Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning beat Boston Bruins but have problems on special teams

They outplayed Boston five on five in the shootout win but were lacking on the power play and penalty kill.
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) [ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP]
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) [ELISE AMENDOLA | AP]
Published Oct. 18
Updated Oct. 18

BOSTON — Five-on-five play, check. Special teams, not so much.

The Lightning pulled their pieces together and played a strong game at even strength against the Bruins on Thursday, but their 4-3 shootout win showed that they still have work to do on the power play and penalty kill.

“Our five-on-five play was fantastic,” Kevin Shattenkirk said. “We were smart with the puck in the neutral zone. When we did get it into their zone, we were hounds on the puck.”

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: Jon Cooper was asked to speak to the Boston College hockey team

At even strength the Lightning outscored the Bruins 3-0. The problem was that Boston scored on three of their five power plays.

The first problem was that the Lightning gave the Bruins five power plays. The second was giving up the goals.

“That’s probably the best power play in the league,” coach Jon Cooper said of Boston. “Okay, you give them one (goal), maybe you give them two, but you can’t give them three. It doesn’t help when you take five (penalties).”

In two straight games, both wins, the Lightning have taken five penalties in each. Against the Canadiens on Tuesday, they killed off four of the five.

The other difference between the games was that the Lightning scored on its only power play Tuesday. They came up blank on three power plays against Boston. On two advantages in the first period, they totaled two shots. They spent more time chasing down the puck than anything else.

“It should never have gotten to that,” Cooper said. “You get the 3-2 lead (as the Lightning did late in regulation) and the game has to be over there. We let a point slip away to a division rival that we didn’t think we should have.”

The Lightning took that lead on Kevin Shattenkirk’s goal with 4:47 left in the third. Anthony Cirelli took a tripping penalty about a minute later, and that led to David Pastrnak’s second power-play goal of the game. That goal saved the Bruins a point in the standings.

Cirelli is typically a very low-penalty player. He averaged one every seven games last year. This year he has two in the first six. That’s still not a lot — and it’s a small sample size — but it is an increase.

Victor Hedman, Yanni Gourde and Mikhail Sergachev each have more penalty minutes than games played. Again, it’s a small sample size, but it’s not a good trend.

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: The team's Montreal natives advised Diana C. Nearhos on how to experience their city.

The Lightning started the season wanting to cut down on penalties, and instead, they’ve gone the other way.

This game was not all bad. As Shattenkirk said, the five-on-five play was sharp. This was a case of getting a win when recurring troubles overshadowed the good things.

“It’s a testament to the team to lose the special-team game 3-0 and still win the hockey game,” Cooper said.

Brayden Point said the Lightning’s intensity was high, which was another point they wanted to improve. The Lightning came out hard, driving the play to start the game.

But then the Bruins scored first, on Pastrnak’s first power-play goal midway through the first period, and that shifted momentum. The teams traded goals until Shattenkirk’s third-period score followed Mathieu Joseph’s goal that tied it at 2 midway through the second period.

Steven Stamkos pulled out the win in the shootout. After three rounds without a goal, he made it look simple. Stamkos landed a shot above Tuukka Rask’s blocker.

Andrei Vasilevskiy followed with a save on Jake DeBrusk to secure the win.

“Eight out of 12 points in a six-game road trip, we’ll take that,” Cooper said. “That’s making-the-playoffs hockey. Now we can’t rest when we get home.”

The Lightning begin a three-game homestand Saturday against the Avalanche.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

Lightning 1-1-1-0—4

Bruins 1-1-1-0—3

Tampa Bay won shootout 1-0.

First Period—1, Boston, Pastrnak 7 (Bergeron, Krug), 9:34 (pp). 2, Tampa Bay, Point 3 (Hedman, Gourde), 19:59. Penalties—Sergachev, TB, (holding), 9:27 Kuraly, BOS, (hooking), 11:04 Bergeron, BOS, (slashing), 16:09.

Second Period—3, Boston, Bergeron 2 (Marchand, Pastrnak), 7:26 (pp). 4, Tampa Bay, Joseph 2 (Cernak, Killorn), 10:32. Penalties—Verhaeghe, TB, (tripping), 2:15 Gourde, TB, (interference), 6:23 Cernak, TB, (interference), 17:56.

Third Period—5, Boston, Pastrnak 8 (Marchand, Krug), 16:55 (pp). Penalties—Grzelcyk, BOS, (hooking), 8:25 Cirelli, TB, (tripping), 16:08.

Overtime_None. Penalties—Marchand, BOS, (roughing), 5:00.

Shootout—Tampa Bay 1 (Hedman NG, Point NG, Kucherov NG, Stamkos G), Boston 0 (Coyle NG, Pastrnak NG, Marchand NG, DeBrusk NG).

Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 16-13-4-3_36. Boston 11-10-11-5_37. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 0 of 3. Boston 3 of 5. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy 4-1-0 (37 shots-34 saves). Boston, Rask 3-0-1 (36-33). A—17,193 (17,565). Referees—Kevin Pollock, Justin St Pierre. Linesmen—Brian Murphy, Libor Suchanek.


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The Lightning's Anthony Cirelli (71) and goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy, right, watch the puck as the Panthers' Noel Acciari (55) defends during the second period on Tuesday in Sunrise. [LUIS M. ALVAREZ  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay doesn’t make costly mistakes and pays attention to details on defense, just like the team has been talking about.
  2. In this file photo, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on the bench with his team during a game against the Detroit Red Wings.
    Dallas fired coach Jim Montgomery under odd circumstances and promoted Rick Bowness.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) on the ice against the San Jose Sharks during second period action at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The event will take place Feb. 7 and will benefit Moffitt Cancer Center
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney (35) gets beat on a short-handed breakaway goal by New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) during second-period action. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay allows another flurry of goals and can’t overcome the deficit in a 5-1 loss.
  5. A flurry of New York goals leaves Tampa Bay behind.
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning Mitchell Stephens (67), making his NHL debut, worse to control the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tyler Johnson is out against the Islanders and likely to miss the Lightning’s ‘next couple games’
  7. The giant pipes reflect shades of blue as the glowing letters spelling Tampa Bay Lightning silhouette organist Krystof Srebrakowski and the pipe organ high above the rink. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Diana C. Nearhos | Carter Verhaeghe deserves more playing time. Hockey needs to address its culture issues seriously.
  8. DIRK SHADD   |   Times  
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) beats Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) to score shorthanded making the score 3 to 1 during third period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (12/06/18).  [SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay plays four games in six nights against the Islanders, Panthers, Bruins and Capitals ... oh my
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning center Carter Verhaeghe (23) celebrates his first NHL career goal as he returns to the bench with his team cheering as the Bolts go up 7-1 during third period action at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Tampa.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The rookie has been close for weeks but finally got that first one in the final minute of Saturday’s game.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98)  battles San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) in front of the net in the defensive zone during second period action at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    After 10 games playing with 11 forwards and seven defenseman, Jon Cooper goes back to the usual lineup.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement