Nothing strikes faster than the Lightning.
Tampa Bay scored one goal on a penalty shot, another on a 2-on-0 break and two others before Bruins transgressors could get comfortable in the penalty box while beating the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Sunday night to win its sixth straight game.
Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist, and Steven Stamkos scored for the sixth game in a row to help the Lightning pull ahead of the Bruins in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay scored on its first two power plays — needing just 31 seconds the first time and 6 the next.
"Our power play’s been struggling. There’s no doubt about that," said Callahan, whose team had scored just twice in 36 man-advantages over the previous 10 games.
Stamkos scored his 28th of the season and added an assist, and Alex Killorn also had a goal and an assist. Ben Bishop made 32 saves for the Lightning.
Kevan Miller scored Boston’s only goal and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots for the Bruins, who ended a two-game winning streak. Boston was 0 for 6 on the power play.
Miller gave Boston a 1-0 lead 6 minutes in before Zac Rinaldo was sent off for hitting Cedric Paquette in the head against the boards. Thirty-one seconds into the power play, Killorn made it 1-1.
About 3 minutes later, the Lightning made it 2-1 when Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid fell at the blue line, sending Callahan and Killorn free on a 2-on-0.
"You don’t practice those too often," Callahan said. "But it’s good to bury it."
Tampa Bay’s next power play came with 8:11 gone in the second, when Patrice Bergeron was penalized for interfering with the goalie. The Lightning won the faceoff and slid back to the blue line for Stamkos, whose shot was tipped in by Callahan.
Two minutes later, Stamkos broke free before he cut in front of Brad Marchand and was taken down in front of the crease. On the penalty shot, he faked left, moved to the right and left Rask on the ice before putting the puck into the open net to make it 4-1.
"That’s part of the story tonight: The self-inflicted mistakes that we made, the amount of breakaways and those kind of things," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The penalty kill wasn’t good enough for us, and then the power play … we didn’t produce."
Stamkos’ 28 goals are seventh-most in the league. He had scored just twice in the previous 13 games before his current streak.
"Guys that are used to putting the puck in the net can get frustrated when they don’t score," coach Jon Cooper said. "But it goes the other way, as well: When they are scoring, watch out."
The loss sent the Bruins into the trade deadline wondering what to do with Loui Eriksson. Contract talks with the Swedish forward have stalled, and Boston general manager Don Sweeney confirmed before the game that Eriksson has been the subject of trade talks.
NOTES: Tampa Bay has won 14 in a row when scoring three or more goals. … The Lightning won their fourth straight road game. … The Bruins fell to 7-3 when wearing their third uniform. … Stamkos is 2 for 6 on penalty shots in his career. … Lightning forward Tyler Johnson bled profusely and left the game when he was apparently hit in the face by a puck in the third period. Cooper said he was being stitched up and was not dazed.
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