Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning falls to Bruins

TAMPA — Lightning rookie Cory Conacher prides himself on being fearless, playing a lot bigger than his 5-foot-8, 180-pound frame.

So as Conacher traded cross-checks Thursday night with Bruins 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman Zdeno Chara, it didn't matter the magnitude of the mismatch. Not even when Chara gave the wing a couple whacks to the head, earning a roughing penalty.

"I definitely had to check my pants a little bit," Conacher joked, smiling. "It's important for me not to back down from guys that are taller than me or twice the size of me. You give me a shove, I'll shove back."

The Lightning lost 4-2 to the Bruins before a sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, but it answered coach Guy Boucher's challenge to match the compete level and physicality of one of the top teams in the conference for a full 60 minutes.

"It was probably the most intense game of the year by far," Boucher said. "Our players really went to war, and wanted this game. But we got beat by a better team. That's what we've got to aim for, to improve to be able to beat that kind of team."

Tampa Bay (8-7-2) beat itself early on, with miscues in its zone leading to two goals by Boston in the first four minutes, including the first of two by Nathan Horton.

"Down 2-0 in the first five minutes of the game is a tough way to play," Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos said.

Stamkos started the Lightning's comeback just past the midway point of the period with a goal, and Conacher tied the score midway through the second on an odd-man rush, snapping his eight-game scoring drought.

But the stalemate didn't last long. Brad Marchand scored five minutes later to give the Bruins the lead for good. On the play, Tyler Seguin's shot was blocked by Matt Carle, but the puck was deflected right to the stick of Marchand.

"Not much we could do on it," Boucher said. "Defensemen played it exactly like they should. That was tough to take."

The Bruins' penalty kill has been extremely tough to crack, and it has the league's best road percentage. "Nobody scores against them," Boucher said. That continued Thursday, with Tampa Bay going 0-for-3 on the power play, including 0-for-2 the third period.

"We couldn't even get in the zone," Stamkos said. "It's tough to score on the power play when you're not set up."

Though wing Teddy Purcell said the recent power play struggles (3-for-30) have been frustrating, that the Lightning hung in and wasn't intimidated by the Bruins was a "good measuring stick" and a "sign in the right direction."

But even Purcell shook his head at the sight of Conacher taking on Chara.

"I don't know what he's doing cross-checking Chara there. I mean, he's barking up the wrong tree," Purcell quipped. "But he's in your face, he doesn't back down from anybody."

Thursday, neither did the Lightning.

Bruins 2 1 1 4
Lightning 1 1 0 2
Bruins 2 1 1 4
Lightning 1 1 0 2

First Period1, Boston, Horton 5 (Hamilton), 1:11. 2, Boston, P.Bergeron 3 (Marchand), 3:50. 3, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 11 (Purcell, M.Bergeron), 8:13. PenaltiesHamilton, Boston (high-sticking), 4:07.

Second Period4, Tampa Bay, Conacher 6 (Purcell, Stamkos), 9:00. 5, Boston, Marchand 9 (Seguin, P.Bergeron), 13:58. PenaltiesChara, Boston (roughing), 19:35.

Third Period6, Boston, Horton 6 (Chara, Hamilton), 2:33. PenaltiesMcQuaid, Boston (tripping), 14:15; Lecavalier, Tampa Bay (tripping), 20:00. Shots on GoalBoston 8-12-6—26. Tampa Bay 5-12-9—26. Power-play opportunitiesBoston 0 of 0; Tampa Bay 0 of 3. GoaliesBoston, Rask 8-1-2 (26 shots-24 saves). Tampa Bay, Lindback 7-4-1 (26-22).

Lightning falls to Bruins 02/21/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 11:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs

    Bucs

    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  2. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  3. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.