Dana Tyrell opened the scoring for the Lightning at the 3:26 mark with his second goal of the year. Steven Stamkos extended the lead at the 5:15 mark of the second with his league-leading 20th goal of the year. The goal carried a bit of historical significance as well, as Stamkos set a team record for the fastest player to get to 20 goals. He accomplished the feat in 21 games, beating the previous mark of 20 goals in 27 games set by Chris Kontos in the Lightnings inaugural season.
Teddy Purcell extended the lead to 3-0 at the 11:36 mark of the second he notched his fourth goal of the year. That lead would be more then enough, as good defense and solid goaltending by Bolts netminder Mike Smith limited the Bruins to one third-period goal by Michael Ryder; the sole blemish really doesn't illustrate how dominant the Bolts were for most of the evening. The win was the second in a row for Smith, who stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
But the story in this one, as it has been so many times this season, was the play of Steven Stamkos.
"There were some players who played a very solid game for us," Stamkos said. "It was a huge win versus a very good team in the Eastern Conference."
As for that 20 goals thing? For Stammer, its more about the team winning games.
"Its nice, but we just want to keep going," Stamkos said. "I just want to chip in offensively whenever I can to help this team win games, and however many goals you get, that doesnt matter as long as you are helping the team win."
Stamkos is helping the team win, but there have been significant contributions from everyone up and down the lineup that have put this team in the position they are in to win, something that has not been lost on head coach Guy Boucher.
[image-1]"When you lose top guys, or any guys, there is going to be an adjustment period because guys change roles," Boucher said. "Losing Gagne was an adjustment, and then Vinny was another adjustment, and when you have other guys injured through all that and other guys sick, everybody is out of their roles. Its fine for one or two games but it catches up with you, which it did. Re-grooming guys into other roles takes time."
With an effort like tonight, it appears like the re-grooming process is close to completion.
The Lightning will try to extend the win streak to five games when they take on the New York Rangers Wednesday night at 7:30 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
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