Bruins dump Lightning, look sharp in season opener

It wasn’t the smoothest season opener in franchise history (90 years in 2014), but the Bruins can’t complain about the outcome as they defeated the Lightning, 3-1, at TD Garden Thursday night. Boston looked like a team that came pretty close to winning the Stanley Cup in June while Tampa Bay played the role of a lottery team that’s likely headed back there again next spring.

“The last five minutes of the second period and in the third period, that was more of the team that we wanted to be,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.

Tuukka Rask made 32 saves and the Bruins had three different players score goals: Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron. Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith all contributed to the win in their first game for the Black and Gold. After spending most of his career in Calgary, then the second half of last season in Pittsburgh, Iginla was excited to finally experience a home game in Boston.

“I’ve played a ton of games here,” Iginla said. “It’s a tough building with the fans into it and yelling, so it was nice to be on the other side.”

The key to the win was Boston’s penalty killers, since not only did they not allow a goal in a total of 3:25 5-on-3 advantage for Tampa Bay (two separate power plays) but they also potted a pair of shorthanded goals as well. Kelly scored the first goal of the season on about the rarest of plays in hockey: a shorthanded penalty shot. He drove to the net, but was hooked by rookie defenseman Mark Barberio. Kelly claimed to have never taken a penalty shot in the NHL, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he faked around Anders Lindback (22 saves) and backhanded the puck in.

Shawn Thornton fought Pierre Cedric-Labrie in the first period, and Iginla threw down with Radko Gudas in the second period — quickly endearing himself to any sullen Bruins fans still upset that he chose the Penguins over them last trade deadline. Get over it! After Jordan Caron’s goal was negated by a quick whistle, the Lightning tied it later in the second period with a 2-on-1 finished off by Valtteri Filppula that Rask had no chance to stop. Lucic’s game-winner came with a minute left in the frame. Boston counterattacked and David Krejci dropped it off to Lucic, who roofed a wrister past Lindback.

Boston killed all 1:57 of a two-man advantage and Bergeron notched another unique goal for the Bruins early in the third period: a 3-on-5 shorthanded tally when his snap shot trickled past Lindback. The B’s know they’ll have to play much better to beat the Red Wings (who beat Buffalo 2-1 on Wednesday) on Saturday (7 p.m., NESN) back at the Garden — but this victory also showed that even when they’re far from their best, they can still handle many teams.

Before the contest had begun, reports surfaced that the Bruins signed steady defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a four-year extension worth $16 million with a no-trade clause policy. Julien was happy to see one of his more unheralded players get rewarded by GM Peter Chiarelli.

“Peter’s done a great job at securing our core group,” Julien said. “It’s nice to have some stability. Seidenberg deserved it for what he’s done since he’s been here.”

Ever diplomatic, Seidenberg maintained that the contract shouldn’t affect him.

“I still want to play just as well,” he said. “It’s a big responsibility to perform like I can.”

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat reporter Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.