BOSTON -- The talking points from the Bruins' 3-0 win over the Lightning on Monday afternoon . . .
GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask now has a 3-0-0 record with a 0.33 goals-against average and .a 988 save percentage against the Tampa Bay Lightning after his 28-save shutout. There weren’t a lot of high-degree-of-difficulty saves against Marty St. Louis -- or Steven Stamkos before he was injured in the second period -- but Rask was able to track everything through high traffic in front of the net Rask is second in the NHL with a 1.52 goals against average and is pacing the league with a .948 save percentage after his second shutout of the season.
BLACK EYE: The game of hockey in general, and the NHL in particular, were big losers on Monday as Steven Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia that could conceivably knock him out for the rest of the season, and most certainly ends any chance he had of competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Stamkos was hustling on the backcheck when he lost his balance in a collision with Dougie Hamilton and shattered his right leg against a goal post that didn’t give away on impact. Stamkos had to be wheeled off the ice on a stretcher, and the Tampa Bay Lightning lose their game-changing player.
TURNING POINT: It was a different Lightning injury, this one to Sami Salo, that helped get things moving in Boston’s direction. Salo injured a leg in a collision with Carl Soderberg behind the net, and then slowly skated back to the bench in obvious pain. That opened up the ice for a Brad Marchand rush into the offensive zone that ended with Patrice Bergeron snapping home a loose puck during a mad scramble in front for the first goal of the game. Twenty seconds later Daniel Paille added another goal against a shell-shocked Lightning club that was understandably back on its heels.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Bergeron/Marchand/Loui Eriksson line really broke things open for the Black and Gold. It was Marchand’s best game of the season and the line’s best game together, highlighting how important No. 63 is to what the other two guys are doing out on the ice. Marchand had a nifty one-on-one partial breakaway in the first period, hit a post in the second, then created the team’s first goal when he pushed the puck up the left wing. Eriksson was held without a shot on net but did pick up an assist on Bergeron’s goal for a point in three straight games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the new placement for the Bruins in the Atlantic Division after ripping off three wins at home during a key five-game home stand vs. predominantly divisional opponents.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s definitely a long road, and I wish him the best. It’s a part of the game that is not a positive thing . . . especially with one of the key faces of the game. He’s becoming the face of the game now; one of the key faces of the NHL, and [it’s] an Olympic year – a lot of things that are negative about it for his own personal game. It’s unfortunate” – Gregory Campbell, who knows a thing or two about coming back from a broken leg, on watching Stamkos go down with a broken right tibia in the second period.