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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Bruins shut out Lightning, but Stamkos injury looms large

Staff+from+both+teams+tended+to+Stamkos+after+the+gruesome+injury
Staff from both teams tended to Stamkos after the gruesome injury

While it may show up in the box score as a fairly routine, 3-0 Bruins victory over the first place Tampa Bay Lightning, this game has the potential to shape the rest of the NHL season. Steven Stamkos, the 2013 NHL scoring champion and the league leader in goals this season with 14, was wheeled away on a stretcher 12:49 into the second period after crashing into a goal post while jostling with Dougie Hamilton for the puck. After trying to get up, Stamkos fell back down the ice, grabbing his face, obviously in serious pain. Trainers from both sides immediately rushed to the aid of the All Star center, and after a 10 minute delay he was taken off the ice. Stamkos has been diagnosed with a fractured tibia following the gruesome play, and he will miss an extended period of time. After the play, Tampa appeared to be understandably shell shocked, and coupled with some great plays in net from Tuukka Rask, the Bruins cruised to a fairly easy win.
The first period was defined by a number of missed chances from the Bruins and some timely saves by Anders Lindback of the Lightning. After outshooting Tampa 10-2 in the first 10 minutes of the match, Boston only  managed to put two more on net in the next 10, although one of those, coming off the stick of Jerome Iginla at around 18:30, required a ridiculous save by Lindback to keep the game scoreless. The period ended in a 0-0 tie.
After Stamkos’s injury, the wind seemed to let out of Tampa’s sails, and Rask made some fantastic saves on Tampa’s 11 shots in the 2nd period. The scoreless tie was broken with two Bruins goals in a span of 20 seconds. The first came off of Patrice Bergeron’s stick in a hard scrap in front of the net at 17:09 following a Lindback save on Torrey Krug’s shot. Daniel Paille followed that up 20 seconds later with some of the prettiest stick work you’ll ever see, as he blew past Keith Aulie at the blue line and fooled Lindback with a fantastic deke, leaving him with a wide open net to bury the puck in. Tampa outshot the Bruins 11-6, but had nothing to show for it. Rask stood tall on some very tricky looks that Tampa presented.
Tampa came alive slightly during the third period but Rask was up to the task, making great fundamental saves the whole way through. The Bruins finally drew their first penalty of the day at 14:23, when Victor Hedman was called for high sticking. the power play was a sloppy one and Zdeno Chara was called for interference 1:39 into it. David Krejci scored what seemed to be a goal at 18:10 but it was called back due to a goaltender interference call against Jerome Iginla. Iginla quickly redeemed himself with an empty netter at 19:01 that iced the game (pun intended). Rask deservedly received the “one star” for the match. Afterwards, Matt Bartkowski said “(great games) are kind of becoming expected out of (Rask), so it’s a regular thing. It’s important not to forget about what he does. In my mind he’s the best goalie in the league, and he shows that game in and game out. It makes it easier to play, knowing that if you do make a mistake he’ll clean it up for you.”
This was the 2nd victory the Bruins have had over the Eastern Conference leading Lightning this year, and it was their third win in a row. Coach Claude Julien was thrilled with the tough, physical effort that was put out today. Julien said “well it’s playing with emotion. Sometimes mentally you go through a phase where it’s a little tougher than other times and we’re one of those teams that had a short summer and maybe mentally we’re not always ready to start the best we can. But it does come back and we’ve been through it before and like I said, it’s just a thing that hockey teams go through.” The streaking Bruins will be back in action on Thursday, November 14 at home against the Blue Jackets.