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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bruins Continue To Find Ways To Win

The Bruins continue to be the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, they beat the Lightning 3-2 this afternoon at TD Garden for their sixth straight win. Boston (14-2-2) is 6-1-1 at home thanks to Brad Marchand's team-leading 11th goal of the season which came with 2:16 left in regulation. The B's spotted Tampa Bay (9-11-1) a 2-0 lead in the first period but rallied for the final three goals.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (20 saves) improved to 3-1-1 as he outdueled Tampa Bay's backup goaltender Mathieu Garon (24 saves). Steven Stamkos, who leads the NHL in points, was present but not accounted for when he beat Khudobin 5:32 into the game on a one-timer from Teddy Purcell and Marc-Andre Bergeron. That power play goal for the Lightning was followed by another by former Harvard standout Alex Killorn who made it 2-0 with a nifty backhander at 8:38 from Purcell and Martin St. Louis.

It's nearly impossible to rattle the B's as they worked their way back into it with goals from Tyler Seguin (4th of the season) & Rich Peverley (3rd of the season) just 1:17 apart early in the second period. Seguin's was on the power play from Dougie Hamilton and David Krejci, a one-timer from the left side similar to Stamkos' rocket. Peverley's goal was also in the same general area and it ended in the same result, Adam McQuaid and Daniel Paille had the assists.

Boston is 9-1 in one-goal games and they've outscored opponents 20-8 in the third period for a reason, that seems to be when they play their best-in the most clutch, intense situations. The B's took advantage of a four-minute power play with Patrice Bergeron finding Marchand on a 2-on-1 for the game-winner (Marchand's 4th of the season, tied for the NHL lead). The Bruins are 2-0 against the Lightning this season with one more game in the regular season: Boston's home finale on April 25, a makeup game from the blizzard.

The stakes couldn't be much higher tomorrow night (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network) as the Montreal Canadiens (13-4-3 heading into tonight's game vs. Pittsburgh) come to the Garden. First place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference will be on the line as the Original 6 blood rivals get together. Boston won 2-1 in Montreal on February 6 in the teams' first meeting this season.

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