Game 8: Tampa Bay Lightning versus Boston Bruins

An all-around lackluster effort from the Lightning results in a blowout loss to one of the league's elite teams.

The Boston Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Saturday night.

"The only thing good about tonight was the National Anthem. After that, it sucked." - Lightning head coach Jon Cooper

To be fair, the anthem, sung by Vanessa Rodriguez of Opera Tampa, was an exceptionally good rendition. But yeah.

"I thought from the get-go we didn't have the grit that we needed to have. It starts with me and tonight I didn't have the grit and just the aggressiveness that I need to help the team when we are struggling a little bit." - Lightning forward Martin St. Louis

The Bruins netted the only goal in the first period, when David Krejci scored at 1:32 on assists from Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla. The Lightning struggled to mount much of anything resembling an offensive attack. Even though there was no significant disparity in shots taken (10-9, Boston), the Lightning were unable to generate quality scoring chances.

The second period started out much the same way. Boston outshot the Lightning but only by a margin of seven to five. The Lightning failed to get their offense in gear and the Bruins tallied a single goal, with Adam McQuaid scoring unassisted at 4:37.

But then things really started to fall apart.

You never want to give up and a two-goal deficit is certainly not insurmountable, especially midway through the second period. Still, there was a sense that if the Bolts were going to be a factor, they needed to convert when a slashing penalty from Brad Marchand at 9:06 gave the Lightning a power play. And when they didn't, there seemed to be a sense of deflation, from the home crowd of 18,512 if not the team itself.

At 14:52, Patrice Bergeron found Lightning goalie Ben Bishop's five hole to make the score 3-0. He was assisted by Reilly Smith and Loui Erikson.

Less than a minute later, at 15:47, Chris Kelly on assists from Marchand and Carl Soderberg ran the score to 4-0. At that point, Bishop, having allowed four goals on 17 shots, was lifted and replaced by Anders Lindback.

The lead stretched to the final score of 5-0 at :34 of the third on a shot from Shawn Thornton that Lindback never saw until it had bounced back out of the net. Daniel Paille contributed the lone assist on the play. Lindback would eventually record four saves on five shots for the night.

With the loss, the Lightning's win streak ends at two games and they drop to 5-3-0 on the season.

The season-long seven-game homestand continues next Thursday, October 24th, when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town.

Game notes:

  • St. Louis, with 922 career points, remains one behind Neal Broten for 93rd on the NHL's all-time points list.
  • The Lightning haven't beaten Boston since March 13, 2012
  • The Lightning hadn't been shut out at home since March 14, 2013 versus the New York Islanders.
  • Steven Stamkos and Sami Salo both had four-game point streaks broken.
  • Three Bruins, Krejci, McQuaid and Thornton, scored their first goals this season while four others, Eriksson, Marchand, Soderberg and Paille recorded their first assists of the year.
  • The Lightning honored Melissa Helms as the fifth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game. Helms, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and First Presbyterian Church.In the early 1990s, Helms had to face the nightmare that her daughter was diagnosed with kidney cancer at nine weeks old. Learning and living this horrific news, she co-founded the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) and committed her time and energy to finding a cure. She has grown this foundation from a simple dream to it being a nationally recognized 501c3 charity that has contributed more than $6.5-million to research since 1991. The most remarkable part of the charity is helping children who are suffering with cancer. Helms has spearheaded a collaborative research initiative called the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Sunshine Project. Thanks to her leadership, this project has assembled leading doctors and researchers from the country's finest hospitals and has launched five clinical trials at 11 hospitals in seven years. These trials aim to find less toxic, more targeted therapies for children who are battling the most aggressive forms of cancer. Helm's personal experience with childhood cancer lit a fire within her to help find a cure for this terrible disease.