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Bruins can't solve Niittymaki & Lightning; B's fall 5-3

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Despite out-shooting the Lightning 50-18 , the Bruins fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Thursday night at TD Garden as Antero Niittymaki (47 saves) shut down the Bruins' attack all night long. Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, and Mark Recchi were the goal scorers for the B's, while Steven Stamkos (2 goals), Paul Szczechura (2 goals), and Martin St. Louis lit the lamp for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning jumped out to an early lead on Steven Stamkos' 44th goal of the season just 49 seconds into the game when Stamkos skated to the net and Steve Downie fed a long pass to Stamkos on the door step. The Bruins argued that Stamkos was offsides, but the goal stood. After seeing NESN's split screen replay of the play, it looked like the linesman got the call on the ice correct.

Martin St. Louis made it 2-0 with 1:55 left in the first period when Vincent Lecavalier faked a slapper at the top of the left circle and threaded a nice pass to St. Louis, who was going to the net. St. Louis managed to get enough of a stick on Lecavilier's pass for it to trickle into the net for the 2-0 first period lead for the visitors.

The Bruins were able to cut the Lightning's in half before the end of the period after Zdeno Chara deflected David Krejci's shot from the right wing boards past Antero Niittymaki with just under 27 seconds remaining in the period.

The Lightning regained their 2-goal lead 6:50 into the second period on a goal from Paul Szczechura after Johnny Boychuk gift-wrapped his clearing pass for Szczechura.

Boychuk redeemed himself less than 4 minutes later when he fired a wrister from the right dot that found its way into the back of the net for his 5th goal of the season. David Krejci and Andrew Ference picked up helpers on the play.

Steven Stamkos got his 45th of the season to give the Bolts a 4-2 with 26 seconds remaining in the second period when he hammered home a one-timer from the top of the left circle.

The Lighting extended their lead to 5-2 with a power play goal 3:00 into the third period. The Lightning moved the puck around well and Martin St. Louis found Paul Szczechura open in the slot for his 2nd goal of the game.

The B's got one back to make it at 11:50 of the third period when Mark Recchi jammed home his 16th goal of the season and passed Guy Lafleur for 22nd on the NHL's all-time scoring list with his 561st NHL goal.


Final - 3.25.2010 1 2 3 Total
Tampa Bay Lightning 2 2 1 5
Boston Bruins 1 1 1 3

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Notes:

- David Krejci picked up his 100th career assist on Zdeno Chara's first period goal. He finished the night with 2 assists.

- The boo birds were back tonight as the Bruins heard a light chorus of boos as the game was winding down.

- The Bruins are now 15-15-6 at home this season and have only won twice at TD Garden in the calender year of 2010.

- Bruins recorded a season-high 50 goals, but just could not seem to finish enough of those chances.

- Steven Stamkos is now tied with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals with 45.

- It was not Tuukka Rask's best game in goal, but it is hard to fault the kid for most of those goals. The Bruins gave the Lightning's goal scorers too much time and space.

- Tonight was the first time in the calender year of 2010 that the Bruins scored more than 2 goals at home.

- The Bruins won just 42% of the face-offs tonight.

- The Bruins host the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon (1:00).