Bruins Notes: Strong Effort Comes Up Short Vs. First-Place Lightning

Despite getting out to an early lead, the Boston Bruins just couldn’t put the game away against the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Monday.

The Bruins took a 4-2 lead into the third period before allowing the Lightning to score three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes, which resulted in Boston’s 5-4 defeat. Tuukka Rask pushed away 23 of the 28 shots he faced during Monday’s loss, despite making several impressive saves along the way to keep the Bruins alive.

The health of Boston’s defense continues to disintegrate, however, with the loss of John Moore in the first period. Moore was visibly in pain after taking a nasty cross-check from behind courtesy of Tampa Bay winger Adam Erne. He exited the ice and would not return to the game with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Bruins are hoping to see two of their injured defensemen (Matt Grzelcyk and Kevan Miller) return to the ice this weekend as Boston heads into a double-header against the Florida Panthers and the Detroit Red Wings, respectively.

Boston still holds a five-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division with six games left in the regular season. The Black and Gold will return to home ice Wednesday for a tilt against the New York Rangers, who have won just two of their last 10 games.

Here are some other notes from the Lightning-Bruins game:

— Brad Marchand continued to pile up the points, netting two goals against the Lightning on Monday for a career-high 92 points. The winger is just four points away from matching the 96 earned by Marc Savard in the 2006-07 season, and three behind the 95 put up by Jason Allison in the 2000-01 season.

— By the end of the night, Patrice Bergeron had achieved a career high of his own. The 33-year-old earned his 74th and 75th points of the season by notching two assists. The 15-season veteran is just one goal shy of matching his career-high of 32 in a single season.

— Speaking of Boston’s first line, their success continued against Tampa Bay despite the difficult loss. Each player (David Pastrnak, Bergeron, and Marchand) notched at least two points Monday night, with Marchand netting two of the four goals scored by the Bruins.

In fact, the trio has scored nearly 40 percent (196 goals) of the Bruins 504 goals over the last two seasons.

— Charlie Coyle scored his first goal in a Bruins uniform to tie the game in the second period.

— David Backes extended his point streak to three with an assist on Coyle’s goal.

— Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos scored his 40th and 41st goals of the season in the first period, becoming the second player on the team to score 40 goals this season. The 29-year-old has 93 points in total this season thanks to his four-point effort against the Bruins.

— Brandon Carlo scored for the first time in 44 games.

He also had a whopping 27:00 of ice time.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports images

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