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, Smith hold on against Bruins

BOSTON — It wasn't perfect, but it sufficed in times like these.

After the morning skate on Thursday at TD Banknorth Garden, Lightning goaltender Mike Smith considered the new helmet motif he and his painter in Toronto had settled upon after his trade from the Stars.

"This was the first one," he said. "We had a whole bunch of ideas. One had Borat on it in a banana hammock, so it was pretty funny."

But it had no chance of actually making it into a game. This one beside him had a white lightning bolt cleaving an otherwise serene sunset-at-the-beach motif with palm trees, a conch shell and a crab. It's not exactly what he's looking for, and he will have a new one by next season. But like Thursday's performance, it was good enough.

Smith made 35 saves, weathered an early Boston onslaught and a late rush as Tampa Bay defended a one-goal lead, a shot to the collarbone that winded him and a dull skate that caused him to fall flat in the third period as the Lightning beat the Bruins 3-1.

In winning consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 14, the Lightning took small steps in preparing for next season while Boston — currently seventh in the East — continued taking steps backward in preparing for its less-certain postseason.

Both the Lightning and Smith persevered.

There was the stop against Phil Kessel on a breakaway up the middle in the second period, the sprawling tip of a puck from Marc Savard in the crease just four minutes later. Another lunge to spirit the puck from an on-rushing Peter Schaefer in the third. And there was shot after potential-tying shot in the last six minutes.

But the Lightning defense hunkered in front of Smith, relegating the Bruins to shots from the outside that were deflected or smothered until Vinny Lecavalier, playing in his 700th game, scored an empty-netter with eight seconds left.

Boston outshot the Lightning 36-26.

"It wasn't a perfect third period, but we fought through it," coach John Tortorella said. "I thought we did a really good job in the middle of the ice."

Smith, who allowed four goals on 24 shots in his last start, withstood an early Boston onslaught and 7-1 shots advantage to settle in.

"You need your goalie to back you up when you're not on your game, and I think he did that," defenseman Dan Boyle said of the opening minutes.

Jeff Halpern, continuing an incendiary first nine games with the Lightning, redirected a Filip Kuba blast between Tim Thomas' legs for a 1-0 lead eight seconds into a first-period power play.

And Andreas Karlsson gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead at 7:43 of the second when he skated onto a loose puck in the neutral zone and scored — for the first time since Jan. 1 and just the second time this season — on a breakaway.

Chuck Kobasew cut the margin to 2-1 with 12:03 left when he tipped down a shot from Marco Sturm, but Smith held on.

"Two or three games, we've lost it in the last two or three minutes," Smith said.

"My stomach got a little tighter with two minutes left in this one, but we were fortunate to come out on top."

Lightning 1 1 1 3
Bruins 0 0 1 1

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Halpern 15 (Kuba, Boyle), 7:41 (pp). PenaltiesSchaefer, Bos (hooking), 7:33; Picard, TB (hooking), 18:09.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Karlsson 2 (Lundin), 7:43. PenaltyStewart, TB (boarding), 9:32.

Third Period3, Boston, Kobasew 20 (Sturm, Wideman), 7:57. 4, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 37 (St. Louis, Ranger), 19:52 (en). PenaltyLecavalier, TB (hooking), 12:17. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 12-10-4—26. Boston 15-12-9—36. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 1; Boston 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Smith 14-14-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Boston, Thomas 23-17-4 (25-23). A13,373 (17,565).

Lightning 3

Bruins 1

Lightning, Smith hold on against Bruins 03/13/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2008 7:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  3. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  4. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.