Things began very well for Tampa Bay, as their lethargic (at least right now) power play scored twice during the opening period. It began with Steven Stamkos extending his points streak to nine games by beating Bruins backup netminder Anton Khudobin. Not a bad way to start his 300th consecutive game. Just about three minutes later, with Andrew Ference in the box, rookie call-up Alex Killorn batted a Teddy Purcell rebound past Khudobin. Note that this was the first time since Feb. 1 the Lightning scored multiple goals with a man advantage.
Unfortunately, the Bruins’ power play came alive in the second period, with Tyler Seguin‘s shot hitting the top crossbar and bouncing in. Honestly, that seems to be how things are going for the Lightning right now. About a minute later Rich Peverley steamed in, and his bad angle shot eluded goaltender Mathieu Garon enough to tie things.
The Lightning had their own chances to retake the lead, most notably during a four minute high sticking call against Ference in the second, but just couldn’t beat Khudobin. That’s not too surprising though, given Boston’s top-notch penalty kill.
Former Bruin Benoit Pouliot, now a top six forward for the Lightning, was injured midway through the first and didn’t play the final two periods. The team classified it as upper body, but gave no other information.
A four-minute high sticking penalty to Brendan Mikkelson with six minutes remaining started off well, as Killorn nearly scored shorthanded. However, the Lightning’s constant pressing for that lead goal ended up being costly, with a turnover at the blue-line leading to Brad Marchand‘s game winner when the penalty was about to expire. This certainly didn’t make head coach Guy Boucher very happy, something which was quite evident as he laid into the team afterwards. Clearly, he believed their offense-first mentality greatly contributed to them not getting at least one point.
This loss dropped the Lightning further down the Eastern Conference, not to mention Southeast Division, standings. They now hope to get back on track, and in the win column, Monday night versus Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Truly, there’s no other choice.