NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 18th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-0) at Boston Bruins (3-2-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Due to recent success by the Patriots and Red Sox, few in Boston may have noticed that the Bruins have yet to play a home game. However, after opening the season with a lengthy road trip, the Bruins will open their home schedule tonight with a visit by the Tampa Bay Lightning to TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston began this season with a five-game Pacific Division road swing, and went a respectable 3-2 on the trip. The club won the final two contests of the trek, besting Los Angeles 8-6 on Friday before outlasting San Jose, 2-1, the following day.
The Bruins led 1-0 in the third until San Jose's Milan Michalek evened things up with under 40 seconds to play. However, Aaron Ward responded with just 11.8 ticks left, taking a feed from former Shark Marco Sturm before blistering a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the win.
Ward scored for the second straight game, while Sturm had a pair of assists. Sturm came over to Boston in the deal that sent Joe Thornton out west. Patrice Bergeron had the other goal for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas made 26 saves.
Tonight is the first of two straight home games for the Bruins, who will host the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Tampa Bay opened the season with three straight wins before falling for the first time this season, 6-4, to Florida on Saturday.
The Lightning fell behind early and trailed 4-0 at one point. However, consecutive goals by Vinny Prospal, followed with Jan Hlavac lightning the lamp, pulled Tampa to within 5-4.
However, the club could not complete the comeback and lost in its first road game of the season.
Vincent Lecavalier added two assists, while Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist combined to make 22 saves, stopping 11 shots each in defeat.
The Bruins won all four of their matchups with the Lightning last season, and have won eight of the last nine meetings overall. Five of the last seven battles have been decided by just one goal, however.
Tampa Bay has lost two straight in Boston, and is a mere 1-18 with five ties in its last 24 trips to Beantown.
10/18 10:31:25 ET