Shots on Goal: Bruins fall to Lightning, 6-3
The alarms are sounding on Causeway St as the once resurgent Bruins drop their fourth straight game with Thursday night’s 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa snapped a three-game losing streak on the backs of Nikita Kucherov who recorded his third career hat trick and Peter Budaj’s (29-21-3) 28 save effort.
After a scoreless first frame, David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board with his 32nd goal of the season but the time to savor the lead was short-lived. Tampa Bay responded just 44 seconds later as Brayden Point tied it at 1-1. This would be the trend for the rest of the period as Boston would score one then give one away.
Boston found themselves killing off a Brandon Carlo tripping penalty when Zdeno Chara fired a one-timer from the left circle to beat Budaj. Before the announcer was able to finish the scoring summary the red light was already on for Tampa, Kucherov potted his first of three.
Next up for Boston was Riley Nash. who banked a shot off Victor Hedman in the crease to give the Bruins their third lead of the night, 3-2. The celebration lasted a mere 1:35 before Anton Stralman’s slap shot over Tuukka Rask’s shoulder evened it up 3-3.
“That’s the last thing you need, honestly,” said Rask. “Everybody knows that. You try to address it, I guess – that’s the last mistake you need to do – but sometimes those things just happen.
“When it happens three times in one game it’s kind of inexcusable. It’s something that we should be better at and today it was a tough night for all of us.”
Boston’s offense went silent for the third, unable to counter Tampa’s next three scores. Jonathan Drouin netted the eventual game-winner firing a slap shot under Rask’s arm at 4:12. Kucherov’s second of the night found its way to the net ricocheting off not one but two Bruin’s defensemen, Chara and Adam McQuaid, before tricking over the line behind Rask. Kucherov added an empty-netter to cap off the scoring.
“Not being focused, not being sharp at this time of the year is unacceptable,” said captain Zdeno Chara. “It’s on us to be better. Those kind of situations shouldn’t happen. For sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”
Tuukka Rask (33-21-4) went 23 for 29 in the night.
Next up for Boston on Saturday night will be the NY Islanders who trail the Black and Gold 2 points, while Tampa Bay travels to Detroit for a Friday night matchup.