Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty shares the highlights from Boston's 4-3 shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
GOLD STAR: Johnny Boychuk scored the game-tying goal on a Johnny Rocket from the right point after a Patrice Bergeron power play strike had been disallowed by a ref’s intent to blow a play dead. That wasn’t all for No. 55, however. He also cut off a Tyler Johnson rush to the net later in the third period that could have been trouble for Boston, and then finished the play by body-slamming Johnson in the corner. Boychuk finished with two points, a plus-2, 20:49 of ice time, and six generated shot attempts in a playoff-style performance. The Bruins will need that out of Boychuk just about every night once they hit the postseason, and he didn’t disappoint against the Lightning.
BLACK EYE: Zero shots on net, two giveaways and a minus-2 for Teddy Purcell in 16:19 of ice time for the Tampa Bay Lightning forward wasn’t even close to good enough in a game the Lightning needed to have. That’s not very good for the player that stepped into the vacant right wing role with Marty St. Louis out of the picture for the Lightning. Steve Stamkos has a rust excuse for his erratic shot on Saturday night, and Ryan Callahan is still figuring out his role with Tampa Bay. But there was no excuse for Purcell’s no show.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were down 3-2 headed into the third period, and could have packed things in after allowing the go-ahead goal just 1:02 after tying the game up on Carl Soderberg’s breakaway score. But instead they took the game over in the third period while outshooting the Lightning by a 13-4 margin, and pushed things into overtime and the shootout. The B’s also could have been buckled when a Patrice Bergeron goal was disallowed in the third period, but they pushed through the for the game-tying score from Johnny Boychuk. The third period was an impressive show of character.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ondrej Palat had a couple of points (one goal, one assist), a couple of shots on net and five registered hits in 21:37 of ice time, and pushed the pace along with fellow youngster Tyler Johnson throughout the game. The emergence of players like Palat, Johnson and Alex Killorn paved the way for the Lightning to deal away Marty St. Louis to the New York Rangers, and very nearly carried them to victory on Saturday night. It’s pretty clear Steve Stamkos isn’t quite up to 100 percent yet, but the Lightning are going to be a handful once he’s going full bore again.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of consecutive victories for the Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning with March 13, 2012 as the last time Boston fell to Tampa Bay.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We battled hard and I thought it was a good character win.” –Claude Julien on the Bruins, who battled back from a 2-0 deficit to a shootout win in a game where they strengthened as the game went along.