Marc Savard didn't have a point in his first game of the season, but his return helped spark Boston and 12 other Bruins did collect points to key the rout of Tampa Bay.
Third Period, 13:55, Bruins 7-1: The Bruins add yet another, as Recchi steals the puck from Simon Gagne and Blake Wheeler sends it home from the high slot.
Third Period, 13:10, Bruins 7-1: Thornton didn't get his fight, but he just lined up Smaby for a huge hit in the corner and Smaby limped off hurt.
Third Period, 9:20, Bruins 7-1: Thornton is absolutely begging Smaby to drop the gloves for his earlier hit on Marchand, but Smaby repeatedly turns down the Bruins' tough guy.
Third Period, 7:28, Bruins 7-1: The Bruins take advantage of both the penalty and another break as Ryder's crossing pass hits traffic in front, but Mark Recchi collects the loose puck and fires it in from the slot to make it 7-1.
Third Period, 7:18, Bruins 6-1: Brad Marchand gets nailed with a high hit by Matt Smaby. Thornton tries to get at Smaby, but is cut off by Pavel Kubina, who wrestles with Thornton up along the boards.
Kubina gets the only penalty, as he'll serve two minutes for roughing as the Bruins go on the power play.
Third Period, 6:30, Bruins 6-1: This one has turned into a track meet, with wide-open up and down action and few whistles as the clubs are just trading chances at both ends.
Third Period, 1:50, Bruins 6-1: Ellis' luck is no better, as Michael Ryder greets him with a blast from the high right slot to make it 6-1 and the rout is definitely on now.
Third Period, 0:34, Bruins 5-1: The Bruins strike again, with Krejci scoring his second of the night.
He came down the right wing and fired in an innocent looking shot from the circle that Smith apparently couldn't find. Smith is pulled for Dan Ellis after the goal.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 4-1: The final period is about to get under way, but in what could be a bad omen, Tim Thomas wiped out steppingonto the ice after the intermission.
He was fine except for a little embarrassment. I know Thomas like to flop on the ice, but that s a little ridiculous.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins continued their impressive work in the second, outshooting Tampa 12-10 in the frame and answering the Lightning's lone goal with one of their own to reestablish a three-goal cushion heading into the third.
Savard is up to 10:59 of ice-time on 15 shifts,with 1:53 played on the power play. He doesn't have a shot yet, but is 5-3 on faceoffs.
The Bruins continue to dominate the physical game with a 17-9 advantage in hits, with 13 different players each recording at least one and no Bruin with more than two as everyone has chipped in for the club in that department. Dennis Seidenberg and Shawn Thornton each have a goal and have combined for nine shots, as the Bruins are getting offensive production from some unlikely sources.
End Second Period, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins gave up a goal, but still managed to extend their lead in the second as Lucic and Thornton each scored to take a commanding 4-1 lead into the final frame.
Second Period, 17:30, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins get that goal right back off another Tampa miscue.
Smith and Hedman get tangled up at the left post, and Thornton swoops in to pop in the loose puck from the top of the crease. Marchand and Thomas get credited with assists on the play.
Second Period, 15:14, Bruins 3-1: There won't be a shutout for Thomas in this one, as a broken stick on a shot at the right point by Johnny Boychuk leads to an odd-man break for the Lightning.
Hedman finishes it at the right post off a feed from Malone to cut the lead to two goals.
Second Period, 14:25, Bruins 3-0: Thornton with the bid from the high slot, but Smith makes the save on this one.
After the whistle, Thornton has some heated words with Randy Jones. Thornton has a long memory, and would surely love to get a chance to toss a few punches at the guy who nearly ended Bergeron's career a few years ago while with the Flyers.
Second Period, 10:22, Bruins 3-0: Thomas makes another stop, but Ryan Malone continues to whack away at the tied up puck.
That brings McQuaid over for a shove, but Savard of all people comes flying in to take a shot at Malone. No penalties on the play, as Malone looked a little too shocked to respond to Savard's attack.
Second Period, 6:48, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins strike again, as Milan Lucic finishes a nifty passing play with a tap in at the left post off a feed from Krejci.
Krejci sent it on to Lucic from the middle after taking a pass from Horton on the right side, as all three members of the top line pick up a point on the play.
Second Period, 4:57, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins can't convert on the power play. They had plenty of possession time, but not many crisp passes in the zone to create chances.
Second Period, 2:57, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins will be going on the power play as Victor Hedman goes off for tripping Recchi.
Second Period, 1:59, Bruins 2-0: Thompson goes crashing into the crease and upends Thomas, but no penalty is called.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-0: The second period is under way, with the Bruins looking to build off a strong opening frame.
Steve Downie and Chara were yapping at each other before the opening faceoff of the period, but nothing developed off the puck drop. They had a run-in down in Tampa last year.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins have the start they were hoping for.
They are 9-0-0 when scoring first and 8-0-0 when leading after the first period so far this year, which certainly bodes well for this one.
Savard has looked good in his return, taking seven shifts lasting 4:52, including an even 1:00 on the power play. He's 3-1 on faceoffs.
The Bruins have been outshot 15-9 so far, but Thomas remains in top form, keeping everything out of his net. The Bruins do have a 9-5 edge in hits, with nine different players each registering one hit.
End First Period, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins couldn't have asked for much more out of the opening frame.
Savard returned to a rousing ovation and has looked solid out there, Thomas continues to amaze with his acrobatic saves and they have a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Krejci and Seidenberg, the latter from the nuetral zone as Mike Smith was cuaght wandering from his crease anticipating a dump-in to the corner.
