The ink barely dried on Marc Savard's new seven-year contract when the Boston Bruins' No. 1 center achieved a major milestone on Wednesday night.
Savard notched his 200th NHL goal, while Marco Sturm scored twice and Tim Thomas made 39 saves as the Bruins won for the six time in seven games with a 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
''Signed a contract and gets his 200th goal,'' Boston coach Claude Julien said. ''These things have a way of kind of happening.''
"It felt good," Savard said. "The Bruins are obviously putting a lot of faith in me. That felt good, for sure."
Patrice Bergeron also had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, while Mark Recchi had three assists and Zdeno Chara had two assists to help Boston move back into first place in the Northeast Division.
"I thought we were moving the puck really well and causing a lot of turnovers," Bergeron said. "It's nice to have one of those games. I thought we were creating a lot of stuff just by moving our feet well and seeing each other on the ice."
Savard gave Boston the lead 8:05 into the game, then the Bruins made it 2-0 when Chara took a shot from the point and Bergeron banged in the rebound past Mike Smith (35 saves) with 5:57 left in the first period.
It certainly was one way for Savard to reward the Bruins for the deal that will keep him in Boston until he's 40 years old.
''It was a load off my mind, to tell the truth,'' Savard admitted. ''I'd been thinking about it for a while, especially during the time off. That's when we really pressed to get it done. I know this is probably my last one. I wanted to stay in one city, so it's good to be able to do it here.''
The Bruins led 4-0 after 40 minutes thanks to a pair of goals by Sturm in the second period. They came less than three minutes apart as he made it 3-0 at 13:36 before cashing in on a turnover by Andrej Meszaros at 16:09.
"We wanted to be better at home," Sturm said. "It's been a while (since) we had a 4-0 lead."
Jeff Halpern scored Tampa Bay's lone goal when he put his own rebound past Thomas 87 seconds into the third period. The Lightning hadn't scored in 107 minutes, 46 seconds, dating to the third period of a 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas on Nov. 28.
''We had some chances. We just didn't finish,'' Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. ''Smitty didn't smother the puck a couple of times. Those are the ones that will hurt you.''
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.