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Bruins 3, Lightning 0

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins won the hockey game and the Tampa Bay Lightning lost their best player Monday.

The Bruins' 3-0 victory, their third win in as many tries against Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay this season, was overshadowed by a serious injury to Lightning center Steven Stamkos, one of the league's best players. Stamkos was wheeled off on a stretcher after apparently injuring his right ankle or lower leg.

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots and center Patrice Bergeron (sixth goal) and left wing Daniel Paille (second goal) scored 20 seconds apart, not long after Stamkos was injured.

The Bruins won their third straight and ended Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak.

The Lightning, 12-2 against the rest of the NHL, have scored one goal in three games against Rask this season.

Stamkos, who came into the game with six-game goal and eight-game points streaks, was injured with 7:11 on the second-period clock while coming back on defense. He crashed into the post with his lower leg, knocking the net off. He then struggled to his skates and quickly crumbled, pounding his right hand and glove on the ice and clearly in pain.

The game was halted for some five minutes as the training staff tried to hold the leg in place. A gurney was brought out and Stamkos received a big ovation from the crowd, with members of both teams smacking their sticks against the boards in support. He was transported to a local hospital.

One broadcaster said he could read Stamkos' lips, saying the word "broken." Stamkos had his hands covering his face as he was wheeled off.

He has 14 goals and nine assists for the season (tied with Sidney Crosby for first in the league) and had nine goals and four assists during his points streak.

Just after Stamkos went down, Tampa Bay defenseman Sami Salo went off with an ankle injury. In the third period, defenseman Keith Aulie left with an upper body injury.

The life quickly went out of the visitors. The Bruins took advantage by getting an empty-net goal from right wing Jarome Iginla in the final minute. It was his fourth goal of the season.

The Lightning are averaging 3.79 goals per game in the 14 games not against the Bruins. They also have one goal on 84 shots in the three games against the Rask.

The Bruins hit iron twice -- hitting a post in the first period and left wing Brad Marchand hitting the crossbar in the second. But Marchand, who has been flying the past two games since ending a 12-game goal-scoring drought, made the rush that led to the Bergeron goal -- though he did not get an assist.

Paille ended a 10-game goal drought with his nifty drive down the left side, beating Anders Lindback. Lindback, 0-4 lifetime against Boston, played well, making 23 saves.

The Bruins, who moved up to No. 2 in the conference, killed four more power plays and have 22 straight kills over the last six games.

Notes: Bruins D Adam McQuaid was out with an undisclosed lower body injury suffered Saturday night. "He's not playing today," coach Claude Julien said before the game. "I don't know if it's day-to-day, they haven't told us. We don't know if it's day-to-day or a week-plus. I don't have the answer. All I can tell you is he's not playing today. McQuaid was replaced by fellow D Matt Bartkowski, who assisted on LW Daniel Paille's goal. ... The Bruins wore military camouflage jerseys in warmups on Military Appreciation Day, with the shirts being auctioned off for charity. Five Bruins bought $2,500 worth of tickets apiece that were donated to military personnel. ... The Lighting end their three-game road trip at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night, while the Bruins end their five-game homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. ... TD Garden was transformed after the game, with the Boston Celtics playing Monday night against the Orlando Magic.
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