Stamkos scores two to lead Lightning past slumping Bruins

Steven Stamkos scored twice and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Boston Bruins came up just short on back-to-back nights.

Steven Stamkos had two goals to extend his recent tear and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the suddenly slumping Bruins 3-2 on Thursday.

Patrice Bergeron and John Moore scored for the Bruins, who have lost four straight in regulation and five in a row overall (0-4-1). Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots.

The Bruins, coming off an intense 3-2 loss Wednesday night at Washington in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams, hadn’t dropped four consecutive games in regulation since March 2017. The five-game losing streak is their longest since an 0-5-0 stretch in March 2016.

“The most part, we were playing the right way and you just lose these tight games,” Rask said. “You don’t want to let it snowball. If you start getting down on yourself and doubting yourself, then you’re going to lose more games in a row and I don’t think we have that in this room.”

Stamkos has scored six times during a four-game goal streak.

“They played a big, physical, heavy game in Washington last night,” Stamkos said. “If anything, we had the fresh legs and we took advantage. It doesn’t always work out that way, but tonight we were able to play our game and it worked.”

Tampa Bay, which had dropped four of five at home, also got a goal from Brayden Point. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for the win.

Not long after Stamkos gave the Lightning a 3-1 lead at 15:13 of the third period, Moore got his first goal since returning from shoulder surgery with 3:15 left.

Point put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1 on a power play 4:07 into the third from the slot.

Stamkos also scored from the slot during a power play, tying it 1-all at 12:35 of the second. The Lightning star tied Bernie Nicholls and Yvan Cournoyer for 46th place on the NHL list with 152 career power-play goals.

Boston went up 1-0 at 4:26 of the first when Brad Marchand skated along the left wing boards and went around the net before making a nice pass to Bergeron in the low slot.

“I think we know the kind of team we are,” Boston defenceman Charlie McAvoy said. “We know we’re a special group. Right now it’s sour. We don’t want to lose, but the sun comes up tomorrow.”

Marchand become the fourth NHL player to reach 30 assists this season. He has four assists in the last three games.

Both goalies made several strong saves in the second.

Vasilevskiy stopped two shots from the left circle by NHL goals leader David Pastrnak, and a chance in close for Jake DeBrusk.

Rask turned aside a quality opportunity for Stamkos after his power-play goal.

NOTES: Boston’s Zdeno Chara and Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon fought 27 seconds into the game. … Lightning C Tyler Johnson (lower body) missed his third straight game but could return next week. … Moore played for the fourth time in five games after missing the first 28 this season. He sat out Wednesday.


Bruins: Complete a four-game trip Saturday night at Florida.

Lightning: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

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