TAMPA, Fla. — Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli scored early in the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning won their fifth consecutive game by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Thursday night.
After Joseph scored at 2:40, Cirelli put home a short-handed backhand 1:23 later to make it 3-1.
Boston pulled to 3-2 on David Krejci’s goal with 1:45 remaining.
Brayden Point also scored and Louis Domingue made 33 saves for the Lightning, who have the NHL’s best record at 22-7-1.
David Pastrnak had a goal for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots. The Bruins have lost three in a row and four of five.
Point got his 21st goal, including seven over his last eight games, to tie it 1-all with 5:01 left in the first. Nikita Kucherov set up the goal with a backhand pass and has 20 assists and 25 points in his last 12 games.
Pastrnak got his 20th goal in his 28th game this season on a rebound 2:04 into the game. Jaromir Jagr — on four different occasions — is the only Czech-born player to reach the 20-goal mark in fewer games.
Domingue made a pad save on a late first-period breakaway by Pastrnak, who went to his backhand.
Boston activated defenceman Charlie McAvoy, who had been sidelined since Oct. 20 due to a concussion. The injury-depleted Bruins are still without centre Patrice Bergeron (ribs), and defencemen Zdeno Chara (lower body), Kevan Miller (throat) and Urho Vaakanainen (concussion).
NOTES: Krejci tied current Bruins president Cam Neely for 10th place in team history with 590 points. … The Bruins claimed forward Gemel Smith off waivers from Dallas, sent D Connor Clifton to Providence of the AHL and placed Miller on injured reserve. Miller, hurt on Nov. 26, will be re-evaluated in four weeks. . Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman (upper body) missed his 14th straight game and is not practicing. His status is being reviewed on a weekly basis.
Bruins: Return home to play Toronto on Saturday night.
Lightning: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Mark Didtler, The Associated Press