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 nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

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Acciari nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

BRIGHTON, Mass. – He hasn’t been cleared to play just yet, but fourth line energy guy Noel Acciari is closing in on a return to the Bruins lineup. 

Acciari joined in for a Bruins morning skate for the first time in 14 games at the end of last week, and practiced with the team again Monday for a morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. The 25-year-old has missed almost exactly a month with a lower body injury, and said he can thankfully now see the light at the end of the injury tunnel for a healthy return to the B’s lineup. 

“It was getting lonely with all the guys on the road, and with me just skating with Frankie [Vatrano] and Zee [Chara],” said Acciari. “It’s great to be back out there with the guys, and it’s good to be back. Each skate I feel a lot better out there and just trying to get my conditioning back. Just being back with the guys is a great feeling, and it’s a big help.”

The fourth line has been okay in Acciari’s absence, but it seemed to be lacking the same kind of energy and hard edge the Providence College standout provided when he was healthy. That was part of what led the B’s to call up the similarly rugged Anton Blidh from Providence at the end of last week, and could provide some interesting energy line options when Acciari is ready to return. 

“I’ve played with [Blidh] before, I’m used to him and I know what he brings to the table just like he knows what I can do,” said Acciari. “So it would work out well [if we played together] I think.”

Acciari has two assists and a plus-1 rating along with four penalty minutes while averaging 10:01 of ice time in 12 games this season, and proved to be very good at unnerving opponents simply by playing all-out all the time. 

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.