Bruins Top the Lightning 3-1 on Opening Night

Bruins-Lightning-AWAY

The TD Garden was full once more for the home opener of the Bruins 90th season.  The fans erupted with cheers as the 2013-2014 Bruins team took to the ice Thursday night to face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The first action of the game came at 11:39, while the Bruins were on the penalty kill.  Chris Kelly had a short-handed breakaway.  His shot missed as he was hooked from behind by Barberio.  The referees rewarded him with a penalty shot.  It was the first penalty shot of his career and proved to be successful as he scored on the backhand.  The Bruins were up 1-0.

Excitement was added to the game as Shawn Thornton dropped his gloves with Labrie and picked up his first fighting major of the year.  The brawl was brief, but it was enough to get the crowd into it.  The two both got 5 minutes for fighting.  Shortly after, McQuaid was sent to the box for cross checking and Campbell picked up an intentional delay of game penalty when he sent a puck into the stands.

The Bruins were down two men, and it didn’t look good.  Never fear however, because their penalty kill that was excellent last year seemed to pick up right where it left off.  The Bruins fearlessly worked to kill the 5-3 disadvantage.  When the buzzer rang throughout the arena, they were up 1-0 and successfully had killed a majority of the penalty.

The Bruins third line tonight looked solid.  Julien said later in post game interviews that he believed that Kelly was the best player on the ice tonight.  Caron seemed to slide into the third line spot effortlessly as he took over tonight for the injured Soderberg. Caron would have put the Bruins up 2-0, but his goal was waved off due to a quick whistle.  Many people were confused as to why it wasn’t a goal and it seemed controversial but in the end it was waved off and the game continued.

Jarome Iginla dropped his gloves with Radko Gudas in the middle of the second period after he didn’t like the hit that Gudas had laid on him.  The gloves dropped as the two became tangled, and Iginla inked himself with his first fighting major with Boston.  The few fans that had booed him at the start of the game when he was introduced became silenced. Iggy was fighting for Boston. He was standing up for his new team, and proving to everyone that he is now a Bruin.

In the second period, Flippula tied it up for the Lightning at 10:32.  The game wore on, tied for a few minutes before the Bruins were quickly back on top.  Milan Lucic came in and flipped from the backhand to the forehand quickly on a feed from David Krejci.  The Bruins were ahead and it would stay that way.  The crowd chanted a long “Looooch” cheer as he put the Bruins back on top.

After two periods of play, the Bruins were ahead 2-1.  Tampa Bay led Boston on shots on goal with 23 while Boston had 15.

In the third period, both Thronton and Chara were called quickly for penalties and once again the Bruins had to kill a 5-3 disadvantage.  The penalty kill proved strong once more.  For the second time in one game, the Bruins scored again on the penalty kill.  This time it was Patrice Bergeron who notched a shorthanded goal to give the Bruins a two-goal lead.  Bergeron is back and didn’t seem to be affected from the injuries he endured in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The lead was enough for Boston, as Tampa Bay was unable to do anything more than the lone goal.  Forward, Steven Stamkos was held to just one shot and one blocked shot on the night as the Bruins covered all their bases.  As the game continued, they grew stronger and gained more and more momentum.  Both Bergeron and Kelly led for time on ice during short-handed situations.  Bergeron was 16-26 on face-offs while Kelly was 10-14.  Chara had a time on ice of 24:14.

Rask tallied up 32 saves on the night as the Bruins tallied their first win of the season.  On Saturday night, they’ll take on their new division rivals: The Detroit Red Wings at the Garden.

Rachel Murphy – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

Follow along with Rachel on Twitter: @rembostonsports

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