By Joe Haggerty
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 email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs