Boston Bruins

Nov 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; The Boston Bruins celebrate their win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

  • The road to a 13-0-0 start on home ice has come with a different hero every night for the Bruins. It’s just impossible to have a history-making start that follows the same script every single night.

    And on Tuesday night, and with the Lightning in town for their second head-to-head with the B’s in the last eight days, it was Taylor Hall who stepped up for Jim Montgomery’s squad, with a pair of goals in a 3-1 final at TD Garden.

  • On the board with a tip-in marker through the Bolts’ Andrei Vasilevskiy just 1:07 into the first period of play, a slick feed from the Bruins’ Nick Foligno on the power play put the puck back on Hall’s stick at the 2:49 mark of the third period, and Hall did not miss on his wide-open look.

    “He’s been doing an incredible job,” Montgomery said of Foligno’s pass on that sequence. “I mean the play by [Hampus] Lindholm to hit Foligno is big time, and then the play Foligno makes is big time. You make two great plays in a row, you usually end up with that kind of power play where you have the net to look at.”

    “It was a great play,” Hall echoed. “You know, it’s the second time he’s done that just this year, he got Nosek as well. And it’s just about following it up to the net. [Foligno] has really good hands around the net and he’s not going to panic.”

    All in all, it was a two-goal performance from Hall that bumped him up to 36 goals and 90 points through 119 games with the Bruins since joining the team via an Apr. 2021 trade from Buffalo. He’s been everything and more that the Bruins could’ve hoped for at the price of Anders Bjork and a second-round pick, and he’s now doing it in a third-line role for Montgomery’s squad.

    “He wants to win a Cup, he wants to be in a dressing room that values winning and one that has that pedigree,” Montgomery said of Hall. “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. I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude.”

    “I think it’s whatever is best for the team,” Hall said of dropping down to the third line. “You come into the year, you think you’re going to be on one line and you’re going to have a lot of success. And sometimes things work out, sometimes things don’t. But 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. 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.”

  • In net, Jeremy Swayman out-dueled Vasilevskiy by way of a 27-of-28 performance. The Bruins began the day playing coy in regards to who would start this game — especially with Linus Ullmark cleared after exiting last Friday’s game with an upper-body injury — but this was always going to a Sway Day, according to the B’s coach.

    “Goalie Bob has really liked his progression and that’s the best he’s looked this year to me,” 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.”

    Swayman’s top save came on a third-period robbery of Tampa Bay’s Corey Perry on a two-on-one chance.

  • Tuesday also came with the return of play for both forward Trent Frederic and defenseman Derek Forbort.

    Frederic slotted right back in on the right side of Boston’s third line with Hall and Charlie Coyle, while Forbort reunited with Connor Clifton on Boston’s third pairing.

    Frederic finished with an assist and two hits (including a whopper on Vladdy Namestnikov behind the Tampa net in the second period) in just over 12 minute of time on ice, while Forbort recorded a plus-1 with two hits and a block in 19:15 of time on ice, including a team-leading 2:05 of shorthanded time on ice.

    The Bruins did, however, surrender a power-play goal in the win thanks to a Steven Stamkos bomb from his wheelhouse, making it seven straight games with a power-play goal against the Bruins. It’s their longest such streak since an 11-game power-play goal against stretch in Nov. 2006.

    But more importantly, with the win, the Bruins have now won five straight showdowns against the Bolts dating back to last season. It’s their longest win streak over their Atlantic Division rivals since a 10-game win streak from Mar. 2012 to Mar. 2015.

    The tests will continue for the Bruins, who will welcome the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche to town on Saturday night. The Bruins went 1-0-1 against the Avs last season.