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Bruins Edge Tampa Bay, 3-2

Saturday, 10.07.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Boston Bruins
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Bruins Edge Tampa Bay, 3-2

By John Bishop,

On Saturday night the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in an exciting, well played contest that featured some outstanding goaltending and saw both teams play sound two-way hockey throughout.

The Bruins came out firing against Tampa Bay, as Boston hoped to negate an infinitely forgettable opening night loss to the Lightning's cross state cousin, the Florida Panthers, and even their record at 1-1-0.

Boston netminder, Hannu Toivonen, who started his first game of the young campaign, looked sharp early and thanks to the young Finn, it was the Bruins and not the Lightning, who brought the thunder to the St. Pete Times Forum in Boston's second outing.

Wayne Primeau scored his second goal of the season at 5:24, thanks in part to a nifty play by the Bruins Shean Donovan and captain Zdeno Chara, who earned his third assist of the year.

Brad Boyes scored at 13:19, again with help from Chara (earning his fourth assist), who took a one handed feed from Phil Kessel who earned himself his first NHL point in just his second professional game.

However, it was the charged-up Lightning who crashed the net early in the second period.

Ruslan Fedotenko scored at 2:19 with help from Vinny Lecavalier, as the Lightning beat Toivonen with a shot from the goalies left, off his pad, and into the net.

Toivonen rebounded from the goal nicely, weathering a storm of Lightning strikes, while his opposite number, Tampa Bay goaltender Marc Denis, did his best to soothe the savage Bruins attack.

Both Denis and Toivonen stymied the opposition, often with some brilliant puck stopping, throughout the second stanza, until Ryan Craig scored for the Lightning, evening the score at 2-2, off a feed from Filip Kuba.

Patrice Bergeron turned the tide in Boston's favor for good very early in the third period, scoring his first marker of the year in beautiful fashion, taking a pass from Brad Boyes, knifing through the Tampa Bay defense and roofing the puck over Denis to make the score 3-2.

The Bruins' defensive strategies kicked in during the second half of the third period and were instrumental in allowing Toivonen to shut the door, while the Lightning's Denis made life frustrating for the Bruins forwards as well.

Denis made 22 saves on the evening, and was most spectacular when he stymied Primeau's break-away attempt for a second goal, via two point blank saves, with just over seven minutes remaining in the third.

But it was Toivonen who emerged from the game victorious, thanks to his own 29 saves, as Tampa Bay was unable to score with Denis pulled during the last 100 seconds of the contest.

"I've got to give a lot of credit to the guys," said Toivonen post game. "I thought they did a tremendous job blocking the shots, making my life a lot easier out there. And I think [the team] played a full sixty minutes"

"I thought everyone paid attention to detail," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "They were aggressive, they were physical, and they paid the price to make plays. And that is what you have to do to win in this league."

Boston traveled home after the game for a couple of days of practice in Boston before heading to Atlanta for their third game of the season on Wednesday (7:00 NESN).
Coors Light - To the Black, The Gold, and The Cold




1 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
7 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31


P. Bergeron 47 11 21 7 32
C. Soderberg 48 10 21 7 31
L. Eriksson 47 11 18 9 29
D. Hamilton 48 8 18 2 26
B. Marchand 43 13 12 12 25
M. Lucic 47 9 16 7 25
T. Krug 44 9 15 6 24
R. Smith 48 9 14 5 23
D. Krejci 28 6 16 6 22
C. Kelly 46 5 16 6 21
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .922 2.22
T. Rask 20 11 7 .919 2.35
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