BOSTON — The two goals Taylor Hall delivered Tuesday night for the Boston Bruins were essential.
But that’s not all Hall contributed. His ability to do the little things, whether crashing the net or blocking a shot, severed important as well in Boston’s 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to keep the Bruins undefeated at 13-0-0 on their home ice this season.
“He’s doing, what I call, a lot of championship-type hockey things that are helping our team win hockey games,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said.
While Hall’s flashy goal-scoring stole the show, especially when he potted a pass from Nick Foligno on the power play just 2:49 into the third period to break a 1-1 deadlock, it was his willingness to do the dirty work in all phases that have shown growth in his game.
And Montgomery has also seen the 31-year-old Hall, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft and 2017-18 Hart Trophy winner, check any ego that might come attached with those labels and do what’s best for the team. Even if it means playing on the third line as he did against the Lightning.
“Coming here, I was excited to work with him because he’s older now as far as where he is (with) his maturity in his game and what’s important to him now is winning,” Montgomery said. “He wants to win a Cup. He wants to be in a dressing room that values winning and has that pedigree, and I think it shows in the way he’s playing.
“He’s very acceptive of the fact that I’m using him on the third line and we’re using him on the second power play because that’s what’s best for the Boston Bruins. I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude.”
Hall echoed his coach’s sentiment as he’s chasing team success over individual accolades. He’s also found a nice rapport playing alongside third-line center Charlie Coyle.
“Whatever is best for the team,” Hall said. “You come into the year you think you’re going to be on one line and you’re going to have a lot of success. Sometimes things work out, sometimes things don’t. … Wherever you’re slotted, you got to make the best of your ice time. … I don’t take it as a demotion. I take it as do what you can with the ice time you’re given and the opportunity you’re given. I think we can be a really good line.”
Here are more notes from Tuesday’s Bruins-Lightning game:
— Derek Forbort and Trent Frederic both returned after injuries forced them out of the lineup. Forbort, who missed 11 games after undergoing surgery on a broken finger, suited up on the third defensive pairing with Connor Clifton and logged 19:15 of ice time. Frederic had only been sidelined for the last two games due to an upper-body and he factored in on Hall’s opening goal just 1:07 into the contest with an assist.
— Jeremy Swayman turned in a stellar effort between the pipes, stopping 27 shots against a top-five offense in the league. The 24-year-old netminder also came through with a dazzling pad save to deny Corey Perry late in the third period.
“Goalie (coach) Bob (Essensa) has really liked his progression,” Montgomery said. “That’s the best he’s looked this year to me. Very calm in the crease tonight, which is a great sign anytime you’re behind the bench and you think your goalie is calm in the crease, it’s usually because he’s being patient on his feet and he’s seeing the puck well.”
— The penalty kill woes for the Bruins continue to persist. An inference call on Pavel Zacha led to a tally on the man-advantage from Lightning star Steven Stamkos to level the score with 1:40 remaining in the second period. Boston has now allowed a power-play goal in seven straight games.
— The Bruins finish the month of November with an 11-2 record.
— The Bruins have three days off before hosting the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.