Bruins

With 3rd-straight loss, gap continues to grow between Bruins and top Atlantic contenders

Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

A quick glance of the final box score was telling.

Sure, Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory over the Bruins, Boston’s third-straight loss in regulation, featured Brayden Point’s 21st goal of the season — generated off a slick no-look pass from another big gun up front in Nikita Kucherov.

But the Lightning’s two tallies to ice the contest in the final stanza came off a shorthanded goal from Tampa’s third-line center in Anthony Cirelli, along with fourth-line rookie Mathieu Joseph’s ninth goal of the season.

Tampa’s scoring output stood in stark contrast to a B’s club still desperate for secondary scoring — with Boston averaging just 1.6 goals per game during its recent 1-4-0 skid.

Boston’s top-six corps finished with both of the B’s tallies. David Pastrnak fired home his 20th goal of the season in the first period — with the winger accounting for 27.7 percent of all of Boston’s goals on the year. Meanwhile, David Krejci’s blast with Tuukka Rask pulled accounted for the veteran center’s first goal since Oct 23.

On a night in which Boston was edged, 9-4, in high-danger scoring chances during five-on-five play, all four quality bids came from only two players — Pastrnak (three) and Brad Marchand (one).

Tampa’s nine high-danger chances? Generated by six players, a telling sign for a 22-7-1 club that seems leagues ahead of the Bruins, even with Boston’s string of injuries.