BOSTON, MA - MARCH 03: Eric Brewer #2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning takes the puck in the third period against the Boston Bruins on March 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
It was a pretty chippy game. At one point, there were three or four players from each team in the penalty boxes, despite only being in one fight. These two teams definitely do not like each other. If the Lightning play the Bruins in the playoffs, it will be an interesting series.
Goaltender Mike Smith made his first start with the Lightning since December, and he played pretty well. He obviously felt he had something to prove, and frankly, he should. He hasn't exactly covered himself in glory this season thus far.
Overall, though, the Lightning didn't give Smith too much of a chance to win. It was a good and hard fought game, and they had 28 shots on goal, but it didn't seem like there were that many legitimate scoring chances. The team appeared to be a bit out of sync at times.
Vincent Lecavalier did not play due to a undisclosed upper body injury. It didn't sound serious, in the vaguely worded attempts to describe what was wrong. But it's better to be safe than sorry at this point in the season.
What was rather impressive to me was that the new guy, Eric Brewer, stepped up into the leadership void that was created with Vinny being out. Brewer gave the team some direction when they needed it, and scored a goal when necessary. He didn't try to take Vinny's spot, but just did what he had to to keep the team going in the right direction - which is something that Martin St. Louis should do when Vinny's out more often, but doesn't with any regularity.
I realize that Brewer had been captain of the St. Louis Blues when he was traded. But often new players will try to stay in the background their first season with a new team. And on top of that, no one wants to appear disrespectful by appearing to step into the captain's spot, even when he's out of the lineup. So for Brewer to do that was a pleasant surprise.
The next game is Saturday, 5 March, at home. It's a 7 pm Eastern start, however, so keep that in mind. And, accordingly, the Raw Charge game thread will open at 6:30 pm. If you're not going to the game, come hang out with us.
Lightning vs Bruins coverage [SB Nation]
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