Boston Bruins

Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) reacts after scoring a goal during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Boston Bruins are red hot.

    Sizzling. Scalding, even.

    This has been especially true on home ice, too, as Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Lightning brought about Boston’s 13th win in as many tries on TD Garden this season.

    It was a win that required the Bruins to reach deep into their bag of tricks — Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery called it a playoff game out there with how both teams checked and defended — and it wasn’t until a Brad Marchand empty-net goal that the Bruins found themselves able to truly relax and hit a sellout crowd with some “Dirty Water.”

    For the Bruins, the 13th straight win at home extended their NHL record home win streak to begin a season, and their win over the Lightning made it five straight victories over Tampa, which is officially their longest win streak against their divisional rival since a 10-game streak from Mar. 2012 to Mar. 2015.

    Here’s the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a 3-1 final in Boston

  • No. 3 Star: Steven Stamkos

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) during warmups prior to a game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) during warmups prior to a game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • The Lightning’s lone goal in this contest came off the stick of captain Steven Stamkos, and from his usual spot on the power play, as he teed up an absolute rocket through the Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman in the second period.

    The goal was good for the 999th point of Stamkos’ career, but also gave him something to show for what was an all around solid night against the Black and Gold. Particularly at the faceoff dot, where Stamkos went 10-for-16, including a potent 7-for-10 in the offensive zone. Stamkos also won all three of his faceoffs with the Lightning up a man. Hard to slow down a power play that’s in constant possession of the puck.

    Stamkos now has 16 goals in 24 career games at TD Garden, which is tops among all visiting players at TD Garden since Stamkos entered the league in 2008 (Thomas Vanek is second, as you’d imagine, with 14).

  • No. 2 Star: Jeremy Swayman

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) in goal during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) in goal during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • This is not to say that Jeremy Swayman has been bad for the Bruins this season. Because he hasn’t. Actually, he’s been getting better and better with each start this season.

    But the Bruins have been waiting for a performance like the one they got on Tuesday night all season.

    Peppered with 28 shots by Tampa shooters, Swayman surrendered just one goal, and it was a borderline unstoppable shot with the B’s penalty kill swimming and Stamkos being the shooter of said shot.

    The 24-year-old Swayman was strong when he needed to be — in addition to the saves, I thought he came through with big-time puck freezes when the Bruins needed ’em — and was at his best when Corey Perry had a two-on-one opportunity and with the Bruins protecting a one-goal lead in the second half of the third period.

    “Goalie Bob has really liked [Swayman]’s progression and that’s the best he’s looked this year to me,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said after the win. “Very calm in the crease, which is a great sign. Any time you’re behind the bench and you think your goalie’s calm in the crease, it’s usually because he’s being patient on his feet and he’s seeing the puck well.”

    With the win, Swayman has wins in three of four decisions since returning to action, and bumped his season save percentage up from .890 to .902. Continuing to trend in the right direction.

  • No. 1 Star: Taylor Hall

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) reacts after scoring a goal during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) reacts after scoring a goal during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • The Bruins split up Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Then they split up David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall. Those splittings have ultimately landed Taylor Hall down on Boston’s third line with Charlie Coyle, and has made the Bruins a nightmarish matchup for the opposition, as Tuesday night confirmed.

    On the board with the Black and Gold’s first goal just 67 seconds into action, Hall kept the engine humming from start to finish, and scored the go-ahead power-play marker in the third period that ultimately held as the game-winning tally. Hall probably should have had another goal or two, too, and had a fantastic second-period sequence where he turned a blocked shot into a great partial breakaway look on Andrei Vasilevskiy.

    “What’s important to him now is winning,” Montgomery said of Hall. “He wants to win a Cup, he wants to be in a dressing room that values winning and one that has that pedigree. And I think it shows in the way he’s playing because he’s very accepting of the fact that I’m using him on a third line and we’re using him on the second power-play [unit] because that’s what’s best for the Boston Bruins.”

    “For our team, we’re 19-3-0 or whatever it is, so wherever you’re slotted, you got to make the best of your time,” Hall said of the move down with Coyle and Trent Frederic. “And Charlie Coyle as a third line center, that’s one of the best third-line centers in the whole league. So I don’t take it as a demotion. I take it as do the best with what you can with the ice time you’re given, and I think we can be a real good line.”

    “I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude,” said Montgomery.

    With the two-goal performance, Hall is now up to 36 goals and 90 points in 119 games with the Bruins.