Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum.
1) Not a very crisp first period for the Bruins as it took more than 12 minutes to get their first shot on net, and didn’t really get any scoring chances until a power play at the very end of the period. Clearly Bruins need to push the offensive envelope a little bitter more than they’re currently doing.
2) Good bout between Shawn Thornton and Keith Aulie. Aulie is bigger than Thornton, but he’s not really an enforcer or fighter. Still he hung in with Thornton, and traded punches during an extended fight where No. 22 caught him with a few clean shots.
3) Somebody forgot to pack the SPF-50 in Claude Julien’s travel bag. He’s sporting some serious red color on the Tampa Bay bench tonight. He’s not a big golfer, so it must have been beach time yesterday.
4) Two shots on net for Sami Salo and Torey Krug to lead both teams, and that really indicates that neither team’s forwards are doing a good job getting in close to the net.
5) David Krejci and Chris Kelly are 0-for-5 in the face-off circle through the first period. You don’t see that very often.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum.
1) Not a good night for the Dougie Hamilton/Zdeno Chara pairing as they were on ice for a couple of goals against. Hamilton stumbled allowing Tyler Johnson to create the first goal scored by Ondrej Palat on the follow-up, and Chara just completely lost Valtteri Filppula in front of the net on the second goal. Tonight is a strike against that D-pairing remaining intact as the shutdown pairing for the postseason. Hamilton is in the same boat as Matt Bartkowski attempting to fend off Andrej Meszaros from pushing them out of the top six defensemen, and nights like tonight aren’t helping his case.
2) Another goal for the Merlot Line: their fifth goal produced in the last five games with Daniel Paille scoring this time around after a good entry pass off the boards from Gregory Campbell.
3) Carl Soderberg continues to play well at his natural center spot, and managed to stay on-side while receiving a stretch pass from Chris Kelly before sliding a shot between the leg pads of Ben Bishop. That was a smooth, smooth move for the Big Fella.
4) Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic and David Krejci with two shots on net, no points and a combined minus-6 tonight. Lucic has been pretty good, but the rest of the line hasn’t been anywhere near good enough.
5) The go-ahead goal allowed 1:02 after Boston’s game-tying goal is exactly the kind of momentum-killing shift that has dogged the Bruins throughout this season. The bulk of the blame goes to Chara losing Valtteri Filppula in front of the net, but the whole team looked way too wide-eyed on the shift with Tuukka Rask seemingly giving up on the puck before it was past him.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the shootout by a 4-3 score after the first 65 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum.
1) Not a good night at all for David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla, who finished a combined minus-6 and seven shots on net through three periods and overtime. They played better in the third period and OT, but just not good enough for the B’s top line.
2) Dougie Hamilton finished dead-last among B’s defenseman with 17:43 of ice time, and appeared to be nailed to the bench for most of the third period and all of overtime. Hamilton was on ice for a pair of breakdowns for Boston’s shutdown pairing with Zdeno Chara, and didn’t have his strongest game in the defensive zone.
3) Reilly Smith get the shootout game-winner, which was big for a player that’s gone without a goal in his last 11 games. He was also taken off the line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to start the third period, and perhaps that sparked the young player down the stretch.
4) A goal and an assist in 20:49 of ice time for Johnny Boychuk, including the huge game-tying goal in the third period. He also made a spectacular defensive play in the third period cutting off a Tyler Johnson rush to the net, and then body-slamming the Lightning forward in the corner to finish off the play.
5) Once again another fantastic 65 minutes of hockey decided by the lame novelty act known as the shootout. When will the madness stop?