The Tampa Bay Lightning opened up their season on the road in Boston Thursday night and struggled on the power play in a 3-1 defeat.
Tampa Bay set the pace of the game in the first period out shooting Boston 15-6.
Lightning defenseman, Mark Barberio had the puck taken away by Boston’s Chris Kelly in the neutral zone giving him the a breakaway that resulted in a goal on a penalty shot after being hooked from behind by Barberio.
Lightning forward Valterri Filppula, recorded his first goal with his new club and brought the teams back to even in the second period. A great setup by defenseman Eric Brewer after side stepping a check to advance into the offensive zone before dishing it off to Filppula.
Boston’s go-ahead goal game on a snap-shot from Milan Lucic at the 19:00 mark of the second period.
Tampa Bay was not able to get anymore pucks past Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who already looked to be in mid-season form. “I made some saves but didn’t necessarily feel really good. I mean I think everyone looked a little tired,” Rask said. “We didn’t have our legs and mentally we weren’t as sharp as usual but it was a good win.” Rask stopped 32 of 33 shots that he faced.
Tampa Bay had five opportunities on the power play, two of which were five on three advantages and weren’t able to capitalize on any of them. “I thought we battled, I think our power play let us down tonight,” said Martin St. Louis. “That falls on our top guys’ shoulders. I wouldn’t think that would be the case, our PP would let us down. They’re a good PK team. They kill very well. We just got a little stubborn and impatient, and we needed a little bit more poise out there”
Boston did have a great penalty kill, so good that Patrice Bergeron tallied the teams second shorthanded goal of the game at the 4:02 mark of the third.
Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback stopped 22 of 25 shots faced.
The Lightning will need to continue their focus on the power play, but with this type of offensive power up front, they should see better results as season progresses. The road ahead for Tampa Bay does not get any easier, as they travel to Chicago on Saturday to take on the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks.