Tampa Bay Lightning Trails Boston Bruins 2-1 After First Period
The Tampa Bay Lightning would like to forget the beginning of the first period against the Boston Bruins. A little more than a minute into the period, the Bruins skated in Tampa Bay's zone easily. Then Dougie Hamilton kick passed the puck to Nathan Horton who fired in a shot. Horton is a Lightning nemesis, scoring 45 points in 45 games against them dating back to his days as a Florida Panther. If the quick goal didn't rattle the Lightning, the next one did.
Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman had a breakdown in the defensive zone when his intended pass went right on Patrice Bergeron's tape. Bergeron's shot saw its way behind Anders Lindback at 3:50.
Not only were the Lightning behind by two goals. they also couldn't get into the offensive zone. It was a challenge for Tampa Bay to skate through the neutral zone in the first half of the opening period. Once the Lightning had the puck in offensive zone, they were able to set up and generate quality shots on Tukka Rask.
Midway through the first period, the Lightning woke up. Tampa Bay generated more scoring chances and spent much more time in the offensive zone. Then, the Lightning's two-goal deficit was cut to one.
Marc Andre Bergeron set up the play. He was able to pinch in around the boards in the offensive zone, passing the puck to Purcell. Purcell slipped the puck to Steven Stamkos who scored his 11th goal of the season. Stamkos's goal at 8:31 beat Rask short side high.
The Lightning ended the first period with five shots and the Bruins had eight but Guy Boucher has stressed throughout the season that he isn't necessarily harping on shots on net. While generating shots is always important, he said it is more important that the Lightning limits its opponent's scoring chances which the team did in the latter half of the period.