“Injuries happen. He’s gone a long time in his career without being seriously hurt,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “There’s no sugarcoating it. He’s a huge part of our team. You can make an argument here that if you were going to hand out the MVP in our league now, you can give it to him. Is that a hole in our team? Yes, it is.”
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.
They made it 2-0 when Paille broke in down the right wing, shifted to his backhand and slipped a shot past Lindback inside the right post. During the play, Tampa Bay defenseman Sami Salo also appeared to hurt his right leg and had trouble making it to the bench. He was briefly assisted by one of the referees on the ice and didn’t return in the third period.
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.