First Period, 19:40, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins catch a huge break as Dennis Seidenberg scores from outside the blue line to double the lead.
Smith headed to the corner anticipating Seidenberg dumping it in along the boards, but Seidenberg put it on net instead and fired it into teh open cage.
First Period, 18:19, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins kill that penalty off and maintain their one-goal lead as the first period winds down.
First Period, 16:19, Bruins 1-0: Some rough stuff here that begins with Thompson shoving in front with McQuaid and Stuart, then off to the side Marchand drops the gloves with Purcell, but the linesmen jump in to prevent the fight.
Marchand gets the only penalty, two minutes for roughing to give the Lightning their first power-play chance.
First Period, 15:18, Bruins 1-0: Thomas does it again, somehow snagging Nate Thompson's bid while seated on the ice to keep it a 1-0 game.
First Period, 13:05, Bruins 1-0: Thomas is under siege that shift with Gagne and Co. buzzing around the net for multiple chance, but the netminder once again keeps everything out.
First Period, 10:52, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first again, this time with David Krejci opening the scoring.
He takes a pass from Lucic and blows by Teddy Purcell just inside the blue line, breaking in alone and beating Smith with a wrister.
First Period, 8:51, 0-0: The Bruins can't convert on the power play, as the sides are back at even strength.
First Period, 6:51, 0-0: The Bruins will go on the first power play of the night as Stamkos is sent off for slashing.
Savard is out on the power play for the Bruins.
First Period, 6:03, 0-0: The Bruins just played a welcome back message to Savard during the TV timeout, drawing another huge ovation from the crowd, while his teammates stood and banged their sticks on the boards in salute.
Savard stood up and waved to acknowledge the crowd response.
First Period, 5:01, 0-0: The Bruins appear to be plenty ready for this one, as they're bringing the physical play early.
Stuart and Seidenberg each had big hits earlier, and now Chara pinches in deep to bury Adam Hall in the corner.
First Period, 3:25, 0-0: Savard has his first chance with a bid in front, then gets leveled by Brett Clark.
He pops up no worse for wear though, surviving his first physical test of the night.
First Period, 2:27, 0-0: Savard takes the ice for his first shift, and is greeted with a huge ovation from the crowd.
The cheers turn to jeers though when Savard is tossed from his first faceoff.
First Period, 0:29, 0-0: Thornton tries to get something going right away, asking Tyrell to fight off the draw.
Tyrell refuses, but Thornton continues to chase him down all shift, eventually bringing Thompson over for some words, then ref Bill McCreary gives a long lecture to Thornton, but no penalties are called.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And we're under way at the Garden, with the Bruins opening with Campbell, Marchand and Thornton up front, Seidenberg and Boychuk and defense and THomas in goal.
Tampa counters with Mike Smith in goal, Mattias Ohlund and Mike Lundin ond D and Dana Tyrell, Adam Hall and former Bruin Nate Thompson up front.
6:55 p.m.: It's official, Marc Savard is back.
The skilled playmaker will make his season debut against the Lightning after missing the first 23 games of the year recovering from post-concussion syndrome symptoms.
Jordan Caron and Daniel Paille are the scratches for the Bruins. Mathieu Roy and Mattias Ritola are the scratches for Tampa Bay.
6:40 p.m.: Savard is skating with Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder in warm-ups, further indicating that he will play in this one.
Jordan Caron is on the ice as well, but did not skate in the line drills. The other combinations featured Brad Marchand back with Greg Campbell and Shawn Thornton, while the top two lines remained the same as Wednesday. David Krejci is between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron is flanked by Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler.
The defense pairs remain Zdeno Chara with Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg with Johny Boychuk and Mark Stuart with Adam McQuaid.
6:30 p.m.: The Bruins and Lightning have taken the ice for warm-ups, and Marc Savard is out there for Boston.
The Bruins actually played a joke on him, as Tim Thomas jumped back off the ice after leading the team out, and the rest of the Bruins stayed back in the hallway, leaving Savard out there alone breifly.
Savard got a warm reception from the small crowd on hand this early, but is sure to get a bigger reception if he indeed does play his first game of the year in this one.
5:30 p.m.: It's been a busy day at the Garden as the Bruins prepare to take on Tampa Bay.
Marc Savard may make his long awaited return to the lineup in this one, but the Bruins weren't ready to commit to that this morning.
Marco Sturm definitely won't be in the lineup though, and not just because he's still rehabbing from offseason knee surgery. Sturm was reportedly traded to Los Angeles for a conditional draft pick, but neither the Bruins nor the Kings have officially confirmed the deal yet.
The line combinations will depend on Savard's status, but Tim Thomas should be in goal after posting a 41-save shutout in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
For a complete breakdown on the matchup with the Lightning, check out our Facing Off feature.
8 a.m.: The Bruins put an end to their recent slide and earned a small measure of satisfaction with an emotional win in Philadelphia in their first meeting with the Flyers since last year's playoff debacle on Wednesday.
Now they return home and have to immediately prepare to take on a talented Tampa Bay team at the Garden on Thursday.
The short turnaround could be a challenge after a physical affair with the Flyers, but it could also benefit the Bruins as they have a chance to build off the momentum from Wednesday's victory without any layoff.
They'll need to be at their best, as the Lightning come in having gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games, including a 3-1 victory over the Bruins in Tampa back on Nov. 22.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.