Boston’s Penalty Kill Came Up Big In Overtime Loss To Lightning

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The Boston Bruins dropped a hard-fought battle to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime after surrendering two third-period leads on Monday night.

While the Lightning controlled the tempo of the game through the first 60 minutes, the Bruins didn’t help themselves by committing more than a handful of infractions to one of the top power-play teams in the league.

“We killed seven penalties against one of the top three (teams in the league),” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told Andy Brickley on NESN’s postgame coverage. “They’re 34% … what an amazing effort by our penalty kill to have to kill seven penalties. Pretty amazing and a game that was as close as it was, we had to kill seven penalties.”

Even though the penalty killers came up big in the game, Boston surrendered a Steve Stamkos goal with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

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“At the end of the game, we have the puck on our stick,” Montgomery said. “You don’t put pucks up the middle, you put them to the walls when you’re in the middle of the ice. We also can’t leave the zone before the puck has left to secure the win.”

The Bruins have the best penalty kill percentage in the league for the second consecutive season and that is not lost on Montgomery.

“Joe Sacco does a great job. Our players sacrifice for each other,” Montgomery said. “It’s just unfortunate that we had to kill that much.”

Here are more notes from Monday’s Bruins-Lightning game:

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— David Pastrnak extended his point streak to seven games and with a goal and an assist, the prolific goal-scorer has 10 multipoint games on the season.

— Jeremy Swayman got the start in net, making it the first time this season a Bruins goalie started back-to-back games. He made 41 saves in the overtime loss and fell to 7-0-2 on the season.

“I expect to play every game. That’s my mentality,” Swayman told reporters after the game, per team-provided video. “That’s the way I want to prepare and I was fired up when I got this opportunity. I wanted to seize it. It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to do that. I was excited about it, but it doesn’t change my mindset going forward.”

Montgomery added the change was a maintenance day for Linus Ullmark.

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— Charlie McAvoy had a huge hit against Tanner Jeannoy in the first period that Montgomery thought helped jump-start the Bruins.

“I thought it got us more involved in the game,” Montgomery said. “I thought we started to get our game after that hit. I think Charlie, his understanding momentum in the game and his impact on the game is very noticeable this year.”

— The Bruins look to bounce back from the loss with a clash against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night. Puck drop from Amerant Bank Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET with the nationally televised game airing on TNT. The Bruins return to NESN on Friday when they host the Detroit Red Wings. Puck drop from TD Garden is slated for 1 p.m. ET. You can catch all the action, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

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