Bolts-B's: Roloson, Downie updates for Game 5; Kaberle struggling again
BOSTON -- Look for Dwayne Roloson to start in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Monday night's Game 5 against Boston, even though no one would say for certain whether that was going to be the case.
Signals point to Roloson starting in his 16th straight postseason contest; he was the first Tampa Bay netminder off the ice after Monday's morning skate, a general indicator of who starts.
Roloson was pulled with 2:04 left in the first period of Saturday's Game 4 after giving up three goals on nine shots. Backup Mike Smith came on in relief and didn't allow a goal as the Lightning came back to beat the Bruins 5-3.
Roloson said he was preparing as though he would start, as he always does. Lightning coach Guy Boucher danced around the topic, saying Roloson was preparing for the game.
"We're preparing like usual," Boucher said. "He's preparing like he prepared for all the other games, so we're prepared."
Asked why he wouldn't just say Roloson is starting, Boucher responded with this:
"He's prepared. He got out. He's done his morning skate like usual," the coach said. "He prepared yesterday. We had a good talk, and he knows what's coming up."
Roloson also was pulled in Game 2 when the Bruins poured five goals past him in the second period en route to a 6-5 win, although those goals could hardly be blamed on the goaltending. Smith relieved him both times and has yet to allow a Bruins goal in a little more than three periods of action.
As for Steve Downie's Game 5 status, the rugged Tampa Bay winger skated Monday morning, but Boucher said he wouldn't know whether Downie would be available until after a medical assessment later Monday.
Downie was taken hard into the boards by Nathan Horton near the end of the second period of Game 4. It was announced as a boarding call, although the official game sheet now lists it as roughing. Downie was given a controversial diving penalty on the play but did not return to action.
"He was doing better this morning; that's the one update I can tell you," Boucher said. "But before he had gone on the ice, he had done better. But I need to see how he feels right now, and they said half an hour after he's gone off the ice, I need to go back to my therapist and see how he's doing."
The coach said "feeling better" doesn't necessarily mean Downie is ready to go. "But at least it's better, so there's something positive," Boucher said.
If Downie can't play, Blair Jones would be in the lineup.
Finally, Dana Tyrell, who returned to the Lightning's lineup in Game 4 after missing 10 games with an injury, played only 4:38 on Saturday because he was sick, Boucher said. He is feeling better and should be able to go Monday night.
Bruins' lineup update
Boston coach Claude Julien left the door open a crack for a potential lineup change.
"I think, right now, I'm going to dress 23 for the warm-up, and that's basically what it's going to stay at for now. And if there's changes, we'll make them after the warm-up," he said.
The only change that seems likely is if Julien believes he needs veteran Shawn Thornton's toughness back after the Lightning worked at crowding netminder Tim Thomas in Game 4's 5-3 comeback win. That likely would mean taking rookie Tyler Seguin out of the lineup, but given Seguin's dramatic performance in his last home game (he collected four points in the second period), we're guessing Julien will keep the status quo for Game 5 barring injury.
Woe is Kaberle, again
How quickly things have turned sour again for Boston defenseman Tomas Kaberle.
After a couple of decent outings in Games 2 and 3, Kaberle looked lost again in Game 4's collapse. He was minus-1 and played a paltry 11:35, his smallest allotment of ice time for the entire season, including the playoffs.
Regardless of the lack of confidence Julien clearly has in Kaberle, don't expect him to take the blueliner out of the lineup.
"Well, I think if you know the game well enough, you would understand that there's some experience back there," Julien said. "And you've got to also think: Is this guy coming in a better player than Kaberle? And the other thing we've done is, some people wanted certain players out of the lineup earlier on, and our patience has paid off. ...
"I think people are a little hard on this guy, and I'm one of those guys that's going to support him. I'm one of those guys that's going to keep him in the lineup, in case you want to know. He's going to be a good part of our hockey team. We got him because we believe in him, and until last game, he played two really good games."
Tim is tough
Although Roloson has been pulled twice in this series, his counterpart, Tim Thomas, has allowed the same number of goals (13) but has not been yanked. Julien said there's a reason he hasn't gone to backup Tuukka Rask, and that is Thomas' resiliency.
"I think the one thing we have to recognize from Tim is that when you look back at some of the games we played, whether it was in other series -- Montreal was a good example of that -- we're up 3-0 and two really weak goals go in on him," Julien said. "He stood on his head at the end of the game and helped us win those games.
"So, for me, I have a lot of confidence in Tim being able to bounce back from giving up bad goals. That's why we haven't pulled him yet, and there's certainly some reasoning behind that."