Saturday, May 21, 2011
Rapid reaction: Lightning 5, Bruins 3
By James Murphy
TAMPA, Fla. -- It appeared the Boston Bruins had a erased their 3-0 lead demons when they swept the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But just as they did in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals series and its Game 7, the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead in the second period of Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and then Simon Gagne -- who scored two game-winners as a Flyer in that series with Philadelphia last spring -- scored the game-winner 6:54 into the third period.
Martin St. Louis added an empty-netter to seal the Lightning's comeback for a 5-3 win. The series is now tied at two and headed to Boston for Game 5 on Monday.
Patrice Bergeron had two goals and Michael Ryder scored one for the Bruins. Meanwhile, Gagne also had two helpers, Teddy Purcell had two goals, and Sean Bergenheim also scored for the Lightning.
Great start, but horrible second period -- The Bruins came out playing in Game 3 as if they were the team trying to avoid going down 3-1 in the series. They were playing aggressive, physical -- yet disciplined -- hockey. The result was a 3-0 lead after one period of play. Then, in a span of 3:58 in the second period, the wheels fell off. The Bruins found themselves scrambling, Tim Thomas and the defense were making uncharacteristic turnovers, and the Lightning struck quick for two goals in 1:03 and had three total in 3:58. The Bruins were outplayed the rest of the period but somehow escaped the middle frame still tied at three.
The same Bergeron -- After missing the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals with a mild concussion, Patrice Bergeron is playing like he never missed a shift. In his first game back from the injury, Bergeron played 19:18 and was 18-10 on the faceoff dot. In Game 4, Bergeron was a force offensively and on the penalty kill as he scored two goals in the first period, one being shorthanded. He played 18:47 and was 11-9 on the faceoff dot. Bergeron now has 14 points in 13 playoff games.
Ryder riding high -- Michael Ryder is on a roll right now, as he extended his point streak to five games with a goal in the first period. Ryder now has three goals and four assists during that span.
Power failure again -- For the second straight game, the Bruins power play failed to convert as they went 0-for-2. One significant failed power play came at the beginning of the second period when the Bruins were still up 3-0. If they had scored there, the Lightning comeback might have never happened.
Gagne a Bruins killer -- With his third-period goal in Game 4, Lightning forward Simon Gagne now has six goals in eight playoff games against the Bruins, including two game-winners when he was with the Flyers last season and the game-winner Saturday in Game 4. Gagne had a goal and two assists in Game 4.
Smith solid in relief -- Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson was pulled for the second time in this series after the first period. Roloson allowed three goals in the opening frame and was relieved by Mike Smith, who was solid in making 21 saves. Smith also came in relief of Roloson in the third period of Game 2 and didn’t allow a goal, stopping all eight shots he faced.