Friday, December 05, 2008
BRUINS STRIDE PAST LIGHTNING
For all the enthusiasm the Bruins had last year, they lacked a certain confidence as a team. Many games, they'd fall behind and force the issue in an attempt to even things up. This would lead to counterattacking opportunities from opponents (most notable Montreal), and the B's would find themselves even deeper in the hole. As Shane Falco put it in The Replacements, they'd get stuck in quicksand.
The Bruins have given up the first goal in 4 of their last 5 games. Yet they're 4-1-0 in that stretch. Last night was more of the same as Tampa Bay scored 81 seconds after faceoff. Tim Thomas was drawn out of position by the indomitable Vincent Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis took advantage of the half empty net for a score.
But the Bruins didn't waiver. They seemed to know that they were a better team than the Lightning. Plugging away, they were stifled by goalie Mike Smith. At least until the Savard line of the Bruins' points leader (Marc Savard), the Bruins' goal leader (Phil Kessel), and the Bruins' hits leader (Milan Lucic) found the back of the net.
David Krejci put the Bruins ahead with a brilliant individual effort and a shorthanded goal. That's his 8th goal of the year. Last season, he only had 6. He's scored points in 7 straight games.
The Bruins stay in Florida to take on the Panthers Saturday night.
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara