The Boston Bruins held onto a two-period lead to close out the final 20 minutes and open up the game, coming away with a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the TD Garden.
Trent Frederic netted two of the goals, while 12 Bruins contributed at least a point in the win.
David Pastrnak and Matt Poitras also had two-point nights.
The Bruins lead 2-1 after the first period, after falling behind just 21 seconds into the game. Postgame, Jim Montgomery said he wasn’t concerned with the early deficit — which was the only time during the 60 minutes they didn’t have the lead or equalizing goal.
Trent Frederic would start his productive night, tying the game for the B’s on the power play — and registering his first career power-play goal before Charlie McAvoy would get the first go-ahead goal for the Bruins of the night to end the first period.
There were some momentum shifts, like the last time the Bruins faced the Lightning, but the B’s were able to find open space and use it to their advantage.
In what became a pattern for the next two periods’ opening minutes, Frederic extended the lead on a net-front, second effort chance. Nikita Kucherov, who was setting up chances everywhere for his team (and had three points), gave the Lightning some life cutting into their deficit just moments after their power play expired.
But again, David Pastrnak regained the game’s control for the Bruins 30 seconds later to make it 4-2.
Tampa Bay added a tally to make it a one-goal game heading into the final frame, but the Bruins closed things out by adding a quick goal 1:35 into the third period on an effort from Pastrnak to Morgan Geekie.
With a late penalty called against the Bruins, the Lightning pulled Andrei Vasilevskiy. But Jake DeBrusk solidified the win with the empty-netter before Charlie Coyle capped the night off moments later with a breakaway goal.
The Bruins will hit the road for a week-long road trip. First up, the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. EST.
Here are the highlights!
The Lightning opened the scoring 21 seconds into the first period.
From behind the net, Nikita Kucherov found Brayden Point out front for a quick wrist shot past Linus Ullmark. 1-0 Lightning.
Only took 21 seconds for 21 to get a goal pic.twitter.com/EK0HVl0fg0— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 7, 2024
The Bruins bounced back at 4:42 of the first period on the power play.
Kevin Shattenkirk threw a shot on net. Trent Frederic picked up his rebound out front for a wrist shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy. 1-1 game.
The Bruins took the lead at 14:56 of the first period
Charlie McAvoy sent a blast through traffic and over Vasilevskiy’s blocker shoulder. 2-1 Bruins.
The Bruins extended their lead at 1:49 of the second period on Frederic’s second goal of the night.
Frederic’s pass to Danton Heinen bounces back to him along the goal line and he sneaks one past Vasilevskiy’s right skate and the post. 3-1 Bruins.
The Lightning bounced back at 7:53 of the second period.
Kucherov beat out Brandon Carlo in the front and with Ullmark on the ice, and had a wide-open net which he put a wrist shot in. 3-2 game.
The Bruins regained a two-goal lead at 8:23 of the second period.
David Pastrnak stayed strong on the puck as he powered into the offensive zone to beat out Darren Raddysh and then lift a wrist shot top-shelf over Vasilevskiy’s glove. 4-2 Bruins.
The Lightning answered back at 15:53 of the second period with Point’s second goal of the night.
Kucherov backhanded a pass to Point inside the left-wing circle where he then skated in and put a wrist shot past Ullmark. 4-3 game.
The Bruins regained their two-goal lead again at 1:35 of the third period.
Pastrnak forwarded a pass to Geekie who just outside the slot, sent a wrist shot over Vasilevskiy’s blocker. 5-3 Bruins.
The Bruins cushioned their lead at 16:34 of the third period with a shorthanded goal.
On the penalty kill and with Tampa Bay adding the extra attacker, Victor Hedman broke his stick taking a shot and Jake DeBrusk picked up the loose puck for an empty-net goal. 6-3 Bruins.
The Bruins added another at 17:14 of the third period.
Charlie Coyle exploded with speed after picking the puck off Steven Stamkos. Coyle skated in on Vasilevskiy on a breakaway to lift a wrist shot top-shelf. Final score: 7-3 Bruins.
- Unlike the Penguins’ game, the Bruins’ high scoring secured them the victory tonight, as they didn’t let the Lightning gain any steam to start the third period. The seven goals is the most goals they’ve scored in a single game this season.
- Postgame soundbite: “I really liked our third period We were smart, we didn’t give up an odd-man rush, we had numbers everywhere and we kept hanging on pucks in the offensive zone,” Jim Montgomery said.
- The Bruins took some penalties at the end, but Montgomery thought the PK was excellent as Tampa Bay has a strong power play.
- It was Matt Poitras’ first game back since returning from World Juniors. He picked up assists on both of Frederic’s goals. Montgomery said he looked fresh and wished he was able to give him more time out there than he got against Tampa Bay. He said he was pitting certain lines against each. “You want to put him in situations he is going to have success,” he said. Montgomery sees Poitras getting more time against Colorado.
- Frederic continues to show how he’s becoming more and more of a well-rounded player and one that’s getting high quality chances that he’s able to capitalize on. You can tell his confidence is growing and he’s comfortable in whatever position he’s thrown in, whether that’s center or the wing. In his last four games alone, he has five goals, two of those are two-goal nights.