Bruins-Lightning Live: B’s Use Pair of Shorthanded Goals to Take 3-1 Win on Opening Night

Tuukka RaskFinal, Bruins 3-1: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins hold on, and they start the season on a winning note with a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.

Third period, 17:30, Bruins 3-1: Tuukka Rask saved his best for last, as the Bruins goalie came up with a big-league save here late in the third period.

Brad Marchand turned the puck over in his own end thanks to some pressure from Martin St. Louis who then passed it to a streaking Ryan Malone. The forward one-timed the pass from St. Louis, but Rask came up with a huge pad save to preserve the 3-1 lead.

Third period, 15:00, Bruins 3-1: Boston has done a nice job of tightening up here in the third period, which is no surprise given that’s what they like to do when they have the lead.

Tampa Bay only has five shots here in the third period.

Third period, 10:35, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins’ third line has been arguably their best of the game, and they almost got on the board here in the third period.

They came into the zone with a head of steam, and Reilly Smith found Chris Kelly who quickly passed over to Jordan Caron who came flying down the left wing for the potential scoring chance. However, the play was broken up by the Tampa Bay defense.

That line hasn’t scored as a unit yet — Kelly did score the shorthanded penalty-shot goal in the first — but they have certainly had their chances. Perhaps just as importantly, they look like they have some good chemistry already, which is only going to lead to more success. That is, of course, until Carl Soderberg is healthy and ready to return, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Third period, 8:00, Bruins 3-1: Tuukka Rask has been good in this one, very good.

He just robbed Valtteri Filppula’s attempt for a second goal after the Tampa Bay forward tried to jam home an opportunity to Rask’s left. Filppula took the carom of a shot from the point that went wide and tried to quickly jam it by Rask, but the goalie went right to left to cut off the angle.

Rask has 24 saves so far.

Third period, 4:02, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins have three goals, and two of them have been shorthanded.

Patrice Bergeron just scored his first goal of the season and fittingly, it was on the penalty kill. Bergeron was able to play a puck to himself out into the neutral zone, and he was off to the race. He used a little curl to get around the D and into the slot where he beat Anders Lindback for the shorthanded goal.

Lindback should have had it, though. He made the original save, but he allowed the puck to trickle over the line for the goal.

Third period, 3:38, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins were just bailed out in a big way.

RYan Malone, who was camped out in front of the Boston goal, got tangled up with Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk. The Bruins d-man went down, and Malone was called for interference.

Third period, 2:06, Bruins 2-1: On the ensuing faceoff, Zdeno Chara was called for interference, which means the Lightning have just under an entire two minutes of 5-on-3.

 Third period, 2:03, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins’ penalty kill will be relied on again.

This time, Shawn Thornton is given a two-minute penalty for slashing, and the B’s are back on the kill.

Third period, 0:01, Bruins 2-1: The third period is underway, where the Bruins will try to put the finishing touches on this one.

They’re 76-6-6 since the start of 2010-11 when leading after two periods.

End second period, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins came close to taking a 3-1 lead as the second period came to an end.

Chris Kelly just outworked a Lightning defenseman to get a puck in the Tampa Bay zone. The Boston center brought it to the slot and then passed it to Jordan Caron who was flying down the left wing. Caron’s shot was on goal, but Anders Lindback was able to make the blocker save right before the buzzer.

Second period, 19:00, Bruins 2-1: Milan Lucic is already off to a better start than he was last season.

The Bruins power forward, who struggled out of the gates last season, just scored on a wicked shot from the slot that went up over Anders Lindback’s right shoulder.

That was all thanks in large part to a nice play from David Krejci who walked the puck into the zone before making a nice little pass to the trailing Lucic who snapped it home.

Second period, 15:00, 1-1: There’s really not a ton going on right now, as outside of the Jarome Iginla fight and the Tampa Bay goal, it’s been pretty quiet here in the second period.

