Eastern Conference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *