Game 69: Boston Bruins versus Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 6-1 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday night.

As if a pretty thorough thrashing of the defending world champs wasn’t enough of a special occasion, the Lightning sprinkled in a couple of milestones to spice things up.

Rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski, making his third NHL start, got his first win and Steven Stamkos reached the 50 goal mark for the second time in his career. He joins Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin as the only players to do it twice before their 23rd birthday.

The Lightning came out flying in an obvious effort to put pressure on recently signed and activated Bruins goalie Marty Turco. It paid off when the puck deflected off the foot of Tom Pyatt to get past Turco at the 1:56 mark. It was originally waved off as the on-ice officials ruled that it was kicked in but that was overturned on replay by the NHL office in Toronto. Ryan Malone and Brett Connolly had assists on the play.

Thirty seconds later, Nate Thompson scored on assists from Adam Hall and J.T. Wyman.

Just two minutes after that, Ryan Shannon slipped through the Boston defense and scored with helpers from Victor Hedman and Tokarski. Turco was relieved at that point by Tim Thomas.

At 15:38, Hedman scored unassisted and the period ended with the Lightning on top 4-0 and having outshot the Bruins 10-2.

Stamkos scored his first goal of the night (49th on the season) at 3:06 with assists from Teddy Purcell and Brian Lee. Afterward, Turco re-entered the game.

Boston generated some offense in the second period, getting off 15 shots, but were held off the scoresheet.

In the third, they maintained the pressure and finally got on the board on a goal by Jordan Caron, Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara at 1:55. Tokarski eventually turned away 33 of the 34 shots he faced.

"Hard to believe. It’s pretty unbelievable. A dream come true" - Tokarski

At 11:43, Stamkos topped the night off, netting number 50 with assists from Martin St. Louis and Lee.

"It was definitely special having Marty get the assist on that one. He’s helped me become the player I am since day one, so to share that moment with him. And Teddy getting it on the 49th. Those guys have been huge for me and it’s a special win." – Stamkos

The Lightning snapped a losing streak and picked up two valuable points but didn’t get a lot of help from teams playing in other games around the league. So as of right now, they find themselves at 32-30-7, seven points behind Washington for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their current homestand continues Thursday when they’ll face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game notes:

  • This was the first time this year the Lightning carried a lead bigger than 2-0 into the first intermission.
  • The Lightning also scored four goals in a period in the second on February 4th against Florida.
  • Ryan Malone now has a seven-game points-scored streak.
  • Stamkos is the first player in Lightning history to score 30 goals at home in a season.
  • Tokarski’s assist was the third point scored by a Lightning goalie this season. The other two are assists by Mathieu Garon.
  • The team honored Barbara Curts as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins. Curts, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Crisis Center and the Judeo Christian Health Clinic. Barbara Curts has dedicated her life to helping others, especially women who are recovering from the trauma of sexual violence. She has been a volunteer rape crisis counselor with the Crisis Center for three years and devotes, on average, 45 hours a month, sitting with a rape survivor, listening to their story, sharing their pain and offering up hope and help. She recently spent four hours in the middle of the night finding shelter for a survivor because it was not safe for her to return to her home. After little sleep, Curts left the Crisis Center for her full-time job as a relationship manager at a local bank. As a survivor herself, Ms. Curts understands first-hand how rape strips the victim of her sense of safety and self-worth. Life becomes an increasingly scary place where no one is to be trusted, especially men. With support and courage, Curts is showing that healing is possible and the survivor herself can move from fear to a life invested in love and service. Her personal experience led her to help found Women in Action, a group of 35 professional women focusing on issues affecting women and children. When she’s not volunteering at the Crisis Center, working or raising her teenage daughter, Curts is delivering Meals on Wheels, helping the Judeo Christian Clinic raise funds or volunteering with her community fire department and the Tampa Independent Business Alliance. The FBI estimates that one out of five women in our country will experience rape or some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Less than a third of these women will receive a rape exam or be treated for the trauma that will haunt them the rest of their lives, substantially increasing the likelihood that they will become depressed, abuse drugs and alcohol, experience mental health problems or attempt suicide. Curts is working hard to change all of that.