The Bruins lost to the struggling lightning 5-3 tonight. It was the first win for Tampa Bay in eight games. The team didn't play their best and Tim Thomas played one of his poorest games of the season. Nathan Horton may have been the only bright star for the night with his two goal effort. Daniel Paille had a nifty shorthanded-goal, but for his efforts it didn't prove to be enough.
The lightning scored first from a gritty goal by center Vincent Lecavalier when he snuck a lose puck pass Tim Thomas. Nathan Horton would strike with an unassisted goal early in the second period to tie the game at one a piece. About ten minutes later old Gregory Campbell punching bag Tom Pyatt would put the Bolts up 2-1. Shortly after the Lightning took the lead Horton scored his second goal off of an Andrew Ference one timer that dropped right into his lap for a nice open net shot. The two teams went into the third period tied 2-2 until Ryan Malone crowding Thomas, snuck one right through his five-hole. Tampa took it to the Bruins all night where Boston looked tired and sloppy. Halfway through the third period, Milan Lucic would be called for a weak interfearence call on Ryan Malone. The Bruins however were the one who struck when Captain Zdeno Chara cleared the puck righ onto Danial Paille's stick where he buried a beautiful backhander past Tampa keeper Mathieu Garon for the short handed game tying goal. Paille's goal would prove to be the last one for the Bruins on this night. Dominic Moore streaking down the ice late in the third ripped a shot past Thomas to give Tampa a lead they wouldn't give up. League leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos would tally his 31st goal of the season in the Bruins empty to seal the deal for the Lightning.
Coach Claude Julien would sum up the team's performance in one statement. "Our compete level isn't there," "We’re no better and no worse than any other team when we don’t compete. We become a very ordinary team, and that’s what we are right now." The Bruins have a busy week ahead of them when they travel the New Jersey on Thursday and host the red hot Rangers on Saturday. When the Bruins want to they are a team that can be nearly impossible to beat. At the same time when they don't put that effort in and run on all cylinders they are no better then the bottom feeders of the league.
The team has a day to recoup their losses until the meet the Devils who have been playing well as of late. Chances are the Bruins will have Tuukka Rask in net to give Thomas another day off after a rough night. Saturday's game could determine who is first in the Eastern Conference, so the Bruins better play better than they proved tonight.