The Lightning have been dominating the Eastern Conference for the past few months. The Bruins sent them a reminder that they’re very much still lurking behind them.
Boston scored three times in less than three minutes in the third period and snapped Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay’s franchise-best 10-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Thursday night.
Jake DeBrusk, Noel Acciari, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand all had goals for the Bruins (38-17-9), who have won nine of their last 10 games and earned at least one point in 15 straight.
The game was the first in NHL history in which teams faced off while each owning simultaneous point streaks of 14 or more contests.
Boston’s win tied the season series between the East’s top two teams at 1-1. They will play twice more over the final five weeks of the regular season.
“We got to them at the end there,” DeBrusk said. “Some great plays by the boys. If we play like that, we’re a hard team to beat.”
A goal by Tampa Bay’s Anthony Cirelli’s with 7:08 remaining prevented the Lightning (49-12-4) from being shut out for the first time since losing 1-0 in overtime to St. Louis on Feb. 7.
Tuukka Rask had 20 saves for the Bruins. Louis Domingue stopped 37 shots for the Lightning in his 24th start of the season and first since Feb. 19.
“We didn’t play a good game at all,” Domingue said. “They showed up. … They stepped on the gas for a full 60 (minutes). The challenge for us the rest of the way I think is gonna be to show teams they can’t play with us.”
The Bruins improved to 7-0-1 without leading goal scorer David Pastrnak in the lineup and are 11-0-2 in their last 13 games. They have not lost in regulation since a 3-2 home loss to the New York Rangers on Jan. 19.
The Lightning looked every bit like a team on the second night of a back-to-back and playing their third game in four nights. Tampa had scored four or more goals eight times in its previous 10 victories but looked lethargic and generated a minimal attack for most of the night.
For the game, the Bruins outshot the Lightning 41-21.
Boston took a 1-0 lead into the third period, then the floodgates opened in a hurry.
First, Acciari got a takeaway in the zone and slipped his shot by Domingue. Less than a minute later, Bergeron made it 3-0. Then, Marchand got Boston’s final goal of the night by converting on a breakaway opportunity.
Boston capitalized on a penalty to score the game’s first goal.
Tampa’s Victor Hedman was whistled for a slash to DeBrusk, earning a two-minute penalty with the 11:40 mark of the second.
DeBrusk made the Bolts pay just 32 seconds into the ensuing power play, slapping Torey Krug’s pass past Domingue to put Boston up 1-0. It was DeBrusk’s seventh goal and 12th point in his last eight games.
The Lightning had been perfect on penalty kills in their previous seven games.
Domingue started at goaltender for the Lightning in place of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who entered the night tied with Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury for NHL lead with six shutouts. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said part of the decision to sit Vasilevskiy was that Domingue has played well on the second night of back-to-backs.
Down 1-0 in the third, Domingue did his part to give the Lightning a chance to come back. He had probably the stop of the night, snaring a point-blank chance by Joakim Nordstrom with a twisting glove save.
Charlie McAvoy and Marcus Johansson also came up empty on chances in close.
The Bruins pushed the pace early outshooting Tampa 17-4 during a scoreless first. Boston’s Charlie Coyle had perhaps the best scoring opportunity of the opening period from inside the crease, but Lightning defender Ryan McDonagh was there to back up Domingue and beat David Backes to the puck to prevent a rebound attempt.
Acciari was in the starting lineup for Boston a day after having to undergo major dental work after he took a puck to the face against San Jose on Tuesday.