BOSTON — Clearly, Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos’ injury was on everyone’s minds. The Boston Bruins were able to get back to playing hockey a lot quicker after it happened.
Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon.
Stamkos was hurt with 7:11 to play in the second period. He entered the day tied with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby as the NHL’s leading scorer. Stamkos got tied up with Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton and crashed into the right post.
His left skate appeared to hit the post first before his right leg crashed into it around the shin area. He tried to get up twice before going down to the ice in pain, grabbing his leg just above the ankle.
Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for his 18th career shutout and second this season. Jarome Iginla added an empty-net goal with 59 seconds left.
Anders Lindback, made 23 saves for Tampa Bay. The Bruins jumped ahead with just under three minutes left in the period when Bergeron scored off the rebound of Torey Krug’s shot that caromed off the skate of Loui Eriksson.
It was Tampa Bay’s second loss in nine games. The Lightning came into the day leading the NHL’s Atlantic Division, but the loss of Stamkos will be a major blow.
“Now we’ve got to pick ourselves up and see what we’re made of,” Cooper said. “It’s a tough one for the game. You want to see guys that have ‘It’ and Steven Stamkos has ‘It.’ Now we’ll see what we’re made of. You talk about a test, this is a test.”
Boston won its third consecutive game.