Most teams look at a power play as a great chance to score a goal. On Thursday night, the Bruins used their penalty kill to score the bulk of their goals.
The Bruins scored two shorthanded goals, including one on a penalty shot, to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1, in the season opener for both teams. Chris Kelly was hooked on a shorthanded breakaway at 11:39 in the first period and was awarded a penalty shot. Kelly pulled a triple move, reminiscent of one from the original Mighty Ducks movie, easily beating Lightning goalie Andres Lindback, to start the scoring for the B's. It was the first time in league history that an NHL team's first goal of the season was a shorthanded penalty shot.
Valtteri Filppula tied the game at 1-1 midway through the second period with a goal on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Eric Brewer. Brewer was able to avoid an attempted hip check by the Bruins' Daniel Paille, feeding Filppula across the ice for an easy goal. The goal was the only blemish on Bruins' goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 32 saves in the victory.
Milan Lucic netted the eventual game-winning goal with one minute left in the second period. After a stretch of lackluster hockey from the B's, the top two lines (Bergeron-Marchand-Eriksson and Krejci-Lucic-Iginla) came through with two quality shifts, which ultimately resulted in Lucic's goal. David Krejci was able to find Lucic in open ice and he went top shelf on Lindback for the goal.
Patrice Bergeron added the team's second shorthanded goal of the game at 4:02 of the third period to round out the scoring. Bergeron was able to deke out defenseman Radko Gudas and beat Lindback to make it 3-1.
Jordan Caron, who was inserted into the third line due to an injury to Carl Soderberg, was robbed of a goal in the second period. Caron crashed the net after his shot on goal, and knocked the puck into the net for what looked to be the Bruins' second goal of the night. However, the official on ice had blown his whistle just prior to the goal going past the Lightning's netminder. The referee apparently had lost sight of the puck and thought the Lightning goalie had possession of it, blowing the play dead. The Bruins faithful at the Garden voiced their displeasure with the mistake, chanting a phrase that rhymes with "Full Pit".
The third line of Caron, Chris Kelly, and newcomer Reilly Smith, were very active throughout the night, and almost beat Lindback right before the second period horn. Kelly crashed the net after forcing a turnover with an aggressive forecheck with just seconds remaining in the period, and the puck found its way onto Caron's stick in pinpoint range. Aggressive plays like that one will be the key to Caron staying with the Bruins and will potentially garner him more playing time and starts even when Soderberg is healthy.
While there was some sloppy play on occasion for the Bruins (which can obviously be attributed to it begin the first game of the season), the B's looked to be in midseason form with their dropping of the gloves. Shawn Thornton kicked off the fighting season for the Bruins with an uneventful scrap with Tampa Bay's Pierre-Cedric Labrie late in the first period. But the biggest surprise of the night occurred at 9:06 in the second period, when future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla threw the gloves down with Gudas after taking exception to a clean hit by the Lightning defenseman. Iginla, who received some boos during introductions for choosing being traded to the Penguins instead of the Bruins at the trade deadline last season, endeared himself to the fans for picking a fight in his first game with the black and gold.
The team also announced the signing of Dennis Seidenberg to a four-year extension during the game. Seidenberg led the Bruins in number of shifts on the ice, and was second only to fellow defenseman Zdeno Chara in time on ice. The Bruins defense was able to limit the Lightning's two top goal scorers, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, to just two shots on goal apiece.