By Dory LeBlanc
Ever since that May evening back in 2011 when the Bruins sent the Bolts home to Tampa instead of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, the rivalry between the two clubs has been tenacious, and often at times, brutal.
Saturday night was no different.
The Bruins won their first of four meetings this year in the season opener by a score of 3-1 at the TD Garden and took the second 5-0 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
1:32 into the contest, David Krejci put the Bruins on the board after a pass from Milan Lucic was sent right in front of the net for an easy score, as Ben Bishop had shifted to the right side of the net to protect against the dangerous winger, and Krejci was left wide open. 30 seconds later, B.J. Crombeen and Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves, and subsequently both sat the next two minutes out.
Although the scoreboard remained 1-0 through the first 20 minutes, the penalty box stayed active, with Boston committing two minors (Brad Marchand - slashing, Dennis Seidenberg - interference) and Tampa Bay grabbing one (Sami Salo - holding).
If Bruins head coach Claude Julien's gameplan was to score quickly on the Lightning, who were fourth in the NHL in goals for with 25 entering the game and sixth in goals against with 16, Boston succeeded, as Adam McQuaid extended their lead to 2-0 with 4:37 off the clock in the second period.
The Lightning did get noticed from the score keeper in the middle stanza, but mostly due to penalties as Eric Brewer went off for hooking, followed by Matt Carle for holding. Carle's penalty negated a Tampa Bay power play, as Marchand got his second slashing minor of the game less than a minute before the Bolts' defenseman was sent off the ice.
Patrice Bergeron scored his second goal of the season to put the Bruins up 3-0, after going five-hole on Bishop and Chris Kelly gave Boston one more less than a minute later after finding a slight gap between the Lightning goalie and the post. Bolts skipper Jon Cooper, opted to pull Bishop, who had not allowed more than two goals in the five contests he started this season, in favor of Anders Lindback, who had yet to record a W in his two starts this campaign.
Continuing with the "score quickly" theme, Shawn Thornton opened the third period by putting Boston up 5-0 on a one-timer 34 seconds in. To that point, the Bruins had scored five goals on only 18 shots, while Tuuka Rask had stopped all 15 he faced.
A bright spot for the Tampa Bay was the penalty kill, which did not allow a goal on any of Boston's five power plays, the final being Brewer's second of the night (holding) at 5:21 of the third. Nate Thompson and McQuaid were given five-minute fighting majors, followed by Radko Gudas and Jerome Iginla picking up five-minute fighting penalties and two-minute roughing penalties shortly thereafter. The Gudas-Iginla fight was set off by a trip by Krejci, which he was called for, giving the Lightning a power play opportunity which they could not capitalize on late in the game.
When all was said and done, the Bruins came out on top, shutting out the Lightning 5-0 to take a two-game lead on the season series.
The Lightning will be able to exact revenge as the two teams will meet again in Boston on November 11th.
Attendance: 18, 512
Shots On Goal:
BOS - 22
TB - 23
BOS - 0/8
TB - 0/8
Three Stars of the Game: TBA
Next up for the Bolts: Tampa Bay will host the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, October 24th at 7:30pm. Tune in to 970 WFLA to hear Hall of Famer Phil Esposito and Dave Mishkin's call.