The Bruins scored twice on the power play and are now a sizzling 7 for 15 (46.7 percent) on the advantage over the last four games.
”There were a lot of times where we seemed a little stale,” said coach Claude Julien, thinking back to before he revamped his units just before the last week’s protracted break. ”We decided in order to use the strength of every player we had to have a different look….it’s hard for other teams to defend.”‘
Chuck Kobasew and Blake Wheeler each notched their 20th goals. Including newcomer Mark Recchi, seven Bruins this season have reached the 20-goal plateau.
”It’s a cool milestone,” said Wheeler. ”We feel really good about ourselves offensively.”
The Bruins landed 39 of their 53 shots on goalie Mike McKenna. Kobasew led the way, landing six of the seven shots he took. Tampa landed 25 of 41 on Manny Fernandez.
Tough night at the faceoff dot for Marc Savard, who lost 11 of 14 draws (21 percent).
Milan Lucic had a rare night, not getting credit for a single hit, although his smack on Evegeny Artyukhin is what ultimately led to Zdeno Chara throwing down with the big Russian forward. After getting hit by Lucic, Artyukhin smacked David Krejci in the head, bringing on Chara’s wrath.
Chara finished with a goal, an assist, and a fight. A Gordie Howe hat trick. And it came on Big Gord’s 81st birthday (the latter compliments of ace Globe copy editor Jim ”Seamus” McBride).