Boston 4, Tampa Bay 2
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron scored key goals, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves as the Boston Bruins leapfrogged Tampa Bay into first place in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 win over the visiting Lightning on Thursday night.
Pastrnak’s 32nd goal of the season late in the first period was the Bruins’ second in the final minute of the opening frame. Bergeron’s 28th goal with 8:01 remaining in the third added some important insurance before Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman scored his 15th with 6:06 left.
Brad Marchand’s team-leading 34th goal, an empty-netter with 55.1 seconds to play, sealed the win.
With 107 points, the Bruins are now one point ahead of the Lightning with a game in hand. Tampa Bay had been in first place in the division since Oct. 19.
Tim Schaller scored his 12th goal for Boston, which bounced back from a 5-4 shootout loss in Winnipeg on Tuesday to win for the third time in four games.
J.T. Miller collected his 21st goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 26 saves as Tampa Bay took its third straight defeat and its fifth in eight games.
The Bruins blanked the Lightning 3-0 in the first game between the Atlantic Division powerhouses this season March 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The teams conclude their three-game season series April 3 at Tampa Bay.
Schaller beat Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh to the puck in front of Vasilevskiy and poked in the rebound with 57.8 seconds left in the first period.
Pastrnak was credited with the Bruins’ second goal on a power play with 25.8 ticks to go in the first after he fired in a wrist shot from the left circle.
Miller slammed home a hot feed from Nikita Kucherov right in front of the crease to bring Tampa Bay within 2-1 just 1:44 into the second.
Later in the second period, Rask threw several punches at Cory Conacher after the Tampa Bay left winger got tangled up with Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo and was slow to get out of the crease. Rask and Conacher were assessed roughing minors, and Conacher was also whistled for goalie interference.
Vasilevskiy skated down the ice toward Rask before the on-ice officials kept them separated.
–Field Level Media