|Lightning lead Bruins after two||11.22.10 at 9:04 pm ET|
The Bruins are down, 3-0, after two periods, and yes, Steven Stamkos has something to do with it.
Randy Jones threw a shot on net from the point, and with Adam Hall and Dana Tyrell in front, Andrew Ference tended to Hall. This left Tyrell to tip it up and past Rask, who was likely still trying to track the puck at 3:26.
It wasn’t shortly after that the B’s worst fear was realized. Game-planning against the Lightning probably starts with stopping Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, but the two got on the score sheet when St. Louis picked up his 19th assist of the season on Stamkos’ 20th goal at 5:15. Teddy Purcell added on at 11:36, grabbing a rebound off the boards and tipping it in.
Through two periods, the Lightning are outshooting the B’s, 28-15. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with three shots on goal.
|Bruins, Lightning scoreless after first period||at 8:13 pm ET|
The Bruins spent much of the first period trying to keep up with the tempo of the Lightning, but after one the two teams are scoreless.
Tuukka Rask has faced 11 shots, saving them all. The B’s limited Steven Stamkos to one shot on Rask, though Martin St. Louis got three on the netminder.
The Bruins have just seven shots on Mike Smith. Tyler Seguin and Shawn Thornton lead the B’s with two. Thornton had the game’s only penalty thus far when he got the gate for interference at 17:55 of the period.
|Tuukka Rask expected to start for Bruins in first matchup of Tyler Seguin and Steven Stamkos||at 2:39 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask was first off the ice on Monday, indicating he’ll be between the pipes when the Bruins take on Mike Smith and the Lightning in Tampa Bay. Guy Boucher‘s club is currently riding a three-game win streak.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The B’s are 7-1-0 on the road, with their lone loss coming on Nov. 5 in Washington. They have 10 goals in their last two road games, seven of which came in their come-from-behind victory over the Penguins on Nov. 10.
- The Lightning are 4-2-1 at home, and 2-2-1 in their last five home games.
- Michael Ryder saw a dip in his playing time on Saturday. Ryder entered the contest averaging 14:01 a night, but got just 9:50 of ice time. It was the first time all season that Ryder played less than 12 minutes, let alone 10.
- Between the two starting goalies tonight, just one goal has been allowed in their last starts. Rask blanked the Panthers in Boston while Smith allowed one goal on 30 shots against the Sabers in Buffalo.
- Steven Stamkos is out of his mind. He’s got 19 goals this season, with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Semin a distant five goals behind him for the lead league.
Stamkos had 23 goals as a rookie, and given all the parallels between he and Tyler Seguin, this scribe is holding firm on the projection that Seguin finishes the season in that ballpark. Seguin is on pace for 18.
STORYLINES GOING IN
- After one game of having Seguin as a third line winger, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports that Seguin will swap spots with Jordan Caron and jump up to the second line. The initial reaction is that this is a great move for multiple reasons. For starters, it returns Seguin to the generation-spanning line that looked so intriguing in the preseason and puts the young scorer on a line with two of the top-three guys on the team in assists. Mark Recchi leads the B’s will 11, while Patrice Bergeron is tied for second with Nathan Horton (10).
This move will also be good for the team in that it gets a slumping Caron off the second line. He hasn’t scored in 10 games, picking up just two assists over that period.
Expect the lines to look like this:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Seguin – Bergeron – Recchi
Caron – Wheeler – Ryder
Marchand – Campbell – Thornton
- It should be interesting to see how Rask, who is tied for third in the league with a .939 save percentage, fares against an offense as productive as Tampa Bay’s. Rask had a 41-save shutout the last time out against the Panthers, but the Tampa Bay is averaging 3.1 goals per game (5th in the NHL) and have totaled 14 goals in their three-game winning streak.
- Special teams could be key in this game, as it matches the third-best power play in the league (Tampa Bay scores on 24.4 of its power plays) against the Bruins’s 89.9 penalty kill percentage, which is second in the league.
|Julien: ‘It’s our own fault’||03.26.10 at 3:33 am ET|
Just 49 seconds into the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien had a classic ‘I can’t believe what I just saw’ look on his face.
He couldn’t believe Steven Stamkos, one of the most skilled goal-scorers in the game, was spotted a good two strides offsides into the Bruins zone without being whistled for the infraction. That break allowed him to take a near-perfect pass from Steve Downie and beat Tuukka Rask for an early 1-0 lead.
But afterward, as much as he wanted to blame the missed offsides for costing them the first goal of the game and some valuable early momentum, he just couldn’t bring himself to also overlook the responsibility his team bears for coming up flat on home ice at an extremely inopportune time.
“It was, yeah, I don’t want to say it was just one of those nights, but, like I said, certainly with every little thing that happened, they found a way,” Julien said. “The first one, again is an offside goal. But it still doesn’t mean there’s something we could have done about it, we could have reacted better. So you got to blame yourself for those kind of things.
“We didn’t have a good start tonight,” Julien said. “The opportunities that we gave them, they capitalized on. Defensively, I didn’t think we were as sharp as we have been. When you spot the type of players that scored for them tonight some opportunities, they certainly will make the best of it. So it’s our own fault for not being sharp without the puck, sharper [without the puck].”
As a result of Thursday’s letdown game, the Bruins missed a golden opportunity to move up in the standings as Philadelphia lost in overtime to Minnesota. The Flyers now stand two points ahead of the Bruins for 7th in the East.
“Your number one concern is your team,” Julien said. “It doesn’t mean you don’t look at the scoreboard after it’s all said and done, but right now our concern is we need to bounce back and we need to win the next hockey game. When the next hockey game happens to be in your home building, where we got to get better as well. So that’s probably the most important concern right now.”
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