"We new it was going to be a big test tonight," said Coach Mike Sullivan. "They're a real good hockey team and they're the Stanley Cup Champions for a reason. We had to have our â€˜A' game tonight and I thought our guys played pretty hard."
The Bruins played their best 20 minutes of consistent play in the opening period, but failed to show anything for it. During five-on-five play, the Bruins dominated, out shooting the Lightning 10 to 3 in the period. Their best opportunity to score came with Brad Isbister sitting on the doorstep, but John Grahame was up to the task, quickly sliding over to make the stop. With just 26 seconds left in the period though, Fredrik Modin put the Lightning up 1-0 with a quick strike.
In the second, the Bruins scored 2 unanswered goals to take the 2-1 lead. Brian Leetch scored a power play goal at 9:07, his first of the season and first point as a Bruin to tie the game at 1. On the play, Brad Boyes dug the puck out of the corner and feathered a pass to Leetch who was wide open in front of the net. Leetch is now just three points shy from becoming the seventh NHL defenseman to reach 1,000.
Later in the period, Patrice Bergeron
stole the puck in the Lightning zone and drove hard to the net, forcing Grahame to leave a rebound. P.J. Axelsson quickly jumped on the loose puck, reaching out with one hand to poke the puck in at 17:11. The goal gave the Bruins their first in-game lead of the season thus far.
3:17 into the third period, Travis Green scored his second goal of the season, going high, stick side on a wrist shot to give the Bruins a two-goal lead. Then, Brad Isbister redirected a Jiri Slegr shot from the point to put the Bruins up 4-1.
Dan Boyle scored with 5:32 to play and Tampa Bay pulled their goalie with two minutes to play, but Andrew Raycroft shut the door, sealing the 4-2 victory.
"It's nice to contribute a little bit and be on the right side of a win," said Andrew Raycroft, who picked up his first win of the season. "The last few games we've had huge efforts. I think the effort was there the first two, we just weren't playing completely as a team, and I think the last two games, we've definitely done that. We've got two more on the road here, and we've got to make them count."