BOSTON — Lightning G Anders Lindback said the team was "maybe on our heels" in the minutes after star C Steve Stamkos, with a broken right tibia, was taken off the TD Garden ice on a stretcher.
As C Nate Thompson said, "It's tough. It's a somber moment. When you have a stretcher come out on the ice, hockey is pushed aside. You wonder about a guy's health and hope he's okay.
"But we're still in a hockey game. Guys are talking as a group and you have to get back at it."
And for the most part Tampa Bay did, except for a 20-second stretch in the second period, about five minutes after Stamkos was hurt, in which Boston scored twice during a 3-0 victory.
"We battled," Lightning captain Marty St. Louis said. "We just couldn't get the puck to the net."
The loss stopped the Lightning's four-game winning streak and extended its losing streak at Boston, including the 2011 playoffs, to nine games.
After a rough first period in which it was outshot 12-7 with bad passes and puck decisions as it tried to deal with the Bruins' forecheck, Tampa Bay (12-5-0) seemed to find its rhythm.
But then Stamkos went down with 7:11 left in the second period, and a 0-0 game became 2-0 when Patrice Bergeron scored with 2:51 left off a scramble in front of the net and Daniel Paille scored with 2:31 left off a two-on-one.
Jarome Iginla's third-period empty-netter finished the scoring and Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for his second shutout of the season and 18th of his career.
Lindback, making his first start since Oct. 27, was solid with 23 saves and kept the first period from getting out of hand.
After that, "We didn't give up much," coach Jon Cooper said. "We pressured. I really like the way we responded."
Said Thompson: "It showed a lot of character."
Bad karma: TD Garden hasn't been nice to Stamkos, who in the second period of Game 7 in the 2011 Eastern Conference final was hit in the face by a deflected shot from Boston's Johnny Boychuk. Stamkos, bleeding, left the ice but returned five minutes later wearing a full face cage.
More injuries: Cooper joked he blamed Bruins coach Claude Julien for not only Stamkos' injury but ones to defensemen Sami Salo (lower body) and Keith Aulie (upper body) which left the Lightning with just 15 skaters in the third period.
"I read his quote and he said, 'They've been injury free,' " Cooper said. "I'm obviously being facetious. He's absolutely right. We went 16 games without anyone getting hurt and the snowball went downhill (Monday). It was a tiny little guy and it ended up a mountain when it got to the bottom of the hill."
Odds and ends: The Bruins are 3-0-0 against the Lightning this season and have outscored Tampa Bay 11-1. … C Valtteri Filppula, who took Stamkos' spot on the first line, played his 500th NHL game.
First—None. Penalties—Kelly, Bos (goaltender interference), 5:37.
Second—1, Boston, Bergeron 6 (Eriksson, Krug), 17:09. 2, Boston, Paille 2 (Campbell, Bartkowski), 17:29. Penalties—Hamilton, Bos (delay of game), 2:30.
Third—3, Boston, Iginla 4 (Lucic, Krejci), 19:01 (en). Penalties—Campbell, Bos (cross-checking), 11:02; Hedman, TB (high-sticking), 14:23; Chara, Bos (interference), 16:02. Shots—Tampa Bay 7-11-10—28. Boston 12-6-8—26. Power plays—Tampa Bay 0 of 4; Boston 0 of 1. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Lindback 1-3-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Boston, Rask 10-4-1 (28-28). A—17,565 (17,565). T—2:25.
Lightning at Canadiens
When/where: 7:30, Bell Centre, Montreal
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM
Key stats: Lightning RW and Montreal native Marty St. Louis has 17 goals, 39 points in 46 games against the Canadiens. … Tampa Bay has lost three straight in Montreal by a combined 11-5. … The Canadiens have outscored opponents 15-7 in the first period. … Montreal's P.K. Subban is second among league defensemen with 16 points and tied for the lead with 13 assists. … Tampa Bay is 2-0-0 in the second of back-to-back games.