In the first period of this game, the Lightning played with the same commitment to team defense that we had seen throughout much of their recent six-game road trip. They held the Boston Bruins to only four shots, yielded only one scoring chance and enjoyed most of the puck possession. If not for a key play for Boston defenseman Colin Miller, who swept a puck off the goal line as it was going in, the Lightning would have exited the period with a 1-0 lead. Instead, they had to settle for a scoreless tie. But the way they played in the first was encouraging.
But the Bolts weren't able to maintain it after the first period. Instead, while the Bruins raised their level, the Lightning's dropped. As a result, they yielded much of the puck possession and ended up getting outshot, 31-13, during the final two periods. It's true that they scored the game's first goal - Alex Killorn's tally came at 8:41 of the second - and they had some dangerous looks in the third period. But as their overall level dipped, their team defense became leaky. Ben Bishop allowed four goals, but was forced to make a handful of difficult saves on other Boston scoring chances. The Lightning may have been the better team in the first period, but the Bruins were better in the final 40 minutes.
So this was a disappointing result for the Lightning. Because they started the game so well. And then it unraveled after the first. Unfortunately, it came against a divisional opponent ahead of them in the standings.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
David Krecji's goal at 19:59 of the second.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
- David Krecji - Bruins. Goal and assist.
- Alex Killorn - Lightning. Two goals.
- Brad Marchand - Bruins. Two assists.