Lightning Strike Hands Bruins Third Straight Loss
BOSTON — (AP) Loaded with postseason experience on a roster that’s nearly identical to last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are off to another strong start.
Steven Stamkos scored his 500th career point with a tiebreaking power-play goal that sent Tampa Bay to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday afternoon.
Brian Boyle scored two goals, and Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin and Valtteri Filppula added goals for the Lightning. Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots.
It was the first win in Boston since March 25, 2010, for the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning, snapping a 10-game losing streak in TD Garden.
"It could have easily been a `Here we go again moment’ with the way we’ve struggled in this building," Stamkos said. "This is a different team. A different team from last year with a lot of experience."
Last season, the Lightning started 11-3-1 under coach Jon Cooper. In the season before it was 14-5-0.
On Monday, they dug out of an early 2-0 hole, taking advantage of Boston’s struggling young defense with a high-powered offense.
"With our team, we can score goals. When we’re down one or two I’m not really worried," Bishop said. "We kind of know what it’s all about. We’ve got pretty much the same team that we did last year. We’ve got one new guy."
Loui Eriksson had two power-play goals, and David Krejci also had one for Boston, which opened a season with three straight losses for the first time since 1999.
The Bruins have been outscored 16-7 in their first three games — all at home.
"It doesn’t matter what the situation is. We’ve got to be better defensively from the goaltender on out; defense and the forwards coming back, we’ve got to be better," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "It used to be our strength. Now it’s our weakness."
Tuukka Rask made 17 saves for the Bruins.
Boston captain Zdeno Chara played his first game after missing most of the preseason with an undisclosed upper body injury.
"We need to get better," Chara said. "I think overall we have to improve every aspect of our game."
Stamkos fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle for the milestone point that broke a 3-3 tie at 15:17 of the second period. Drouin and Filppula scored in the third.
Boyle stole the puck from winger David Pastrnak near center ice at the end of a Bruins’ power play, broke in alone on Rask and slipped a backhand between his pads, making it 3-2 just under five minutes into the second.
Boston tied it with its third power-play goal when Krejci’s shot from the point caromed into the net off Eriksson.
Trailing 2-0, the Lightning scored twice in just over a minute late in the opening period.
Boyle beat Rask with a wrister over his left shoulder at 15:42.
With Patrice Bergeron off for goaltender interference, Palat redirected a shot between Rask’s pads from the edge of the crease.
The Bruins had opened a 2-0 lead midway into the first.
Eighteen seconds after Matthew Carle was whistled for hooking, Krejci one-timed a shot past Bishop. Eriksson banged in Torey Krug’s pass from the edge of the crease, making it 2-0 at 11:02.
The Bruins signed former Boston University player Travis Roy to a one-day contract. Twenty-years ago, he suffered a spinal cord injury 11 seconds into his first shift, leaving him a paraplegic. He also dropped the ceremonial first puck, and the team made a $50,000 donation to his foundation. … Bruins winger Brad Marchand is out with a concussion sustained in Saturday’s loss to Montreal. … Lightning C Cedric Paquette has yet to play this season because of an undisclosed lower body injury. … Tampa Bay closes a three-game road swing at Detroit on Tuesday. Boston opens a two-game trip at Colorado on Wednesday.