TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Boston Bruins are making a charge to claim the Eastern Conference’s top spot.
Smith put an in-close shot between the pads of Ben Bishop. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask caught a break on Tampa Bay’s seventh shootout attempt when Richard Panik hit the post.
“Many times you get that gut feeling, and I said, ‘You know what, this is probably a good chance for Smitty to get himself going,’” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “I even told one of my assistant coaches, ‘It’s going to end here.’”
Smith has not scored a regulation goal in his last 11 games.
“It was good to be able to help the team get an extra point on that,” Smith said. “Personally, it may take a little bit off my shoulders, but hopefully I can get back to it next game.”
The Bruins, winners of four straight, got regulation goals from Daniel Paille, Carl Soderberg and Johnny Boychuk. Boston trails East-leading Pittsburgh by a point.
“We, at least, got a point out of this one, so it’s definitely a step,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “This is the best we’ve played since the break.”
The Bruins outshot Tampa Bay, which had the game’s first seven shots, 32-20.
Boston pulled even at 3 when Boychuk snapped a 20-game goal drought 8:11 into the third. The Bruins have outscored their opponents 78-43 during the third period this season.
Filppula put the Lightning ahead 3-2 from the slot at 9:31 of the second after the teams had each scored twice earlier in the period.
Palat ended Tampa Bay’s long scoring drought against the Bruins on a short-handed goal to make it 1-0 just 27 seconds into the second. The Lightning went 169:55 without scoring after Filppula, in the first of four games between the teams this season on Oct. 3, had a goal midway through the second in that game.
Boston had outscored Tampa Bay 11-1 in winning the previous three meetings.