The Lightning scored three goals in the span of a minute and twenty-five seconds in the first period en route to 5-2 win over the Bruins in Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.
After 11:15 of spirited, back and forth action, Sean Bergenheim took advantage of a broken stick by Dennis Seidenberg to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. The stick-less Seidenberg kicked the puck from the slot directly to Bergenheim, who deposited the puck into the back of the net for his 8th goal of the postseason.
The Lightning increased their early lead to 2-0 just 19 seconds later when Brett Clark's soft, tough angle backhand shot from the left wing snuck in under the right arm of Tim Thomas.
A gift-wrapped turnover by Tomas Kaberle gave the Lightning their third goal in 1:25. Kaberle lost control of the puck behind the net and it squirted out to Teddy Purcell on the doorstep beofre he jammed it home for his second goal of the playoffs.
Tyler Seguin got the Bruins on the board with 4:01 left in the opening period. Michael Ryder's pass from the left wing boards in the neutral zone found Seguin just before the offensive blue line. Seguin gained the zone, split the Tampa Bay defense and got off a shot that beat Dwayne Roloson along the ice just out of reach over Rolie the Goalie's left pad. The goal was Seguin's first career playoff goal after being a helath scratch for the first two series.
With just under 8 minutes left in the third period, Johnny Boychuk laid a big open ice hit on Simon Gagne, who got caught with his head down. The clean hit by the Bruins defenseman drew the attention of Vincent Lacavalier, who cross-checked Boychuk in retaliation. Boychuk obviously did not appreciate having to deal with Lecavalier's stickwork after a legal check and returned the favor via a gloved punch to the face of Lecavalier. Boychuk was hit with a 2 minute roughing minor for the punch, while Lecavalier skated away unpunished. On the ensuing Tampa Bay power play, Marc-Andre Bergeron let a slapper fly from just inside the blue line on the left point that deflected off the knob of Tim Thomas' goal stick into the top corner with 6:23 left in the game.
Simon Gagne extended the Lightning lead to 5-1 with an empty net goal with 2:31 left in the game.
Johnny Boychuk added a goal with 1:01 left in the game to account for the 5-2 final score. Boychuk's shot appeared to be on course to go well wide of the net, but it deflected off the skate of Marc-Andre Bergeron and through Roloson's five-hole.
Frustration clearly got the best of Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic in the game's final minute. Horton got tangled up with Dominic Moore along the boards. Horton threw a short gloved punch at Moore. Milan Lucic skated over to the ensuing scrum and threw a gloved sucker-punched at Victor Hedman. Both Lucic and Horton received 2-minute minors for roughing and 10 minute misconducts and could possibly face other disciplinary action from the league.
- The Bruins have brought back a former player for each playoff game to serve as "honorary captain" by starting the giant Bruins flag around the arena. Ray Bourque was tonight's honorary captain.
- Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs made is seemingly annual pilgrimage from Buffalo to Boston to take in this game. I wonder if he got lost finding the building.
- That was a frustrating game, but Horton and Lucic need to be smarter than that. The Bruins are already with Patrice Bergeron, they can not afford to do stupid things that could cost them the services of two-thirds of their top line.
- I absolutely hate this trend of players getting jumped after clean hits. Johnny Boychuk should not have had to answer for his clean hit on Simon Gagne and he certainty should not have been the only one going the box after Vincent Lecavalier's retaliation.
- The Bruins clearly missed Patrice Bergeron tonight. The most obvious evidence of that was their performance at the dot. The B's won 26 of 67 face-offs (39%), including a dismal 3 for 17 showing by David Krejci.
- The Bruins' power outage continues: the B's were 0 for 4 on the power play tonight and are now 2 for 41 in the playoffs (4.9%).
- Adam McQuaid (neck) returned to the lineup tonight for the B's. The B's blue liner logged 12:29 of ice time and was one of two Bruins to finish with a positive +/- (Tomas Kaberle was the other, which proved that +/- is a somewhat useless stat.)
