Bruins cruise in shutting out Lightning

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Boston Bruins were amused by the chants of "Let's go Red Sox" reverberating through a Tampa Bay Times Forum increasingly devoid of Lightning fans in the third period on Saturday.
Both the Bruins and expatriated supporters had the luxury of moving on to their next sporting interest of the evening by that time, as Boston generated offense from untapped sources and Tampa Bay generated almost none at in a 5-0 romp.
A two-win jaunt through Florida successfully complete -- following a 3-2 win over the Panthers on Thursday -- the Bruins, too, were eager to find a television after become fans.
"Nothing against you guys, but I'm kind of eager to get out of here," Shawn Thornton, who scored his first goal of the season to conclude the Bruins' onslaught, said to reporters after the game.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper seemed eager to put the game behind him, too.
"The only thing good about to night was the National Anthem," he said. "After that it sucked."
Three Bruins scored their first goals of the season and another his second as their defensive-minded approach kept grinding out opportunities. With four goals by the end of the second period, Boston had forced the ouster of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, who entered among the league elite with five wins and a 1.57 goals-against average.
Boston improved to 5-2-0 behind its biggest scoring output of the season. The Lightning had a two-game win streak ended in falling to 5-3-0. The Lightning had not been shut out this season and was averaging 3.7 goals per game.
"We're all playing solid. It helps everyone when we do that," said Patrice Bergeron, who scored his second goal of the season. "We generate a lot of plays off solid defense."
Tampa Bay outshot Boston 23-22 but was never able to establish its speed or utilize its passing prowess, making for a mostly uneventful night for Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. He was equal to his top challenge, gloving an attempted tip-in from two-time goal-scoring champion Steven Stamkos with 11:21 left.
"No odd-man rushes, no breakaways," Rask said of the formula for miring the Lightning. "After that you stay sharp and know who you're up against you, and try to shut down their best players."
Boston took a 1-0 lead on its first shot of the game with just one minute, 32 seconds elapsed as David Krejci fired his first goal of the season past Bishop.
The center appeared to push Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman past the crease as he prepared to take Milan Lucic's crossing pass from the left wing. It began a horrid night for Hedman, who finished minus-5 after being on ice for every goal.
Lightning defenseman Sami Salo also failed to poke away the pass as it reached Krejci cleanly. Jarome Iginla earned an assist on the play.
Adam McQuaid improved the Boston lead to 2-0 with 15:23 left in the second period by blasting his first goal of the season from the high point and through an Iginla screen of Bishop.
Bergeron turned a neutral zone turnover into a 3-0 lead with 5:08 left in the second period as he fought off Ryan Malone to poke Reilly Smith's feed through Bishop's pads.
Chris Kelly gave Boston a 4-0 bulge just more than a minute later by slipping past Hedman to fire in his third goal of the season. Marchand and Carl Soderberg each picked up their first assists. The goal was Kelly's third.
"It was really disappointing that we didn't come in against a team that we felt was coming into our building," Cooper said. "This was a little bit of a statement game for us and I guess it definitely turned out to be a statement game, just not the way we wanted it."
Thornton scored his first of the season just 34 seconds into the third period for a 5-0 lead. Daniel Paille earned his first assist.
"[Boston is] a very structured team and I thought from the get-go we didn't have the grit that we needed to have," said Lightning captain Martin St. Louis. "It starts with me and tonight I didn't have the grit and just the aggressiveness that I need to help the team when we are struggling a little bit.
"We all were caught watching a little bit instead of making it happen. Sometimes it is one of those games that it's not about pretty play it's just about going and winning a game."
NOTES: Lightning G Bishop had not allowed more than two goals in a game in his previous five starts this season. He allowed four goals on 17 shots and was removed for G Anders Lindback after allowing his fourth with 4:13 left in the second period. "To be honest, he was left in at goal too late," Cooper said. "I should have probably taken him out earlier. He's been great for us. What do you say? I mean would he like a few of those back? I'm sure he would, but this falls nowhere near on our goaltenders." ... Boston C Carl Soderberg made his season debut, joining a third line with C Chris Kelly and LW Brad Marchand. The 28-year-old Swede had not played since injuring an ankle in Boston's final preseason game Sept. 27. With the Bruins carrying 13 forwards on their roster, RW Jordan Caron (one point) was a healthy scratch Saturday. ... Stamkos and Salo had four-game points streaks snapped.

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