TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t resemble the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Brian Leetch scored his first goal for Boston and P.J. Axelsson had a goal and an assist as the Bruins beat the Lightning 4-2 on Monday night.

“We didn’t play well … all the facets,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said. “We couldn’t get out of our own way.”

Fredrik Modin and Dan Boyle scored for Tampa Bay, which fell to 2-2. The Lightning had gone 13-1-3 during October the previous two seasons.

“I thought we were ready to play,” Tortorella said. “But we looked surprised that there was another team on ice.”

Tampa Bay has scored nine goals and are 2-for-28 – including six unsuccessful tries Monday – on the power play this season. Boyle said the offense has been “sloppy” so far in the new season.

“Right now we’re struggling,” Boyle said. “We’re not controlling the puck.”

Leetch, signed as a free agent in August, and Axelsson scored in the second period to put Boston ahead 2-1. Leetch is three points from becoming the seventh NHL defenseman to reach 1,000.

Leetch tied it at 1 on a power-play goal at 9:07 of the second. Axelsson put Boston ahead 2-1 when he poked a rebound past Lightning goalie John Grahame with 2:49 remaining in the period.

“I thought our guys really came out right from the drop of the puck and played hard,” Bruins caoch Mike Sullivan said. “Not only played hard, but played real smart.”

Axelsson assisted on Travis Green’s goal that made it 3-1 at 3:17 of the third. After Brad Isbister extended Boston’s lead to three goals at 9:32, Tampa Bay pulled within 4-2 when Boyle scored with 5:32 to play.

Grahame, who allowed four goals on 20 shots, was replaced by Sean Burke after Isbister’s goal. It was Burke’s first appearance since joining Tampa Bay during the offseason.

Tampa Bay was outshot 10-3 in the first period, but scored the lone goal on Modin’s slap shot from the left circle with 25 seconds left. Grahame made several strong saves, including an in-close chance by Isbister.

Boston’s Andrew Raycroft had 26 saves. He stopped Ruslan Fedotenko’s point blank shot during a three-save sequence midway through the second.

“All in all, it was definitely our best effort in the last four games for sure,” Raycroft said.

Notes: Boston C Joe Thornton didn’t play during the final five minutes because of back spasms. “We just didn’t feel it was necessary to put him on the ice again,” Sullivan said. “I don’t expect that he’ll miss any time.” … Bruins Cs Dave Scatchard (groin strain) and Alexei Zhamnov (bruised shoulder) both missed their fourth straight game. … Tampa Bay LW Dave Andreychuk played in 100th game against Boston, the third-most among any opponent. He has 41 goals and 89 points against the Bruins.

AP-ES-10-10-05 2353EDT

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