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

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…