Milan Lucic took the puck up the half-wall and found a wide open David Krejci on the edge of the crease, hitting the Bruins' number-one pivot with a sharp pass that Krejci used to deke Dwayne Roloson, burying the puck to give Boston an early 1-0 lead at just 1:09 of the first period.
It was the only marker of the first 20 minutes for either time, despite both teams getting chances down low. Rich Peverley whiffed on a turned over puck low in the Tampa zone just moments before Marc-Andre Bergeron caught an unsuspecting Krejci in the neutral zone, dropping the Czech native and drawing an elbowing penalty, the only foul of the period.
The Bruins power play wasn't able to get any offense going, and the Black and Gold headed into intermission with a 1-0 lead.
Roloson looked uneasy in net at times; the Bruins have reverted to making him move laterally and trying to get pucks high to beat the 41-year old netminder, and thus far the tactic has worked. On the other end of the ice, Tim Thomas was sporadic as always, but didn't let anything past.
Patrice Begeron returned to the Bruins lineup, taking the opening faceoff and looking as if he hadn't missed a shift during his time on the schneid while recovering from a concussion. The Bruins defense looks markedly improved from games one and two, where they allowed a combined five first-period goals.
The Bs will need to get the offense going in the second to hold onto this one, though; they've been unable to set up a regular forward cycle, due largely in part to the back-and-forth nature of the period. So far this postseason, Boston is 5-0 when leading after one and 6-0 when scoring first. Then again, Tampa was 8-0 when scoring first before Tuesday night.