For the second time in the Boston Bruins' past four games, Milan Lucic scored the game-winner. On Thursday, Lucic did it with 3:42 left to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and help Boston take sole-possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.
Steven Kampfer also scored for the Bruins and Tim Thomas made 27 saves as they stretched their win streak to seven games.
Lucic once again in the right place at the right time -- Milan Lucic has been on a tear lately, and part of that has been his positioning around the net. Lucic broke a 1-1 deadlock at 16:18 of the final frame from a tough angle Thursday. He also had the assistance of the referee, who kicked a loose puck by the post to the side and straight to the Bruins winger. But with a huge pile of players in front of the Lightning net, it was Lucic’s ability to find an open area around the net that led to the goal. It was his team-leading 28th goal of the season and seventh game-winner.
Well-rested Thomas returns between the pipes -- Bruins coach Claude Julien did a splendid job of resting goaltender Tim Thomas during the Bruins’ recent six-game road trip. Tuukka Rask started and won the first and last two games of the trip, while Thomas got the victories in the middle. Thomas look well-rested in both games and he looked just as refreshed against the Lightning on Thursday, making 27 saves for his 29th victory of the season.
Kampfer finally lights the lamp again -- Defenseman Steven Kampfer -- who has found himself a healthy scratch as of late but is back in because of Andrew Ference’s lower-body injury -- lit the lamp for the first time in his past 17 games played. Kampfer tied the game at one 6:06 into the second period. It was Kampfer’s fifth goal of the season, and the rookie defenseman seems to be building confidence again. But after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second period, Kampfer didn't to return for the third period.
Seguin returns to press box as healthy scratch -- After watching from above as a healthy scratch Feb. 9 and 11, rookie Tyler Seguin returned to the lineup with plenty of jump and had four points in his first four games back. But over the past four games, Seguin hasn’t registered a point despite playing a better overall game on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Coach Claude Julien decided maybe it was time for another look from the press box for the 19-year old. There is also the chance that Seguin is still hurting from a puck he took to his right ankle in the 3-2 win over Edmonton on Sunday night.
Paille makes his presence felt on PK -- Daniel Paille took Tyler Seguin’s place in the lineup Thursday night and the penalty kill specialist was a major factor when the Bruins were killing penalties. On more than one occasion, Paille almost popped the puck loose for a breakaway and was constantly shutting down the Tampa Bay power play. Paille may not have much offensive flair, but his value is felt on the penalty kill.
St. Louis not so gentlemanly with former teammate -- Lightning winger Martin St. Louis was the Lady Byng Trophy winner last season as the league’s most gentlemanly player. On Thursday night, though, St. Louis didn’t look too gentlemanly as he tripped up former teammate Mark Recchi in a dangerous play while the two were chasing down a puck headed toward the Tampa Bay net. Recchi was OK, but got up chirping in anger at St. Louis, who was also approached by Recchi’s teammates in what was a very chippy second period.
Congrats are in order for Recchi and Julien -- Thursday’s game marked game No. 310 coached for Claude Julien, tying him with Lynn Patrick for sixth all-time on the Bruins games coached list. Mark Recchi also reached a milestone again, as he played in game No. 1,635, tying him with Scott Stevens for sixth all-time in NHL games played.
Ference expected to resume skating Sunday -- Defenseman Andrew Ference has missed the past two games after suffering a lower-body injury Saturday at Vancouver. But after general manager Peter Chiarelli said Ference could be out up to two weeks, coach Claude Julien told the media that the blueliner could resume skating Sunday and be back earlier than expected.