Boston Bruins

  • It’s never a bad time when the Bruins and Lightning — the two premier powerhouses of the Atlantic Division for over half a decade now — link up. And Monday’s showdown at Amalie Arena, with the Bruins coming into town with the league’s best record at 16-2-0 on the year while the reigning Eastern Conference champion Bolts entered play with wins in seven of their last 10 overall, didn’t disappoint.

    In a game that saw each team at their best and worst at various points throughout the 60-minute slugfest, it was the Bruins who ultimately pulled away with a second-period barrage that left Andrei Vasilevskiy swimming.

    The first 2022-23 head-to-head between the teams also came with some history, as Patrice Bergeron recorded the 1,000th point of his illustrious NHL career in the second period with an assist on Brad Marchand’s goal. The helper solidified Bergeron’s jump into what’s now a four-person 1,000-point club with the franchise, joining Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, and Ray Bourque. Bergeron is just 12 points behind Esposito for third on that list.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the game from a win in Tampa

  • No. 3 Star: Nick Paul

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 21: Nicholas Paul #20 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during a game against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena on November 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 21: Nicholas Paul #20 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during a game against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena on November 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • It was an uncharacteristically off night for a ton of the Bolts’ known threats. Brayden Point finished with a minus-3 and was awfully quiet outside of a breakaway. Nikita Kucherov also finished with a minus-3, and had just three shots on goal. And Steven Stamkos finished with an assist and just one shot on goal.

    But one player who certainly had his legs from start to finish was Nick Paul.

    In what finished as a 19:16 night for the 27-year-old, Paul opened the scoring in this contest, and got on the board with a Lightning-leading two goals by the night’s end, along with with a game-high four takeaways. Paul was also tied for the most shots among Tampa forwards, with three, and added four hits.

  • No. 2 Star: Brad Marchand

    Nov 21, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 21, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

  • With Nick Paul doing his thing as an all-zone, pain-in-the-ass threat against the Bruins, perhaps it was only fitting that Brad Marchand did the same thing for the Black and Gold.

    Deployed for a forward-high 20:46 of time on ice in the win, Marchand led the Bruins with five shots on goal, and was credited with three takeaways. Marchand also scored the game-winning goal that earned Patrice Bergeron his aforementioned 1,000th career point. And a nice little monkey off Marchand’s back? The goal was Marchand’s first five-on-five goal of the 2022-23 season.

    Beyond the raw numbers, Marchand was an on-ice puck dominator (as always), as the Bruins controlled shot attempts 16-10, shots 11-7, and scoring chances 11-4 during Marchand’s 14:46 of five-on-five time on ice.

  • No. 1 Star: Linus Ullmark

    Nov 21, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 21, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

  • If you want to get technical, Linus Ullmark’s performance Monday night was one of his worst of the season.

    With a 32-of-35 line by the night’s end, Ullmark allowed three goals in a start for the first time since he allowed five in a Nov. 1 start against the Penguins, and it was Ullmark’s fourth-worst single-game save percentage in a start this season (.914). The performance was enough to drop Ullmark’s league-leading .937 save percentage down to .935, and into a tie with the Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck for the league’s top figure in that respect.

    Oh, the horror of a .935, I know.

    But this game gets away from the Bruins if not for Ullmark’s big-money performance in the opening frame (and beyond). With the Bruins outshot 9-0 to begin the night, Ullmark was forced to be the B’s best player every single time the Lightning carried the puck over the blue line, and finished the opening frame with 13 saves.

    He also had to help lock things down when the B’s took their foot off the gas after their fifth goal, and finished with stops on 12 of the 13 high-danger shots thrown his way at all-situation play, according to Natural Stat Trick.

    A stat you should love: Ullmark has now won all three of his starts against the Lightning since joining the Bruins in 2021, with a .935 save percentage to go with that perfect 3-0-0 record.