Bruins keep streak alive, beat Lightning, 2-1

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Bruins keep streak alive, beat Lightning, 2-1

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- The Bruins won the battle for second place in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night at the TD Garden, as Milan Lucics 28th goal of the season, with 3:42 left in regulation, gave the Bs their first lead of the game and their seventh straight win, 2-1 over Tampa Bay.

Both the Bruins and Lightning entered the game with 81 points.

Lucic put Boston ahead after a loose puck squirted out to the left side of the net, and he finished with a wrister upstairs on Lightning goaltender Mike Smith.

The teams went into the third period tied at 1-1, and Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer was involved in both goals.

His turnover in Bostons zone, four minutes into the second period, led to an Eric Brewer shot from the high slot that beat Tim Thomas to the low-right corner. Kampfer tried clearing the zone along the left wall, but put the puck right on Blair Jones tape at the point.

Jones kept it in the Bruins zone, and dropped a pass to Brewer at the high slot, giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

But Kampfer got it right back, two minutes later, when he beat Smith with a low slap shot from the right point, tying the game at 1-1.

Kampfer rewarded the hard work of Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley in the Lightning corner, who battled on the forecheck to work the puck out to the point. Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

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.