Boston, MA – The first home game of December was slated to be a good one.
The Black and Gold took the TD Garden ice on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With one game removed from securing a huge victory on the road against the Nashville Predators, Boston was poised to trying its luck on competing against one of the National Hockey League’s best squads.
“They are finding ways to win,” said B’s assistant coach Joe Sacco regarding the Lightning. “They are doing it through good team defense and they obviously have a great goaltender, but they are dialed in with their details.”
Talk about a benchmark game if there ever was one.
Jeremy Swayman (7-4-0, 2.20 GAA, .921 SV%) opposed Andrei Vasilevskiy (11-4-3, 2.14 GAA, .926 SV%) in the goaltending matchup for this important game.
In what was a very physical opening 20 minutes, the Bruins were in complete control. They had more high-quality scoring chances and out-shot the Lightning 12-6. Despite their strong play, the B’s found themselves trailing after allowing a shorthanded goal.
The Lightning extended the lead early in the second period when Ondrej Palat blasted a shot that deflected off of Tomas Nosek past Swayman. Frustration was clearly starting to build for Boston at that point, which was understandable considering how they were doing everything besides putting the puck in the net. That is just the way it goes sometimes.
Charlie Coyle finally broke through for the Bruins when he scored his 7th goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 after two periods. Great feed from Erik Haula on the play. After the Bruins tied things up in the third period, Steven Stamkos sealed the game in overtime and earned Tampa Bay the full two points. 3-2 was the final from Boston.
“I think we played well and controlled the play to a certain extent,” said Taylor Hall. “We haven’t played in our end a whole lot and when we do, we seem to be able to move pucks out of our own end quickly. That’s the name of the game.”
The Bruins will play their next game this coming Wednesday night when they hit the road to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
Lineup for 12/4 vs. TB
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Nick Foligno, Trent Frederic, Taylor Hall, Erik Haula, Karson Kuhlman, Curtis Lazar, Tomas Nosek, David Pastrnak, Craig Smith
Defense: Jack Ahcan, Brandon Carlo, Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly
Goaltenders: Jeremy Swayman, Linus Ullmark
Side Notes: There is currently no timeline for the return of Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy from the COVID-19 protocol…Oskar Steen and Jack Ahcan were both recalled from Providence prior to the game…Taylor Hall recently skated in his 700th career NHL game…Tuukka Rask continues to skate at Warrior Ice Arena as he is still recovering from offseason hip surgery…Brad Marchand has concluded his three-game suspension by the NHL for slew-footing.