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

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…