Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists and the Boston Bruins took over first place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. "I don't think we should overthink that". So the 21-year-old Bruin, who gets paid to use his hands for goal scoring - not chucking knuckles - cross checked Girardi from behind, the two exchanged pleasantries, and away their gloves went as the two fought at the Boston blue line.
Stamkos skated with the team before the Lightning flew to Boston Wednesday and will be a game-time decision for this important game. The Rangers need to focus their energy in the defensive zone in this game as Tampa's offense has been incredibly tough to slow down and with the over hitting in 11 of Tampa Bay's last 13 contests and the team coming off a 4-2 loss last night in Boston you can be sure they will be out to make amends in this one.
"It's something that's been nagging for a little bit", Stamkos said. "It definitely felt better than it did the last time I was on the ice". We'll just play it day by day now. "We've tried to work on a few things over the last two weeks, and feel we're getting closer".
Stamkos felt the Lightning was too "anxious" at the beginning of the last meeting with Boston, Mar. 17 in Tampa, when the Bruins handed them their first shutout of the season.
"It all starts with him being a dominant player", said GM Don Sweeney.
The Bruins are 6-1-0 in their last seven games against Tampa Bay.
With the win, Boston changes its playoff destiny, now drawing the New Jersey Devils in a first-round matchup if the playoffs started today rather than the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Chara, 41, might be the second-oldest active player in the National Hockey League, but the 6-foot-9 defenseman is in the middle of a renaissance season with the Bruins, scoring seven goals and 16 assists over 68 games this year while averaging a team-high 23:00 ice time per game. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 26 saves for the Lightning, who have lost three straight and are 0-3 against the Bruins this season.