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The Bruins got their first win of the season on Saturday night at the TD Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Led by overwhelmingly strong puck possession and two goals by Rich Peverley, Boston prevailed in a much better showing of the potential of the defending champions in a 4-1 win than their loss on Thursday.
Appropriately the win came against the Lightning, who the Bruins defeated in a tremendous seven game Eastern Conference Finals last year to advance to Stanley Cup Finals. It seemed like the B’s were firing on all cylinders, with a great offensive presence and terrific goaltending by Tim Thomas.
Things started slow for both teams, emphasized by a lackluster opening twenty minutes. After a dazzling and lengthy players introduction, both Boston and Tampa Bay failed to score in the first, with Tampa Bay not getting their first shot on net until midway through the period. The Lightning were coming off of a 5-1 victory on Friday night over the Carolina Hurricanes, and the impact of playing on consecutive days showed in their low intensity early on. The Bruins, on the other hand, took control of the game from the beginning, outshooting Tampa Bay 15-9 in the scoreless first period.
Things changed in the second period, with both teams coming out with much more energy and physicality. At 2:04 Rich Peverley put the Bruins up 1-0 on a second-chance opportunity. The roars of the home crowd were quickly silenced however, with Tampa Bay answering quickly. After Mathieu Garon stopped Brad Marchand on a scoring chance, Nathan Horton turned the puck over to lead to a breakaway by Martin St. Louis, who scored his 300th career NHL goal, tying the game 1-1 at 3:20. Boston again quickly responded at 4:58 when Daniel Paille redirected a shot by Adam McQuaid past Garon, as the flurry of goals resulted in a 2-1 Bruins lead.
A late penalty to Johnny Boychuck in the second period gave Tampa an early power play opportunity to try and get a rally going against Tim Thomas. Right away he was tested, making a good save against Teddy Purcell as the Lightning found a bit of an offensive spark. However again Tampa Bay had its efforts halted, as Thomas made an amazing save against Victor Hedman, setting up a goal by David Krejci at 3:07 on a rebound. A classic Krejci goal, it gave the Bruins a commanding 3-1 lead and they wouldn’t look back. Assisting on the play was Tyler Seguin, who has looked stellar in the first two games of the season.
Rich Peverley capped off the successful night for the Bruins, jumping on a loose puck out in front of the net. It was his second goal of the game, and the Bruins held on to the 4-1 lead for their first win of the year.
They will try and get win #2 on Monday afternoon when Colorado comes to town.