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Game 73 recap: Bolts finally dump Bruins 5-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning relied on first period offensive fireworks to beat the Boston Bruins,snapping a ten-game losing streak to their Atlantic Division rivals.

Tampa Bay's J.T. Brown celebrates his first period goal in Sunday's 5-3 win over Boston.
Tampa Bay's J.T. Brown celebrates his first period goal in Sunday's 5-3 win over Boston.
Kim Klement USA TODAY Sports Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Sunday.

March 13, 2012. That's the last time the Lightning beat the Bruins, 6-1 at what was then known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum. At that time, the Bruins were on their way to winning the old Northeast Division by ten points while the Lightning would go on to finish eight points out of the playoffs. This time, the Lightning are building up some pretty formidable momentum as the regular season dwindles away and the Bruins are struggling to hang on to the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Things got off to a pretty queasy start when Patrice Bergeron gave Boston a 1-0 lead just 33 seconds in. He was assisted by Brad Marchand and Adam McQuaid.

Vladislav Namestnikov tied the game for the Lightning at 5:49, getting assistance from Brenden Morrow and J.T. Brown.

Things turned decidedly in the Lightning's favor about five minutes later when J.T. Brown split the defense, broke in alone on Boston goalie Tuukka Rask and scored at 10:47. Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle were credited with assists on the play.

Just 15 seconds later, Anton Stralman scored on a slap shot, on assists from Valtteri Fillpula and Namestnikov.

The Lightning carried the 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

At 7:54 of the second, Jason Garrison expanded the lead with his fourth goal of the season and the only one scored between the two teams in the period. getting assists from Tyler Johnson and Carle.

Rask was pulled, having given up four goals on 12 shots, and replaced by Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg went on to stop six of the seven shots he faced. For his part, Lightning goaltender stopped 25 of 28 in a complete game.

Boston cut into the lead at 10:22 of the third when Zdeno Chara scored on the power play, assisted by Reilly Smith and David Pastrnak.

Palat answered for the Lightning with a power play goal at 13:50, thanks to assists from Ryan Callahan and Nikita Kucherov.

Boston managed a final tally in the closing seconds with Daniel Paille scoring with help from Max Talbot and Gregory Campbell

The Lightning will be in action again on Tuesday when the host the Florida Panthers.

Game notes:

  • Only two current Lightning players, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, were on the team the last time Tampa Bay beat Boston.
  • The Lightning honored Jennifer Frances as the 37th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game. Frances, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Bess the Book Bus, Trinity Café, RCMA and YES!. Believing that literacy is an essential component to helping children reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty, Frances cashed in her 401K in 2002 to start Bess the Book Bus, Inc., a non-profit, mobile literacy outreach dedicated to building home libraries for children and families that otherwise may not have the opportunity to own books. Bess the Book Bus annually serves approximately 12,000 children locally and throughout Florida, distributes on average 15,000 new books, and on multistate tours serves over 20,000 children.