Boston, MA -
The Bruins scored five unanswered goals and Milan Jurcina scored the first two goals of his NHL career to lead Boston to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at the TD Banknorth Garden in front of a sellout crowd. P.J. Axelsson added a goal and two assists and Andrew Raycroft made 29 saves in the win. Raycroft left the game with under a minute left due to a minor tweak below his knee.
"I just kind of got stuck on the post," said Raycroft. "I sort of rolled on it a little bit. It's just below my knee and I just tweaked it. It's not a big deal. I just didn't want to make it worse. I'm fine. I should be alright. I'm going to go home and ice while I watch the football game.
"I felt good playing though. It's the new NHL, so two goals is nothing," he added. "I knew we could come back as long I hung in there and kept making saves."
39 seconds into the game, Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead on Frederik Modin's 18th of the season on a slap shot from the point that beat Andrew Raycroft stick side.
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Evgeny Artyukhin, his second of the year at 4:26 of the first period. Vaclav Prospal made a pass to Artyukhin streaking down the right side of the Boston zone. Artyukhin beat Raycroft with a wrist shot that trickled in.
The Bruins cut the deficit to one on a goal by Marco Sturm at 17:15 of the first. Sturm picked up a pass in front by Patrice Bergeron
and fired it at the Tampa Bay net. On its way, the puck deflected off a Lightning defenseman and into the top corner past goalie John Grahame for Sturm's 13th of the year.
The Lightning extended the score to 3-1 just 1:54 into the second period. Darryl Sydor made a nice play at the blue line to keep the puck in the Boston zone and sent the puck around the boards to Prospal. Prospal threw the puck in front to Vincent Lecavalier who beat Raycroft for his 17th of the season.
At 9:18 of the second period, Boston got one back on a goal by Milan Jurcina. Brad Boyes made a pass to Jurcina who was wide open in the slot and beat Grahame stick side for his first career NHL goal. P.J. Axelsson grabbed the other assist.
About two minutes later, Jurcina scored his second of the night on a similar shot to tie the game at 3-3.
"I just took a few shots and they went in," said Jurcina. "I feel more comfortable. After practice I stay out there and work on my shots at the net. I definitely feel more comfortable. It's huge to get that first career goal too. They got me the puck and I'm real excited."
25 seconds later, Patrice Bergeron
gave the Bruins their first lead of the night with his 12th of the season. Marco Sturm sent a slap shot in upon entering the Tampa zone. While falling to the ice, Bergeron slipped the rebound by goalie John Grahame for the 4-3 Boston lead. Glen Murray picked up the other assist.
Boston jumped out to a two-goal lead at 8:35 of the third period. Travis Green poked the puck free to P.J. Axelsson, sending him on a breakaway. Axelsson beat Grahame to the top-corner, and in the process, chased Grahame out of the game.
Pat Leahy added an empty-net goal with 43 seconds remaining to seal the 6-3 win.
"I thought minus the first five or six minutes of the game, our guys played extremely well," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "We were on the attack most of the night against a team that really comes at you hard, and we were able to take advantage of some of the opportunities.
"I thought Andrew (Raycroft) was solid tonight and made the saves he needed to make to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win the game. It's not as much the quantity of the saves, but the critical times for when you need the save. They had a couple of real good opportunities that he squelched because of his awareness and ability to read the play."
The Bruins next take on the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00 p.m.