The Bruins are going to want to tighten things up at some point, as they look a little shaky defensively, which is something you’re not used to saying when talking about the B’s.

There are also some chemistry things playing out right in front of us. The Patrice Bergeron line was caught offside a little while ago — they were offside five times last week against Winnipeg — and the David Krejci line looks a little out of sync as well.

Second period, 10:32, 1-1: Any momentum gained from the Jarome Iginla fight was just lost.

Valterri Filppula just scored his first goal as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning after some poor defensive breakdowns from the Bruins. The B’s defensemen got caught up ice, and then Eric Brewer took over. The Tampa Bay forward stepped around a Daniel Paille hip check and then fed Filppula in front of a diving Gregory Campbell.

Tuukka Rask had no chance on that one.

Second period, 9:06, Bruins 1-0: Welcome to Boston, Jarome Iginla.

The new B’s forward just went a long way in endearing himself to Boston fans with his first fight as a member of the Bruins. The future Hall of Famer dropped the gloves with Radko Gudas and had himself a spirited fight here midway through the second.

That was a long one that featured a bunch of right hands from both combatants. That was about as loud as the Garden has been all night long.

Second period, 6:23, Bruins 1-0: Still not sure why the Jordan Caron goal was waved off, but that doesn’t diminish the night he’s had so far.

He’s getting a chance to play, thanks to Carl Soderberg’s ankle injury, and Caron is taking advantage so far. He’s flying all over the ice, and he’s putting himself in a good position to make things happen.

Second period, 2:06, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins looked to have taken a 2-0 lead, but Jordan Caron’s goal turned into a non-goal.

Caron came in, put a shot on goal and then scored on his own rebound, but the goal was waved off by the referee behind the net. It sounded like there may have been an early whistle there for some reason, and that’s what takes the goal off the board.

 Second period, 0:30, Bruins 1-0: Both Bruins penalties have been killed, and we’re back to even strength.

Second period, 0:01, Bruins 1-0: The second period is underway.

First period reaction: Well, the Bruins have the lead, so they have to be happy about that. Other than that, though, it was a pretty unspectacular 20 minutes of hockey from the home team.

First, the good, though. Chris Kelly scored an absolutely gorgeous shorthanded penalty-shot goal for the game’s lone goal so far. It was a move not unlike Shawn Thornton’s against Winnipeg a couple of years back. That penalty shot was awarded after Kelly was able to break free on a shorthanded chance. It was actually the third shorthanded chance of the kill for the Bruins after semi-breakaways from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

That offensive input was more than the power play could muster. The Boston power play, which has been revamped over the offseason and into the preseason, looked like a work in progress still. Boston could only get one shot off during the man-advantage, meaning they got much better chances on the penalty kill than they did on the power play. That’s something we’ve grown accustomed to in the past few years, though.

The biggest reason the Bruins are in the lead right now, though, is probably Tuukka Rask. The Finnish goalie is picking up right where he left off with another tremendous showing in the first period. He stopped all 15 shots he faced, and he made a couple of big saves late in the period with the B’s attempting to kill off a 5-on-3.

The Bruins will have to kill off 4 seconds of that 5-on-3 to open the second, and then there will be six seconds left on Gregory Campbell’s penalty before we’re back to even strength.

End first period, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins survived the majority of the 5-on-3, and they’ll go to the dressing room after the first period with some momentum.

Tuukka Rask just gloved a Steven Stamkos shot from the right faceoff circle — no small feat — to keep Tampa Bay off the board.

That came just a few seconds after he smothered a chance for the Lightning in front covering up a loose puck before Stamkos was able to jam it home.

First period, 18:11, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are now down two men.

Gregory Campbell was just called for delay of game just 7 seconds into the original power play, so the Lightning will have a 5-on-3 for 1:53.

First period, 18:04, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins going to have to kill another penalty, but that’s not what everyone at TD Garden is talking about right now.

