The Bruins are a wagon this season and continued to prove as much with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
Boston now has won 13 straight games on TD Garden ice.
Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves between the pipes and saved the game with a sliding right pad stop on Corey Perry in the third period with the Bruins up 2-1. Taylor Hall scored two goals and showed he can play on any line and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter to seal the victory.
Here are four takeaways from Tuesday’s win.
Nick Foligno is a whole new player
After struggling much of last season to provide any offensive support to the Bruins in his first year with Boston, Foligno looks like a player revived. The forward helped set up Hall’s second goal of the night with a beautiful feed right to his teammate’s stick on the power play. Foligno has made an impact whenever he’s on the ice, and it’s not going unnoticed.
“He’s been doing an incredible job,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters after the game. “The play by (Hampus) Lindholm to hit Foligno is big-time, and then the play Foligno makes is big-time. You make two great plays in a row, you usually end up with that kind of power play where you got half the net to look at.”
Jake DeBrusk echoed his head coach’s sentiments.
“It was a sick play,” he told reporters. “(Foligno’s) done that a couple of times this year where you don’t necessarily know where he’s going and he chucks it out front and it’s wide open. That’s a veteran play.”
Foligno has received praise all season for what he’s done on the ice and it’s clear he’s a big part of this team’s success.
Third line isn’t demotion to Taylor Hall
Hall began the season playing on the second line but since has been bumped to the third with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. While it may seem like a demotion to some, Hall isn’t seeing it that way. He also isn’t playing like he’s got an issue with it considering his two-goal night — including the game-winner.
“Wherever you’re slotted, you’ve got to make the best of your ice time,” Hall told reporters after the game. “Charlie Coyle, as a third line center, that’s one of the best third-line centers in the whole league. So, 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, and I think we can be a really good line.”
Montgomery praised Hall’s attitude about playing on the third line.
“He is very accepting of the fact that I’m using him on the third line and we’re using him on the second power play because that is what’s best for the Boston Bruins,” Montgomery told reporters. “I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude. He’s still getting 15 minutes a night, and some nights he’s getting 16, 17 depending on special teams.”
Patrice Bergeron is so, so good
That might be the understatement of the season, but Bergeron continued to play the best hockey we’ve seen him play Tuesday night. While he didn’t appear on the score sheet against the Lightning, his time on the ice during five-on-five play certainly impacts Boston’s opponents.
Bergeron continues to be one of the best two-way centers in the league and, though it’s early, looks to be a favorite for his sixth Selke Trophy.
Jeremy Swayman came up big when it mattered most
Swayman made his second start since suffering an injury earlier in November, and it’s clear he’s feeling pretty good. His 27 stops helped the B’s to victory, but his most important save came with just under seven minutes left in the third period with the Bruins clinging to a one-goal lead. Tampa Bay had a two-on-one and Perry had a prime opportunity to tie at 2-2, but Swayman protected the crease and made a save with his right pad.
“That’s the best he’s looked this year to me,” Montgomery told reporters. “Very calm in the crease tonight which is a great sign. Any time you’re behind the bench, and you think your goalie is calm in the crease, it’s usually because he is being patient on his feet, and he’s seeing the puck well.”