3 takeaways from Bruins’ 5-2 win over Tampa Bay Lightning

Bruins

High tenacity effort propels Bruins against Lightning

Boston Bruins left winger Anton Blidh (81) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with center Oskar Steen (62) in the second period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Jan.8 2022 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo / Chris O’Meara) The Associated Press

The Boston Bruins bulldozed into the winning column on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each scored two goals while Linus Ullmark made 27 saves as the Bruins put in one of their most complete performances of the season.

“There was a lot to like,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy after Boston’s convincing victory at Amalie Arena. “I think our puck battles, a lot of our goals were generated by winning pucks off the boards, playing north, minimizing mistakes, in terms of easy chances. That’s what I liked the most about our game. We played a tough type of style to play tonight. “

A wobbly Pastrnak 1:11 goal in the game set the tone and the Bruins never took their foot off the pedal.

Pastrnak doubled Boston’s lead nearly five minutes later, scoring a rebound around Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for his 11th group of the year.

Less than a minute into the second period, Marchand redirected a Mike Reilly point shot to give the Bruins the 3-0 lead.

Later in the middle period, Anton Blidh scored after Oskar Steen won a puck battle ahead and found his compatriot Sweden on hash marks, to give Boston a comfortable 4-0 advantage.

Tampa Bay pushed back in the third period with goals from Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point. But the Lightning’s return attempt fell through after Marchand scored his second of the night on an empty net 17:11 of the third, sealing the Bruins’ victory and raising their record to 18-11-2.

Here’s what we learned after Boston’s first regular-season victory over Tampa Bay in almost two years.

Pastrnak warms up

With three goals in his last three games, the Bruins sniper appears to be turning a corner offensively after scoring zero in December.

Pastrnak’s two first-period goals on Saturday changed the tone of the game fairly quickly as he continues to win in chemistry with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula over Boston’s second line. Hall extended his points streak to five straight games after securing assists on both No.88 goals.

Pastrnak is arguably Boston’s best weapon with the puck. Rocket winner Richard 2020 tends to score in clusters whenever he feels it.

The dynamic Pastrnak led all of the Bruins’ skaters with seven shots on goal Saturday, including a slapshot from the slot in the second period that Vasilevskiy fought off, depriving the Czech playmaker of another hat trick.

Boston’s penalty shone in several places

The Lightning is one of a handful of teams in the NHL that you don’t want to give two the advantage. However, two minor penalties imposed on Boston’s two best killers, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, gave Tampa Bay 47 seconds 5-3 in the middle of the second period.

With the Bruins leading 3-0, the Lightning could easily have tipped the ice in their favor with a goal or two in that power play. But Boston did not escape the wear and tear and kept their three-goal cushion intact.

Tampa Bay had another shot at a man advantage in the bottom of the third, the Bruins leading 4-2. The Lightning knocked out Vasielvisky late in his last power play attempt, but again Boston’s penalty kill came in yet another clutch situation.

The Bruins have killed off all four of Tampa Bay’s power plays, with Ullmark’s strong exit contributing to their shorthanded success.

Foligno comes out with injury as uncertainty lingers over McAvoy and DeBrusk’s returns

The Bruins have had one of their best outings of the season without their top defenseman and one of their last six forwards. They also lost another veteran cog to an injury early on Saturday.

Nick Foligno needed help getting off the ice after getting tangled around the Lightning’s net in the first period. The former Columbus Blue Jackets captain has not returned and Cassidy has not provided any further updates.

Now likely off a striker for Monday’s game in Washington, Cassidy wasn’t sure Jake DeBrusk would return by then either. Cassidy has confirmed DeBrusk is showing mild symptoms after the Bruins winger entered COVID-19 protocol last week.

Charlie McAvoy was a game-time decision against the Lightning, but a lingering lower-body injury still hadn’t subsided, prompting the Bruins to let their star defenseman rest for another day.

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