TAMPA The four-game road trip is still a work in progress for the Bruins, but their strong suits are abandoning them in moments of hockey duress.
Dominic Moore beat Tim Thomas glove side with a wrister from the edge of the left face-off circle, and once again the Bruins lost a third period battle in a 5-3 loss to the Bolts at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
A third period score by Tampa Bay Lightning wide body Ryan Malone off a redirect in front of the Boston net with Bruins killer Moore buzzing on that one as well -- gave the Bolts a lead, but a Daniel Paille shorthanded breakaway backhander evened things up temporarily in the final minutes.
The Bruins had entered the final 20 minutes tied at 2-2, and for the second game in a row couldnt outscore their opponent in a third period theyve dominated all season.
The Lightning had taken an early lead on a Vinny Lecavalier garbage man goal cleaning up a loose puck in front of the net, but that set up Nathan Horton heroics in the second period. Less than 24 hours after getting called out by his coach for failing to play with enough oomph, Horton potted a pair of goals while attacking the net with the kind of aggression that makes him a special player.
The second goal arrived via a wrist shot from the high slot after Horton collected a loose puck from an Andrew Ference shot, and set up Malones heroics in the final stanza. The goals also gives Horton 16 tallies this year, and leaves him in a tie with Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand for second place on Bostons goal-scoring list this season.
The Bruins were excellent in the second period, but far too inconsistent in the opening and closing periods of another erratic effort on the road in Florida.