It’s grown almost tiresome in recent weeks, getting essentially the same quote from Bruins players, coaches and front office folks: The scoring chances are there, just not the finish; the puck’s bound to start going in soon.

Even when they outplayed and outshot the opposition and generated tons of quality chances, the B’s too often found themselves grinding hard to hang on to a one-goal lead.

So it was a welcome relief last night that the B’s struck early and late, managing enough finish to earn a 4-2 win over the ever-dangerous Tampa Bay Lightning on the humid and ragged Times Forum ice.

The star of the night: Nathan Horton, who scored two goals (Nos. 5 & 6). The B’s also got a goal and an assist each from Patrice Bergeron (3) and Brad Marchand (9), plus a pair of assists from rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

“We did finish much better,” said B’s coach Claude Julien, after his team improved to 2-1-0 on this five-game trip. “Around the net we were burying them. You look at both of Horts’ goals and he really shot it hard, like there was a purpose behind it. We need to do more of that. The goal scoring will come. We’ve got to stay a little patient with some of those guys.

“But when guys like Horts start scoring, it makes our team much better. He was good. That’s what you want to see from him. That powerful winger who really wants to play. He’s one of the elite right wingers in the league when he’s at the top of his game.”

Tuukka Rask was spotted a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Horton and Bergeron on the first four shots on Tampa Bay goalie Anders Lindback in the opening 3:50.

“We had a good start,” said Horton. “That’s what carried it through the game. It feels a lot better when you start like that.”

With the ice absolutely terrible, and the humidity high in the arena, the Bolts battled back to knot the score at 2 in the second period. But Marchand and Horton made this, other than the heat, a relatively comfortable night.

“It was definitely good to get some scoring right off the bat,” said Rask, who went on to stop 24 shots in a top-notch effort. “When we score four goals, it should be a game we win.”