Bruins Power Up
Special Teams Lift Boston Past Tampa Bay
Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand (63) celebrates his go-ahead goal with teammates Patrice Bergeron (37) and Rich Peverley (49) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Boston, Saturday, March, 2, 2013. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston — The Boston Bruins’ power-play woes took a dramatic turn.
While Boston still has much to work ahead with the man advantage, a pair of rare power-play goals led the Bruins from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday.
Tyler Seguin’s goal early in the second period was Boston’s first at home during a power play this season, then Brad Marchand doubled the small total when he scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:16 left in the third period with Tampa Bay down a man because of a four-minute high sticking penalty.
“It’s big. We needed those,” Marchand said. “That’s what we need our power play to do — step up at the right times, get us in the game.”
Seguin’s goal cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-1, Rich Peverley scored 1:17 later to tie it and Marchand scored the winner when he and Patrice Bergeron got behind the Lightning’s penalty killers for a 2-on-1.
Bergeron raced up the right side and timed the pass to his left perfectly. All Marchand had to do was direct it at the net, where goalie Mathieu Garon was caught on the wrong side.
“Bergie gives me a wide-open net to shoot at. I think anyone in this league would’ve hit that,” said Marchand, who leads the Bruins with 11 goals. “I’m fortunate to be on the team I am.”
The Bruins are now 9 for 59 on the power play, still one of the lowest percentages in the league. Yet the Bruins continue to win, extending their streak to six straight yesterday as they enjoy their best start since the 1929-30 season.
“It’s not always going to be your way so you have to find ways to show some character,” Bergeron said. “I think we’ve done that again tonight.”
The Bruins were called 10 penalties, six in the first period, and the Lightning had seven in the game, including Brendan Mikkelson’s double-minor for a high stick on Milan Lucic with 5:39 left in the third.
The Lightning nearly had the penalty killed, but Steven Stamkos tried for a short-handed goal instead of killing time. The shot took a funny bounce off the boards and set up Bergeron and Marchand for the winning goal.
“We gambled and wasted 58 minutes of hard, intelligent, paying-the-price work,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.
Stamkos and Alexander Killorn scored for Tampa Bay, both on power plays in the first period. The Lightning failed to score on six other power plays and finished with just 22 shots on goal.
“It’s not all the time that you score on the first two power plays,” Stamkos said. “Sometimes it’s the last two and then everyone says ‘Oh, your power play is great!’ Our power play was better tonight. We generated some chances and we got two. Hopefully we build on that.”
Anton Khudobin had 20 saves as Boston starter Tuukka Rask got the day off with rival Montreal coming to Boston tonight.
Garon finished with 24 saves for the Lightning, who lost their fourth in a row.
The Bruins were called for six penalties in the first period and Tampa Bay capitalized on two of them.
Stamkos put the Lightning up 1-0 on a wrist shot 5:32 into the game off passes from Teddy Purcell and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Purcell got another assist when Alexander Killorn beat Khudobin with a backhander for a 2-0 lead with 11:22 left in the first. Purcell took a pass from Martin St. Louis, crossed the blue line and headed straight up the middle before dropping a pass behind to Killorn, who got Khudobin off balance and tapped it in for his third goal of the season.
Seguin got a rare power-play goal for the Bruins on a one-timer from the left circle 3:22 into the second. It was the first power-play goal at home for the Bruins and just the eighth time they scored in 57 chances overall this season. Dougie Hamilton and David Krejci assisted on the goal.
Notes: The Bruins improved to 6-1-1 at home. ... Stamkos extended his point streak to nine straight games. ... The Bruins and Lightning will meet one more time during the regular season when the Lightning return to Boston on April 25. The game was scheduled for Feb. 9 but postponed because of a blizzard. ... Peverley’s goal was his 199th career point. Lighting LW Benoit Pouliot left the game with an upper body injury after taking a hard hit from Dennis Seidenberg with 9:15 left in the first period. Seidenberg was called for boarding on the play.