for this game

Halpern, Karlsson lift Lightning past Bruins

Mar 14, 2008 - 3:16 AM
By Tony Lee PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) - Even a visit from their old punching bags couldn't right the ship for the Boston Bruins.

Jeff Halpern and Andreas Karlsson scored early goals and goaltender Mike Smith made 35 saves as the lowly Tampa Bay Lightning posted a 3-1 victory over the Bruins on Thursday night.

Boston (36-27-8) entered with an 18-1-5 mark against Tampa Bay (28-35-8) in the last 24 meetings at TD Banknorth Garden and owned a 35-13-9 mark all-time in the series.

But the Bruins, who are 1-4-2 in their last seven contest since a six-game winning streak, remained in an offensive funk and stayed just one point ahead of eighth-place Philadelphia (35-27-9) in the Eastern Conference.

Boston hosts Philadelphia on Saturday.

"When you don't score goals, every mistake becomes bigger than it should be," said Boston coach Claude Julien, whose team finished with a 36-26 advantage in shots on goal. "I guess that makes it tough on everybody, but at the same time, you have to look at our entire game and I thought we were the better team tonight."

Since scoring two power-play goals in less than three minutes to steal a win in Washington on Saturday, Boston had scored just once in over 175 minutes of action before Chuck Kobasew netted his 20th of the season midway through the third. Once the sixth-best power-play team in the league, the Bruins are 3-for-39 with an extra man in their last eight games.

Kobasew's tally spoiled Smith's bid for his third shutout of the season.

"He answered the proper way," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said of Smith. "I thought our team played very well in front of him as well. From the outside we blocked a lot of shots, but when we needed some saves, Smitty came up with it."

Their last three games have been played without All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara, who leads Boston with nine power-play goals this season. Chara remains day-to-day with an upper body injury.

The Bruins were the aggressors early, taking eight of the game's first nine shots, but a hooking penalty gave the Lightning the first power play of the night. Eight seconds into it, Halpern opened the scoring when he redirected a soft shot by defenseman Filip Kuba for his third goal in as many games.

A turnover in the neutral zone helped Tampa Bay take a 2-0 lead. Karlsson picked up the loose puck and skated in alone on All-Star goaltender Tim Thomas, who fell for a fake and was beaten glove-side.

"It was a breakaway from our own blue line," Karlsson said of the goal, his first since January 1 and second all season. "I think their 'D' was pinching in and I was wide open."

All-Star Vincent Lecavalier added an empty-net tally with eight seconds left to seal the win.

Smith, who was acquired in a five-player trade with Dallas on February 26, won for the first time in five starts this month as the Lightning snapped a six-game road losing streak. Tampa Bay remains dead last in the East with just 64 points, six fewer than the nearest club.

Perhaps Smith's biggest save came when he stopped Phil Kessel on a breakaway moments after Karlsson's goal.

"It is key saves during the right times in the game that is the difference between winning and losing," Smith said.

"If (Kessel) scores, we're right back in the game - and that's what it's all about," Julien said.

Thomas, who had sat the last three games, stopped 23 shots. The University of Vermont product had been benched after allowing 12 goals in less than 70 minutes of a pair of losses earlier this month.

"I think that what he needed was a little rest," Julien said. "He got tired but came in tonight and played well."

With such an anemic attack in front of him, Thomas can only do so much.

"I'm just trying to keep it as low as I can on my end and we'll see what happens," he said. "I'm just trying to do my job."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 3
    BOSTON 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) JEFF HALPERN 15 (FILIP KUBA, DAN BOYLE) 7:41
    2ND PRD: TAM - ANDREAS KARLSSON 2 (MIKE LUNDIN, JUSSI JOKINEN) 7:43
    3RD PRD: BOS - CHUCK KOBASEW 20 (MARK STUART, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 7:57
    TAM - (EN) VINCENT LECAVAL

    Mar 13 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: TAM - (EN) VINCENT LECAVALIER 37 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, PAUL
    RANGER) 19:52

    Lightning 3, Bruins 1  3rd - 0:08Mar 13 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: BOS - CHUCK KOBASEW 20 (MARK STUART, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 7:57

    Lightning 2, Bruins 1  3rd - 12:03Mar 13 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2
    BOSTON 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) JEFF HALPERN 15 (FILIP KUBA, DAN BOYLE) 7:41
    2ND PRD: TAM - ANDREAS KARLSSON 2 (MIKE LUNDIN) 7:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 12 10 22
    BOS

    Mar 13 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    BOSTON 0
    2ND PRD: TAM - ANDREAS KARLSSON 2 (MIKE LUNDIN) 7:43

    Lightning 2, Bruins 0  2nd - 12:17Mar 13 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    BOSTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) JEFF HALPERN 15 (FILIP KUBA, DAN BOYLE) 7:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 12 12
    BOS 15 15
    GOALIES: TAM - MIKE SMITH
    BOS -

    Mar 13 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    BOSTON 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) JEFF HALPERN 15 (FILIP KUBA, DAN BOYLE) 7:41

    Lightning 1, Bruins 0  1st - 12:19Mar 13 7:22 PM