By Jesse Connolly
Final: Boston 4, Tampa Bay 2
Recap: Steven Stamkos opened the scoring in the first period, firing a laser past Tim Thomas on a 2-on-1 to make it 1-0. Some Zdeno Chara dangling led to an opportunity in close for the captain. Dwayne Roloson denied the initial attempt, but Shawn Thornton banged home the rebound to make it 1-1.
With a distinct advantage in shots, Boston finally pulled ahead at 15:05 of the second when Dennis Seidenberg buried a rebound (off a Chara shot, of course) to make it 2-1.
In the third, Stamkos second of the night and 55th of the season evened things up. With 8:26 left, Brian Rolston worked around a defender for a wraparound attempt and got the puck to Benoit Pouliot. He wristed one home with Roloson out of position to make it 3-2. Brad Marchand added an insurance marker before Rich Peverley buried an empty-netter, closing out the scoring in a 5-2 victory.
Key Play of the Game: Boston's third strike, the game-winner, is an obvious choice but deserves the honor. Roloson and the Bolts were hanging around all night, but Rolston's effort and Pouliot's ability to get the puck through a number of bodies between himself and the net made all the difference.
Connolly's Commendations: Kudos to the fourth line trio of Thornton, Greg Campbell and Jordan Caron. The three forwards worked their tails off all night and created a number of quality chances.
Zdeno Chara was simply a beast tonight. No. 33 had the third three-assist game of his NHL career, leading Boston to victory after being honored prior to the contest for playing in Game 1,000 in the National Hockey League.
While he did wind up allowing four goals, we'll give a well-deserved hat tip to Roloson for doing a remarkable job of keeping his club in the tilt for most of the night. The 42-year-old was making his third start in four days but still did more than enough to help the Bolts win.
Connolly's Critiques: Bit of a frustrating night for Tyler Seguin. No. 19 missed multiple attempts to set up open teammates, fanned on a few set-up plays and just never really got anything going in the offensive zone.
Notes: The Bruins have now allowed two goals or less in six-straight games. Roloson falls to 5-3-2 lifetime against the B's.
Next: The Bruiins will be back in action on Thursday when they welcome the Capitals to TD Garden.