Though Tampa Bay came up short in the game it wasn't for lack of play. They out chanced the Bruins from the beginning but Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was the game changer, posting a 30 save shutout Thursday night.
The loss was not indicative of the Lightning's performance. Simply put, Rask was on his game and the Boston's penalty kill remained strong despite the chances from the Tampa Bay.
The matchup was a physical one from the start. In the first period, Lightning left wing Benoit Pouliot dropped the gloves with Andrew Ferrance. Pouliot is not a player that is known for getting into fights but he landed a few right hooks that ended up in a bloody nose for Ferrance. Lightning defensemen Keith Aulie and Boston left wing Milan Lucic had their own battle in the second period trading five minute fighting majors.
In the first period..the Lightning weren't able to penetrate the neutral zone.Then, they were able to control the puck more as they were able to settle into the game. Tampa Bay went on a power play at 5:21 when Chris Kelly skated off for a hooking, but Boston's second ranked penalty kill prevented any Lightning goals (as anyone should be surprised).
Lightning center Steven Stamkos had an opportunity to put the Lightning on the board early on but Rask shut Stamkos down by sliding across the crease and making a glove save.
The Lightning's man advantage did spark more offensive chances and they also began controlling the puck more. The Bruins had been dominating in puck possession before that.
After a scoreless first period, Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's slap shot made its way behind Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback making it 1-0 at 4:22 of the second period. Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin had the assists.
Then at 13:31, left wing Daniel Paille had wrist shot that put Boston up 2-0. The Bruins' fourth line has been connecting all year, and did once again.
Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback should not be blamed for either Boston goals. Both were one timers and he had no chance. Despite the loss, Lindback is showing improvement and has since returning from injury. He saved 22 of the 24 shots he faced.
Tampa Bay's second best chance of the game came in the second period when center Alex Killorn had back to back shots on and Rask and but was denied while forcing Rask to make scrambling left pad saves.
Despite trailing by two goals, the Lightning buzzed around Rask even into the third period. Tampa Bay also matched Boston's shot total at twelve, but Rask shut the door to seal the win.