Bruins shut out Lightning, take 2-1 series lead

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Bruins shut out Lightning, take 2-1 series lead

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

TAMPA, Fla. Its often called a perfect road hockey game, and thats what the Bruins played here Thursday night while shocking the Lightning in their own tropical backyard.

A David Krejci goal just 69 seconds into the game caught Tampa Bay napping, and Andrew Ference added another in the third period to give the Bruins a 2-0 victory at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The victory featured a much improved defensive effort, plus a much improved Tim Thomas from the very start of the game, and it gives the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

A shutout was exactly what the doctor ordered after the Bruins had allowed 10 goals in the first two games of the series.

They jumped all over the Lightning early in the game, and for the first time in the series scored the first goal of the game to take an early advantage and improved to 7-0 during this playoff run when they seize the lead first.

It was much more of a back-to-basics effort for both teams as the Bruins regained their defensive responsibility. It was up to Bostons interior defense to hold strong and keep the Bolts out of the middle of the attack zone for the duration of the game, and they managed to execute that plan.

Thomas also enjoyed his best game of the series while holding strong for 60 minutes. His night included solid work with two stupendous saves in the first period: an initial stop on Vinny Lecavalier's spinning shot and a smothering of a Teddy Purcell follow from the slot area.

Andrew Ference's goal through a Chris Kelly screen midway through the third period was all the insurance Boston would need to take home a huge road victory. Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.