BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins recorded few style points Thursday in their season-opening, 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However, they gladly will take the win.
"There's still work to be done, there's no question," Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla said after his first game with his new team was an uneven affair that didn't include much sustained attack from either side. "But we came out in the third period in a back-and-forth, tough game, and we had a great third period."
Chris Kelly and Patrice Bergeron scored short-handed goals, Kelly on a penalty shot, and Tuukka Rask made 32 saves as the Bruins escaped with the opening win.
Boston, loser to the Chicago Blackhawks in last season's Stanley Cup final, killed off two lengthy two-man disadvantages. The second came early in the third period, when Tampa Bay took a penalty to make it a 4-on-3 and led to Bergeron beating Anders Lindback at 4:02.
"It's nice to get the win, that's for sure," said Boston captain Zdeno Chara, who added both teams looked rusty at times.
Milan Lucic, off a feed from David Krejci, scored the other Boston goal.
Valterri Filppula, who signed a five-year, $25 million free agent contract with the Lightning during the offseason, scored to tie the game in the second period.
That was after Kelly, who took advantage of a Mark Barberio giveaway at center ice, broke in alone and was hooked by Barberio, a rookie defenseman. On the penalty shot, Kelly made several moves and slid a backhander past Lindmark.
"I was happy he bit (on the fakes)," said Kelly, who couldn't remember taking a penalty shot on any level.
Rask made several big saves during a first period that saw the Lightning outshoot Boston 15-6. He capped his night with a big-time stop on Ryan Malone with four minutes left in the game.
"Everybody looked a little tired, we didn't have our legs, and mentally we weren't as sharp as usual," Rask said. "But it was a good win. It was kind of a typical first game, but I think we have a lot of room to improve from our side. We made some mistakes and didn't play our style of hockey for the full 60 (minutes)."
Iginla, who spurned Boston to go from the Calgary Flames to the Pittsburgh Penguins at last season's trade deadline, heard some boos during pregame intros. The crowd reaction changed when he had a spirited second-period fight with Radko Gudas.
Lindmark, who was also beaten by Jordan Caron but had the goal waved off on a controversial call, did little to show he will emerge in a goaltending battle with Ben Bishop. He finished with 22 saves.
Filppula, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings, played a strong game in his debut with his new team, which played a strong road game despite the final score.
"Those 5-on-3s were very frustrating," Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos said. "We worked so hard 5-on-5, and they got those two opportunities, and they end up scoring short-handed, and that was the game pretty much. That's the frustrating part."
Said teammate Martin St. Louis: "I thought we played a good game. Five-on-5, we were right there with them. I think our power play let us down tonight. Not in a million years, I thought, our power play would be the thing that would let us down tonight. Usually we're pretty sharp on our PP. We just weren't sharp."
Filppula's goal came on a play that saw both Bruins defensemen, Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug, caught up ice, leaving forwards back to defend. Filppula scored off a feed from defenseman Eric Brewer.
NOTES: The penalty shot marked the first time in NHL history a team scored its first goal of the season on a penalty shot, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Boston signed D Dennis Seidenberg to a four-year, $16 million extension that begins next season. ... Tampa Bay C Alex Killorn, who played four years at Harvard, had some 20 family and friends at the game. He assisted on Lightning's goal. ... Bruins C Carl Soderberg was out with an ankle injury. ... St. Louis is the ninth captain in Lightning history, replacing bought-out C Vincent Lecavalier (now with the Philadelphia Flyers). ... The Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, while Tampa Bay continues its opening three-game road trip with a Saturday game against the Blackhawks in Chicago. ... Tampa Bay went 5-2 in the preseason, Boston 6-1. ... Stamkos on the Tampa Bay Rays facing the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series starting Friday: "We've had the chance to meet some players there and get to know some of the guys. Obviously we're cheering for them this week in Boston."
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- Boston Bruins
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Chris Kelly
- Tuukka Rask