Shawn Thornton just picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Pierre-Cedric Labrie. The big Tampa Bay forward may have gotten the best of Thornton in that one, though.

However, Adam McQuaid was called for cross-checking Labrie, so the Bruins are going back on the penalty kill.

First period, 12:49, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins went on to kill the penalty off on top of the Chris Kelly penalty-shot goal. The penalty shot was the first of Kelly’s career.

Quick correction from earlier, as I had Nathan Horton, not Jarome Iginla, listed as the Bruins’ top-line winger. Old habits die hard.

First period, 11:39, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins’ first goal of the season comes … on a shorthanded penalty shot.

The third of the team’s shorthanded chances on this one penalty kill came from Chris Kelly who was pulled down on the breakaway. The alternate captain undressed Anders Lindback with an amazing move to give the B’s the 1-0 lead.

First period, 10:12, 0-0: Lots of nonstop action in the first half of the first period that left us without a whistle for quite some time.

Play finally just came to an end, but it’s bad news for the Bruins, as they’ll have to kill off a penalty for the first time this year. Reilly Smith was just called for hooking after he and the rest of the third line got caught in a very long shift in which they couldn’t clear the puck.

Tampa Bay’s power play, which features plenty of weapons, is about to go to work for the first time in this one.

First period, 4:40, 0-0: Not much of anything for the Bruins on their first power play with a new-look unit.

The B’s only mustered one shot, and that was a weak one from the left wing off the stick of Zdeno Chara that Anders Lindback easily pushed aside.

First period, 2:32, 0-0: The Bruins are going to get the game’s first power play.

Matt Carle was just called for interference, and the B’s get their first man-advantage of the season.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: Let’s go. The season is underway.

6:40 p.m.: The Bruins and Lightning are on the ice for the pregame skate, and it looks like Matt Batrkowski is indeed the club’s seventh defeseneman, for this game at least.

The Bruins’ lines are the same as listed below, which means Bartkowski is the odd man out. General manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday at media day that the club might use a “platoon” like baseball teams do with hitters.

Either way, Bartkowski looks to be out.

3:45 p.m.: David Krejci’s back spasms won’t be enough to keep him out of the season opener.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien said his first-line center is feeling good after battling some back spasms recently, and Krejci will be in the lineup when the puck drops on the new season.

Here are the projected Bruins lines based on the morning skate.

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron — Chris Kelly — Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara — Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg — Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid

Matt Bartkowski also rotated in during line rushes on the blue line, and Julien would not say which young defenseman would sit for the season opener.

Also, Anders Lindback was the first goalie off the ice for Tampa Bay, which means he’ll likely get the start. No surprises on the Bruins’ side, as Tuukka Rask will get the starting nod for the Bruins.

8 a.m. ET: Ready or not, hockey is back in Boston.

The Bruins’ abbreviated summer vacation is over after they came up just short during an abbreviated 2013 season. Just a little more than three months after their season ended with a loss to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final, the B’s are set to open their 2013-14 campaign Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

While the B’s are returning a good majority of their core that’s been to two Stanley Cup Finals in the last three years, there will be noticeable change when they hit the TD Garden ice for the first time. There’s been a shakeup in the top six, with Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin gone through free agency and a trade, respectively. In their places will be Jarome Iginla on the first-line right wing as he begins his latest quest for a Stanley Cup, while Loui Eriksson has come aboard to skate on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

There’s also some changes on the blue line. The Bruins made the hard decision to move on from Andrew Ference, who is now in Edmonton serving as the Oilers’ captain. The decision to let Ference walk in free agency was spurred in large part by the emergence of a trio of young defensemen. Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski will continue to battle it out for the fifth and sixth defensive spots as the season begins.

Tuukka Rask is back between the pipes, of course, but he’s doing so as a man who became very rich this summer. Rask signed an enormous eight-year contract extension in July, and he’ll be looking to make good on that.

It all gets started Thursday at 7 p.m. from the Garden, and we’ll have updates throughout the day and night right here.

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