Slugfest between Bruins, Bolts should be sign of things to come in potential postseason bout

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Bruins left the TD Garden ice without a pair of coveted points against the Lightning on Saturday night. 

But that doesn’t mean that Boston failed to deliver a message to its top threat in the Eastern Conference. Many in Tampa Bay’s locker room have the welts to prove such sentiment.

"That's playoff hockey right there,” Tampa winger Patrick Maroon noted postgame after the Bolts’ 5-3 victory over the Bruins. 

By the time the dust settled in the latest Bruins/Bolts bedlam, the list of infractions was more akin to a CVS receipt that your ordinary box score.

94 total penalty minutes.
Five misconducts.
Four fighting majors.
And Mikhail Sergachev's stick in a pear tree.

Fair to say, the raucous crowd packed into Causeway Street’s largest barn got their money’s worth, as arguably the NHL’s top two Stanley Cup favorites traded blows — both figuratively and very, very literally — throughout the night.

The Bruins and Lightning will not meet each other again for the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season — with Tampa closing out the series with three wins in those four meetings. But if the hockey gods are kind, Saturday's scrap could just be the lead-in to the most anticipated heavyweight bout in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.