Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Five observations: Lightning 5, Bruins 3
By James Murphy
Nathan Horton scored two goals but it wasn’t enough, as the Bruins fell to the Lightning 5-3 and dropped to 1-2-0 on their four-game road trip that concludes Thursday in New Jersey.
Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded goal for Boston, which erased a one-goal deficit three times but couldn’t get over the hump and take the lead on the Lightning, who snapped a seven-game winless streak. Tim Thomas made 26 saves for the Bruins.
Horton gets Julien’s message -- After mustering only one shot for the third straight game and not playing the physical game that makes him effective, Bruins winger Nathan Horton was called out by coach Claude Julien following the team’s 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers on Monday night.
“Horts has got to pick up his game. No ifs or buts about it,’’ Julien told the media. “A guy his size has got to get more physically involved. He’s got to compete a lot harder. He’s skating hard. You see him on the backcheck, he skates hard. But we need more from him. At the same time, when he’s emotionally engaged, he scores goals. He’s a difference-maker. He’s got to find his game.’’
Apparently Horton got the message as he had that physical game going Tuesday night and had one of his best efforts of the season, scoring two goals. Horton used his size to drive to the net on both goals and was created havoc in front through most of the game. He also had six shots on net.
While his defense didn't do him many favors, Tim Thomas was not on top of his game.
Thomas has rare bad night -- After all Tim Thomas has done for the Bruins since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, the stellar goalie is allowed a bad night here and there. Well, Tuesday was one of those nights. While Thomas did not have the benefit of a tight defense in front of him, Thomas looked rather shaky in net. He appeared to misread the play and was out of position on the first two Tampa goals and just didn’t seem to play with that controlled chaos that defies those who say his unorthodox play hurts him.
Penalty kill makes up for lackluster power play -- The Bruins had two great chances early in the game with two power plays in the first 12 minutes but failed to convert. They went 0-for-3 for the game on the man advantage. But the penalty kill once again did the job, killing four Tampa Bay power plays. Even better was Paille's shorthanded goal 10:53 into the third period to tie the game at three.
Another ugly first period -- The Bruins once again were outshot in the first period and lacked the emotion to set the tempo. They didn’t register a shot at even strength until the final two minutes and looked to be in prevent mode rather than attacking mode. The Bruins need to find their legs from the opening faceoff if they are to win at the rate they did in November and December.
Peverley out again -- Rich Peverley missed his second straight game due to personal reasons. He is expected to return to the lineup Thursday in New Jersey. With Peverley out, Zach Hamill remained in the lineup. Here’s what the lineup looked like on Tuesday night: