Rapid Reaction: Bruins 3, Lightning 1
October, 3, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- The 90th season in Boston Bruins history began with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at TD Garden.
The reigning Eastern Conference champions received goals from Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron, while goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 32 saves.
The Bruins gained a 1-0 lead when Kelly scored on a penalty shot at 11:39 of the first period. Boston was in the midst of killing a penalty when Kelly intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and broke in on Tampa goalie Anders Lindback. Kelly was awarded his first career penalty shot. He capitalized on a sweet backhanded deke to give Boston the early lead.
Tampa tied the game at 1-1 when the Lightning's Valtteri Filppula finished off a 2-on-1 at 10:32 of the second period.
Boston regained its lead in the final minute of the second period when Lucic combined with David Krejci and converted a nifty give-and-go to give the Bruins a 2-1 advantage at 19:00.
Tampa had a golden opportunity early in the third period when the Lightning had a two-man advantage for 1:58, but the Bruins' penalty-killing unit of Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg and Kelly stifled the Lightning's power play until Boychuk drew a penalty with 26 seconds remaining in the 5-on-3.
Tampa still had a 4-on-3, but Bergeron single-handedly created and capitalized on a short-handed opportunity. He chipped the puck out of the defensive zone, collected it in the neutral zone and broke in on a 2-on-1 with defenseman Torey Krug. Bergeron pulled a little dipsy-doodle in front and snuck it past Lindback to give Boston a 3-1 lead at 4:02.
Rask finished with a few timely saves in the final period as the Bruins played well for their first of 82 games this season.
NO DICE: With Boston holding a 1-0 lead in the second period, the Bruins' Jordan Caron should have been awarded a goal at 2:06, but it was declined for what the referee described as "player in the crease." The replay clearly showed a clean play by Caron, but it was thought the referee first blew the play dead when he lost sight of the puck. Either way, if Caron continues to play the way he did Thursday night, he'll keep a spot in the lineup when Carl Soderberg (ankle) is healthy and able to return to game action. In fact, that line of Caron, Kelly and Reilly Smith played well.
DROP 'EM: It didn't take long for Jarome Iginla to win over the fans in Boston when he dropped the gloves at 9:06 of the second period. He was on the receiving end of a clean hit by Tampa's Radko Gudas and fell to the ice. When Iginla got to his feet he shook his gloves, signaling he was ready to drop them. The two went toe-to-toe in a spirited bout. The fans gave Iginla a standing ovation to and from the box. Iginla's previous fight came late last season as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he dropped the gloves with the Bruins' Nathan Horton at the Garden. Horton suffered a shoulder injury and was not the same for the remainder of the season. Horton signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent during the summer, so the Bruins went out and signed Iginla to replace him.
DROP 'EM II: The Bruins' Shawn Thornton registered his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Tampa's Pierre-Cedric Labrie at 18:04 of the first period. It wasn't much of a bout, but it still brought the fans to their feet. The subject of fighting has been a topic of discussion as the league attempts to make the game safer for players in every way possible. Fans enjoy it -- and it remains a way for players to police the game.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at TD Garden.