Streaking Bruins beat Lightning
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jonas Gustavsson stopped 21 shots and Brett Connolly’s power-play goal snapped a third-period tie, helping the Boston Bruins remain unbeaten on the road with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Connolly scored during a 13-second 5-on-3 opportunity with just over 14 minutes remaining, and the Bruins extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1) after opening the season with three consecutive losses. They also improved to 5-0-0 on the road in the club’s longest such streak since winning a franchise-best nine straight in March 2014.
Tampa Bay continued to sputter offensively, losing its fourth straight game. The defending Eastern Conference champions led the NHL in scoring a year ago, but have been limited to two goals during its longest skid in two seasons.
With starting goalie Tuukka Rask getting the night off after beating Florida 3-1 on Friday, Gustavsson improved to 3-0 since signing with Boston as a free agent on Oct. 4.
The Lightning led 1-0 early on, but managed just five shots in the third period and went 1 for 5 on the power play.
Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist for Boston, scoring an empty-netter with 1:10 remaining and also setting up Connolly’s go-ahead score with a nice pass through the crease.
Nikita Kucherov scored off a backhand pass from Ondrej Palat to put the Lightning in front at 7:51 of the opening period. The Bruins pulled even nine minutes later on Matt Beleskey’s nice spin move from the right circle, and then killed off two penalties to keep Tampa Bay from regaining control in the second period.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, who stopped 31 shots, has lost his last three starts despite allowing a combined five goals. The Lightning fell to 2-3 at home after going a NHL-best 32-8-1 at Amalie Arena last season.
NOTES: Bruins center David Krejci’s nine-game point streak ended. It was the longest point streak to open a season by a Boston player since Joe Juneau and Dmitri Kvartalnov had 14-game streaks to start the 1992-93 season. ... The Lightning played without injured forwards Cedric Paquette (ankle) and Jonathan Drouin (lower body). ... Lightning backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, sidelined since early September following vascular surgery, is expected to rejoin the team when it begins a road trip Sunday at Carolina.