BruinsHabs: 5 from the First

BruinsHabs: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Canadiens by a 3-0 score at dominating in pretty much every phase of the game at a raucous TD Garden.1)The Bruins are showing exactly how good and dangerous they are when properly motivated and ready for a big game. Traffic in front of the net, staunch defense in the slot area and constant offensive zone pressure against the Canadiens are in abundance for the entire period. Both the Boychuk goal and the Campbell redirect are all about the bodies flying in front of Carey Price, and a good bounce off the statuesque Hal Gill in front of the net.2)Zdeno Chara has answered in a big way for the Bruins in a game that held plenty of scrutiny for him. He notched assists on each of the first two goals and started ramping up the physicality as the period went, and dropped Mathieu Darche and Andrei Kostitsyn in the same shift at the end of the first period. The TD Garden crowd cheered loudly for Chara after his name was announced on the assist for Bostons first goal.3)Another big ovation for P.J. Axelsson, who has been in attendance for each of the last two games from Sweden. Axelsson was always a big fan favorite and a smiling personality during his long career in Boston, and still has yet to get any kind of a night of recognition at the Garden.4)Johnny Boychuk has always been something of a big gamepostseason player, and he came up big in the first period. Had a couple of bombs on the Montreal net, and finished the first period with two points and a plus-2 while riding alongside Zdeno Chara. That pairing is dominating the Habs right now.5)Carey Price looks a bit frazzled after allowing three goals on 18 shots in the first period. Doesnt look all that calm in the big game setting.

Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'

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Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'

Joe Haggerty breaks down the Boston Bruins 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and discusses their playoff chances slipping away.

Bruins' skid continues in 6-3 loss to Lightning

Bruins' skid continues in 6-3 loss to Lightning

BOSTON – The Bruins are doing it again. 

With a team that was badly in need of a win, the Bruins couldn’t get any separation from the Tampa Bay Lightning before ultimately sagging in the third period on the way to a deflating 6-3 loss at TD Garden on Thursday night. 

It marks four losses in a row for the Black and Gold with Thursday night as the worst among them, and doesn’t extinguish any of the concerns that Boston is in another late-season tailspin. 

Jonathan Drouin beat Tuukka Rask with a shot from the face-off circle that dipped underneath his glove hand for the game-winner, and Nikita Kucherov added the final two goals to give him a hat trick for a Bolts team that snapped their own three-game losing streak. 

This game had all the warning signs after a nondescript first period with the Bruins giving up goals immediately after they scored three times in the second period. The first was a David Pastrnak power play strike for his 32ndof the season, and the Lightning struck 44 seconds later with a Brayden Point rebound score after a big breakdown by Boston’s best players on the ice. 

Zdeno Chara again gave the Bruins a short-lived lead on a shorthanded goal in the second period, but Tampa Bay responded with a blistering Nikita Kucherov one-timer just 24 seconds later with the Bolts still on the power play. Boston scored again on a Riley Nash wraparound bid that he threw off the diving Victor Hedman in the crease, and Boston had a brief one-goal lead once again. 

It was 1:35 later that Anton Stralman beat Rask high to the glove side on an odd-man rush and that set up a third period where Tampa Bay scored three unanswered goals and sent the Bruins to their fourth straight loss.