Bruins drop series opener to Lightning, 5-2


Bruins drop series opener to Lightning, 5-2

By Mary Paoletti

BOSTON -- Home ice was no advantage for the Bruins as Tampa Bay stole the Eastern Conference Finals opener, 5-2, on Saturday night.

The bulk of the scoring came early and, for Tampa, quickly. The Lightning struck three times in less than a minute-and-a-half during the first period.

Sean Bergenheim got the first goal. Teammate Steve Downie forced Bruins blueliner Dennis Seidenberg off his stick with a solid forecheck. When a rebound came loose his way, Seidenberg tried to kick the puck out, only to send it a net-hugging Bergenheim. Tampa Bay was on the board at 11:15.

Brett Clark scored -- his first goal of the playoffs -- 19 seconds later on a soft backhand bid.

A Tomas Kaberle turnover by the Boston net set Teddy Purcell up for Tampa's third goal of the period.

Boston's first-period goal was scored by rookie Tyler Seguin. The 19-year old burst through the neutral zone, sending Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin spinning. Seguin beat Dwayne Roloson glove side with one quick, pretty move to make the score 3-1.

Chris Kelly scored in garbage time to give Boston itssecond tally, but the game was far gone. Simon Gagne had buried Tampa'sfifth and final dagger -- an empty netter -- with less than threeminutes to play in regulation. The goal was tacked onto Marc-AndreBergeron third-period power play goal from the left point.

Boston will look to bounce back in Game 2 on Tuesday.
Mary Paoletti can be reached at Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way.