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It was the first game of the season, and so the Bruins could be forgiven for looking a bit out of sorts. The chemistry wasn’t always there. The play wasn’t always tight. But there was one aspect of their game that appeared in midseason form: the penalty kill.
“Our PK probably allowed us to win this game tonight,” coach Claude Julien said after the Bruins had taken their season opener, 3-1, over Tampa Bay TD Garden at TD Garden. “They’ve got some guys that can do some damage on the power play, and our guys did a great job of being in the right position, not overreacting.”
But it wasn’t just that the Bruins were able to kill off two lengthy 5-on-3 opportunities for the Lightning. They generated some of their best offensive chances when down a man, with shorthanded goals by Chris Kelly (on a penalty shot) and Patrice Bergeron the difference in the victory.