TAMPA, Fla. – Two days in Florida resulted in a pair of victories for the Northeast Division-leading Boston Bruins.
Mark Recchi scored a power-play goal with 19.7 seconds left in the third period to lift the Bruins past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night.
The Bruins, who had a 3-2 shootout win Monday night over the Florida Panthers, hold a two-point lead in the division over Montreal.
“We want this road trip to be a stepping stone for our season,” Recchi said.
Recchi’s goal from the slot was his seventh this season and 570th overall in the NHL. The goal came while Lightning star Steven Stamkos was serving a penalty for a hit into the boards on defenceman Gregory Campbell.
“Shoulder to shoulder hit,” said Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who felt it was a clean play. “He’s fighting for the puck. They’re both going after it. This one is very difficult for everyone to swallow.”
Boston also got goals from Michael Ryder, Steven Kampfer and Brad Marchand. The Bruins are 15-1-1 when scoring first.
Stamkos scored his 29th goal of the season for Tampa Bay, 6-1-2 over the last nine games. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis had the other Lightning goals.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made 31 saves, including point-blank shots by Pavel Kubina and Simon Gagne. Tampa Bay’s Dan Ellis stopped 25 shots.
Marchand, back in the lineup after missing three games because of an undisclosed injury, gave Boston a 3-2 advantage three minutes into the third with a backhanded rebound goal.
Tampa Bay responded with its third tying goal of the game when St. Louis made it 3-3 from near the low left circle with 9:10 remaining.
“We found a way,” Thomas said. “Whenever they scored to catch up, we never let them carry any momentum. The next shift we came out and battled hard. And we got big goals at big times.”
Ryder put the Bruins up 1-0 on a rebound power-play goal 28 seconds into the game. Recchi earned his 14th assist this season and 936th overall—which moved him within 17 of tying Jaromir Jagr for 13th place on the career list.
Stamkos tied it at 1 during a power play with 12:50 left in the first.
Boston went ahead 2-1 when Kampfer scored his first NHL goal—coming in his ninth game—at 3:27 of the second.
Tampa Bay pulled even at 2 when Lecavalier split two defenders, went around the net and beat Thomas for a wraparound goal with 5:58 remaining in the second.
Lecavalier and Stamkos both have goals in three straight games. Stamkos added an assist, giving him 52 points this season.
NOTES: Boucher watched the replay of Stamkos’ penalty a dozen times and told the centre next time to “do the same thing.” Boucher also felt the referees missed a call just before Recchi’s goal, saying a Bruins player picked Lightning LW Sean Bergenheim at the blue line. … Stamkos has 13 goals and 24 points on the power play. … Recchi played in his 1,606th game, six away from tying Ray Bourque for eighth place on the NHL career list. … Boston RW Nathan Horton had an assist, giving him 41 points in 41 games against the Lightning. … Boston C Marc Savard recorded his 700th point with an assist on Kampfer’s goal.