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

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…