Boston Bruins

Jan 8, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Anton Blidh (81) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2022 has shown early signs of being the year of the secondary scorer for the Bruins.

But on Saturday night, it was the Black and Gold’s stars who helped push the Bruins back in the win column, as the Bruins had two goals from both Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on the way to a 5-2 win over the Lightning at Amalie Arena.

Playing with an early lead after a Pastrnak change-up shot fooled the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Bruins went with some more 88-on-88 crime to double their edge when Pastrnak corralled a puck out of his feet and tucked it through Vasilevskiy for his second goal in 4:59 to give Boston a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes of action.

The second period came with Marchand’s time to shine, too, with a strike through Vasilevskiy at the 26-second mark of the period, along with some crucial penalty-kills for the Bruins. Boston’s most important in the shorthanded game came with a successful kill of a 47-second 5-on-3, and with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in the box for the Black and Gold.

The kills proved to be of immense value to the Bruins, who would add a fourth goal when Oskar Steen fed Anton Blidh for his second goal of the season, to put the Bruins up by four after two periods of play.

The Lightning made their push with goals from Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point in the first 11 and a half minutes of the third period, but a Marchand empty-net dagger was enough to keep the Bolts at bay for the final 2:49 of play.

In net, the Bruins’ Linus Ullmark stopped 27 of 29 shots faced for his first career win against the Lightning. It was a much-needed win for Ullmark given his career figures against Tampa Bay, too, as the 28-year-old entered Saturday with an 0-5-0 record and .861 save percentage in five career showdowns with the Bolts.

The Bruins also played this game without Charlie McAvoy after the do-it-all defenseman didn’t feel good enough to go after participating in Saturday’s morning skate. Urho Vaakanainen, called up to the taxi squad on Thursday, made his season debut in McAvoy’s place, and finished with an assist and two hits 16:06 of time on ice. The Bruins also lost third-line forward Nick Foligno to a nasty-looking lower-body injury in the first period of the winning effort.

The Bruins are hoping that McAvoy will be ready to go Monday night in D.C., but have doubts that Foligno will be ready to go until they get more information on his exact injury.

This win over Tampa, though their first since Mar. 3, 2020, also made it two straight road wins over the Lightning on Amalie Arena ice for the first time since the team’s five-game road win streak over the Lightning from Oct. 2015 through Mar. 2018.

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