In the last 21 meetings between these clubs in Boston, the Bruins have recorded 16 wins and the teams have tied five times. Tampa Bay hasn’t won there since a 3-0 victory on April 9, 1994.
The Lightning, however, have won nine of their last 12 games, including a 5-3 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
“Grahamer was outstanding,” said Lightning coach John Tortorella, whose team is second in the Southeast Division behind Carolina. “Obviously, he secured a win for us.”
Grahame, 21-15-1 with a 2.62 goals-against average this season, came in after Sean Burke allowed three goals on eight shots. Following this matchup, Grahame will head to the Olympics to play for the U.S. team.
“You’re just kind of thrown into the fire there and you’ve just got to go out and compete,” said Grahame, who stopped Erik Cole on a penalty shot in the second period.
“We found a way … that’s what we’ve been doing,” said Richards, who has three goals and six assists during a five-game point streak. “We’ve found ways to win, and this is the time of year you have to do it.”
The Lightning have not found a way to win against Boston yet this season, losing all three matchups.
The Bruins, though, come into this contest with three losses in their last four games following a 3-2 defeat in overtime to New Jersey on Thursday.
Wayne Primeau scored the game-tying goal with less than eight minutes left in regulation, but the Bruins couldn’t get it done in overtime.
The Bruins are a perfect 13-for-13 on the penalty kill over the last three games, but gave up a short-handed goal in the third period to the Devils.
“After the short-handed goal, we could’ve just quit, but we didn’t,” said goaltender Tim Thomas, who made 31 saves and fell to 8-2-4 this season. “We are disappointed we are not getting two points, but afterwards we’ll appreciate getting one point from a good team.”
Thomas allowed more than two goals for just the fourth time in his 14 starts.