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Bruins defeat Lightning to stay unbeaten on road

by Corey Long / NHL.com

TAMPA -- Brett Connolly scored a tiebreaking goal 5:54 into the third period, and the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Connolly took a pass from Marchand in the slot and waited for Lightning goalie Ben Bishop to commit to a save position before placing a wrist shot high on the stick side to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

"I wanted to have a good game, I wanted to play hard, and most importantly I wanted to get a win," Connolly said. "I thought we played a pretty good road game, and, you know, the team is playing really well right now and it's a fun time to be playing."

It was Connolly's first goal against the Lightning, who selected him with the No. 6 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Bruins for two second-round picks at the NHL Trade Deadline last season.

"Obviously it felt good," Connolly said. "And the time of the game ... to go up by a goal in the third period ... it's obviously a good feeling, and against your old team it makes it that much better."

Matt Beleskey and Brad Marchand scored for Boston (6-3-1), which is 5-0-0 on the road.

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead at 7:51 in the first period with a power-play goal by Nikita Kucherov, his third goal of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov pushed the puck into the zone to start a 3-on-2 and dropped a pass to Kucherov, who scored on a wrist shot that went above the stick of Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Tampa Bay (5-5-2), the defending Eastern Conference champion, has scored two goals during its four-game losing streak (0-3-1).

"[It's] frustrating; you just can't go out there and expect that we're going to win games because of what happened last year," Lightning center Steven Stamkos said. "Whether that's the mindset, I can't speak for anyone else, but ... we're out of sync. We're hanging our goalie out to dry, we can't score.

"This is a new season, teams know what to expect when they play us, and that's why it's a challenge each and every year. I take responsibility as the leader of this team [and] I have to be better."

Boston tied the game 1-1 at 16:53 of the first period, when Beleskey shot past Bishop while spinning on his knee. Colin Miller and Jimmy Hayes had the assists on Beleskey's second goal of the season.

"I just turned and fired it," Beleskey said. "We had good traffic in front. I couldn't even see it going into the net, so it might have hit something. I really don't know."

Marchand scored an empty-net goal with 1:10 remaining. Gustavsson made 21 saves and is 3-0-0 backing up Tuukka Rask.

"I thought our guys handled what they threw at us early in the game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We weathered the storm and then we just seemed to keep getting better. Our forecheck, our determination, our battles ... everything seemed to be there. We got great goaltending again. A really good effort."

Bishop made 32 saves for the Lightning, who start a four-game road trip Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I think everybody in this room is pretty [angry]," Bishop said. "We can't come out here in front of these fans and play like that. We expect better from ourselves. It's on us. I think maybe this is what we needed. We've got a game [Sunday] and that's a good thing so we can put this behind us. We have to wake up pretty quick."

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