BOSTON (AP) _ A quiet trading deadline move may have balanced the Bruins'
lines going into the playoffs.
Michael Nylander scored his first goal of the season 2:52 into the third
period Saturday to lift Boston to a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nylander, acquired March 4 in a trade with Washington for a 2006
second-round draft pick, had missed the first 63 games of the season with a
broken leg. But since he joined the Bruins, he has had six assists in eight
games before his goal.
``I think he's obviously a dynamic player,'' Boston coach Mike Sullivan
said. ``We knew exactly what we were getting when we got him.''
Nylander boosts Boston's second line, which includes Sergei Samsonov and
Travis Green. In the past, the Bruins have relied heavily on its high-scoring
top line of Joe Thornton, Glen Murray and Mike Knuble.
``I think its tough to win in this league with one or two guys,'' Sullivan
said. ``To win in this league you have to rely on contributions throughout the
Nylander, sent in all alone on a pass from Nick Boynton, fired a wrist shot
by goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin inside the left post for the winner.
``I thought I was pretty much open,'' he said. ``I thought maybe there was a
defenseman on the left side, but maybe they made a bad change.''
The Bruins, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit, moved two points behind Tampa
Bay and remained one behind second-place Philadelphia, which beat the New York
Rangers, in the race for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning have lost three of four.
``If we're going to win the playoffs, that game should (have been) over,''
Lightning left wing Dave Andreychuk said.
Brian Rolston, Green, Sergei Gonchar and Thornton scored for Boston, which
entered the day one point ahead of Ottawa and Toronto for first place in the
The Bruins improved to 15-0-5 in their last 20 games at home against the
Fredrik Modin had a pair of goals for the Tampa Bay. Andreychuk and Pavel
Kubina scored the others.
``It's always nice to be up 3-0. But against a team like that, if you sit
back you're going to get chewed apart,'' Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle said.
Andrew Raycroft made 36 saves for Boston.
The Bruins, who trailed 3-1 after one, scored three goals in the opening
7:11 of the second period. Green one-timed Nylander's pass 31 seconds into the
Boston made it 3-3 when Gonchar's slap shot from the right circle broke into
the net off Khabibulin's glove. The shot appeared to be going wide before he
tried to catch it.
``The two biggest plays of the game were us letting them score late in the
first period and the lousy third goal to make 3-3,'' Lightning coach John
Thornton's power-play goal gave the Bruins a 4-3 lead when he shoveled in a
shot from the slot, but the Lightning tied it on Modin's wrist shot from
between the circles 2:19 later.
Tampa Bay, which outshot Boston 17-11 in the opening period, grabbed a 3-0
lead 18:08 into the game. Kubina stole a puck in front and slipped a wrist shot
by Raycroft at 3:08.
Andreychuk scored off Tim Taylor's rebound to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead
at 15:06. They increased it to 3-0 when Cory Stillman's cross-ice pass bounced
into the net off the chest of linemate Modin.
Boston started its comeback on Rolston's goal with 1:12 left in the period.