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Bruins breeze past Lightning with Rask shutout

by Lonnie Herman /

TAMPA -- The Boston Bruins made things tough on the Tampa Bay Lightning and easy for goaltender Tuukka Rask on Saturday night.

The Bruins smothered the Lightning from start to finish, forcing Rask to make only 23 saves in a 5-0 win at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The shutout was Rask's first of the season and the 17th of his career.

"Today was a great example of staying out of the shooting alleys," Rask said. "The defense isn't blocking shots when they don't have to and then they are blocking when they feel that the time is right."

Tampa Bay entered the game with a 5-2-0 record and was coming off back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild. But Boston's David Krejci scored 1:32 into the game and the Lightning never seriously threatened.

Krejci's first goal of the season came when he tapped home a feed from Milan Lucic following a rush down the right side. It came quickly and looked easy, and it set the tone for the remainder of the game.

"I'm disappointed by the way we came out," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We gave them a layup."

It got worse for Tampa Bay from there.

Boston, now 3-0-0 on the road and 5-2-0 overall, broke the game open in the second period with three unanswered goals.

Adam McQuaid made it 2-0 at 4:37 when he picked up a loose puck just inside the Tampa Bay blue line. With Jarome Iginla screening Ben Bishop, McQuaid's shot found the back of the net for an unassisted goal, his first of the season.

Patrice Bergeron scored his second of the season at 14:52 after the Lightning couldn't clear the zone. Reilly Smith found Bergeron coming through the slot alone for a shot that beat Bishop.

"I think everyone showed up from the drop of the puck tonight and obviously it shows on the result," Bergeron said.

Boston chased Bishop 55 seconds later when Brad Marchand sent the puck across the crease to Chris Kelly, who slid to his left and scored to make it 4-0.

Cooper absolved his goaltender of any blame.

"To be honest, I left him in the goal too late," Cooper said. "I should have probably taken him out earlier. He's been great for us and would he sit here and say that he'd like a few of those back? I'm sure he would.

"But this falls nowhere near on our goaltenders. Against a team we felt coming into our building would be a statement game for us, I guess it did turn out to be a statement game for us, just not the way we wanted it."

Bishop, who had won his first five decisions this season, allowed four goals on 17 shots.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "Sometimes the teammates have a momentum shift and sometimes you're not doing your job. It's one of those things that there are 82 games and you can't let one game get to you."

Shawn Thornton beat Anders Lindback, Bishop's replacement, with a wrist shot 34 seconds into the third period to complete the scoring.

In all, 12 Boston players made the scoresheet; none had more than one point.

"We had a good start, obviously, but we scored the goals the way we wanted to score them," coach Claude Julien said. "Offensively it was nice to score some goals. I thought the pace and the tempo of our game was good tonight too. We were moving the puck quickly and we skated from start to finish."

From the Lightning point of view, the story was much different.

"The only thing good about tonight was the national anthem. After that, it [stunk]," Cooper said.

Tampa Bay (5-3-0) has four days off before continuing its seven-game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Boston (5-2-0) visits the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

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