BRUINS (4-2-0) vs. LIGHTNING (5-2-0)
TV: NESN, SUN
Season series: The Boston Bruins earned an opening-night win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 3 at TD Garden. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bruins became the first team in NHL history to score its first goal of the season on a penalty shot when Chris Kelly beat Lightning goalie Anders Lindback. The Lightning struggled on the power play by going 0-for-5, failing to convert on a pair of 5-on-3 advantages and allowing two shorthanded goals.
Big story: The Bruins play the second of a three-game road trip undefeated (2-0-0) away from home. The Lightning, meanwhile, continue their season-long seven-game homestand with a reputation of taking their game to new levels in crunch time. Tampa Bay has won twice this season when trailing heading into the third period, where it's scored 11 of its 22 goals. Last season, the Bolts led the League in third-period goals with 66.
Bruins: The Bruins faced and defeated old friend Tim Thomas on Thursday and left Sunrise, Fla., victorious when Reilly Smith scored the game-winning goal with 58.7 seconds remaining in the third. Dougie Hamilton and Daniel Paille added goals in the win. Despite the victory, coach Claude Julien left BB&T Center less than satisfied.
"I can't say we're pleased with our game," Julien said. "We had a 2-0 lead and we started letting up a little bit, got away from our game and started getting cute, and gave them an opportunity to get back in the game. We've won some games in this building, but I don't recall us playing really well here."
Lightning: Steven Stamkos' tiebreaking goal with 5:04 left in the third led the Lightning to a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday that continued their strong play on home ice. Since the end of last season, the Bolts are 9-4-1 over their past 14 games at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Their offense is also rolling with 19 goals over the past four games (3-1).
"We found a way," Stamkos said following the win. "When you're a good team, you have to find a way to win these games, and we did."
Who's hot: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 27 of 29 shots Thursday to improve to 4-2-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. … Stamkos has eight points (five goals, three assists) over his past four games, was tied for second in the League with 10 points entering Friday and is the only player to rank in the top five in League scoring over the past four seasons. Ben Bishop has earned the lion's share of what was expected to be a goalie tandem with Lindback. Bishop made 25 saves Thursday -- seven in a 32-second stretch of the second period -- and is 5-0-0 for the first time in his career without allowing a first-period goal.
Injury report: Bruins center Carl Soderberg (ankle) skated Friday and is cleared to play, and Julien said there's a "good chance" he'll be in the lineup Saturday. Center Bobby Robins (knee) is on injured reserve. … Lightning captain Martin St. Louis played Thursday despite a sore foot that had him being wheeled around in a golf cart and wearing a protective boot the day before. St. Louis said he felt fine and took a maintenance day Friday. Tampa Bay is without center Tom Pyatt (broken collarbone), and defensemen Matt Taormina (upper body), Brian Lee (knee) and Mattias Ohlund (knee).
Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNHL
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