Lightning jump on top early, hold off Bruins
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos had a rare fight on the ice — and it hurt Boston’s playoff hopes.
J.T. Brown and Anton Stralman scored 15 seconds apart soon after Stamkos got into a fight, and the Lightning stopped a 10-game losing streak against the Bruins with a 5-3 victory Sunday.
Less than a minute after Stamkos fought Boston’s Brad Marchand at 10:05 of the first, Brown (10:47) and Stralman (11:02) beat Tuukka Rask to put the Lightning up 3-1.
"Stammer’s got 40 goals, not 40 fights," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "Marchand was running around a little bit, a questionable hit (on Valtteri Filppula) and some certain situations — it has to be taken care of. As I told him, he doesn’t do that for us, I’m not so sure we end up scoring those goals.
"I thought it was a big point in the game."
Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Daniel Paille scored for the Bruins, who are 0-3-2 over their last five games and hold a one-point lead over Ottawa for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Senators have played two fewer games.
"I’m not going to stand here and say it’s Brad fault," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He stood up for himself, stands up for his team. It’s just one of those things I look at more how the goals were scored, and there has to be a better commitment from certain guys. If you get that, you don’t get those goals going in."
Stamkos has just 45 penalty minutes.
"It was a good feeling sitting in the box and watching us score two big goals," Stamkos said.
Jason Garrison made it 4-1 on his first goal in 40 games, which ended Rask’s night at 7:54 of the second. Niklas Svedberg replaced Rask.
"When we don’t have everybody going, then it affects everybody," Rask said. "It’s got to be mental. Everybody’s in the same boat physically."
Tampa Bay also got goals from Vladislav Namestnikov and Ondrej Palat. The Lightning’s last win over Boston was on Mar. 13, 2012, a 6-1 victory.
The Lightning trail Atlantic Division-leading Montreal by two points.
Namestnikov had tied it at 1 from in-close at 5:49 of first after Rask made a pair of saves.
Bergeron opened the scoring 33 seconds in, beating Ben Bishop from the slot. Chara got a power-play goal midway through the third.
Palat also had a third-period power-play goal before Paille scored in the final minute.
Bishop made 25 saves and is 1-3-2 against Boston, while Rask dropped to 9-3-0 when playing the Lightning after giving up four goals on 12 shots.
NOTES: Boston D Dougie Hamilton, hurt in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Florida, didn’t play. … The Bruins recalled D Zach Trotman from Providence of the AHL. … Bruins C David Krejci is with the team, but sat out his 15th straight game with a left knee injury. … Tampa Bay LW Brenden Morrow (16 games) and Brown (15 games) both ended lengthy point droughts with assists on Namestnikov’s goal. … Marchand stopped a seven-game point drought by assisting on Bergeron’s goal.