- The most stressful thing about playing in the playoffs for 19-year-old Tyler Seguin is probably having to grow a beard. Move off Clayton Bigsby. There is a new patchy beard king.
- The Lightning out-shot the Bruins 34-33.
- The Lightning blocked 17 shots to the Bruins' 9.
- It was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performance for Tim Thomas (29 saves) tonight. He gave up at least one or two soft goals that he would like to have back, but also made some spectacular saves that keep the Bruins within striking range for most of the game. This game could have been a lot uglier if it was not for the play of Tim Thomas.
- I usually pick a photo that tells the game story for the main picture, but I just had to include this one as well. It looks skate blades are bringing back traumatic memories for Guy Boucher. Also, that chick behind the bench is mint.
Post-Game Quotes from both teams after the jump...
Tampa Bay forward Dominic Moore on if he thinks the Lightning frustrated the Bruins tonight:
"I don’t know, I think they are competing. That is what you have to do. You just have to try and maintain our focus as well."
Tomas Kaberle on coughing the puck up to Teddy Purcell, which led to a goal:
"He didn’t take it from me, the puck slid on my blade and I tried to make a move. Those things you have to put behind you, the past behind you. I felt good in the first period, I thought I had good legs, when you make a mistake, you have to put it behind you, that’s all you have to do. If you keep thinking about it it’s not going to make you any better."
Tomas Kaberle on giving up 3 goals in 1:25 in the first period:
It’s tough, we pretty much gave them every single one of them. And we never gave up after. We know we are better in here and we have to show it in the second game. You know they are dangerous up front and you have to play in their zone and there is their goalie. We know it is not going to be an easy series. And we have to put it behind us right now and think about what is going to happen on Tuesday.
Lightning forward Martin St. Louis on his team's willingness to block shots
"Well, I mean, any shot that doesn’t get to the net doesn’t have a chance to go in. so we take pride in that. Our PK, they blocked a lot of shots. But it is a mentality. You want to get that shot, and block that shot, and make an attempt to block every shot, so Roley gets less work."
Tyler Seguin on the difference between regular season games and playoff games:
"I’ve been saying it just from watching it up top. The intensity level and the tempo and being out there my first couple shifts I could really feel a difference. Even I was saying, after All-Star Break, the tempo did pick up more now. But I try to use that in my game, I try to use my speed, and usually it works out."
"I think the first period until my goal I kind of had an exciting rush going through my body. And after the third, fourth shift I felt more comfortable, I scored that goal, I felt more comfortable in the second. And then carried that in the third and I felt great in the third."
- Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin when asked if he wants to get power play time:
"Well I definitely do, but I know what I got to do right now. I got to contribute any way I can and if I get that opportunity I’m going to try to make the most of it. And I know I’ve been sitting out all playoffs, so I understand why I’m not being thrown on the power play right away."
Tim Thomas on Brett Clark's goal:
"It went right armpit. It was backhand. Backhanders are always a little bit harder to tell where they’re going to go. I was looking for who he was going to pass it to, then I was trying to figure out who he was. Because, not purposely, but other people’s tendencies. And then he goes to the backhand and it’s hard to tell where backhands are going to go. I was just trying to put my chest in the center of the net, and it was just a seeing-eye puck."
Victor Hedman on getting punched by Milan Lucic in the game's final minute:
"Well there is not too much to say. That is part of the game too. I have to expect that and there is nothing I can do about it. That's what he did, and I wasn’t expecting it. So that is why it took me a little aback."
"The first one is behind us now and I don’t want to make excuses but it’s only one game. There’s no point to get frustrated. It’s a series of seven so we’ve still got some hockey left and if we just take the positive things from tonight’s game then we’re good enough to win some games."
- David Krejci
David Krejci on playing without Patrice Bergeron:
"He’s been one of our best players so it’s hard to play without him but we’ve done it before. Like I said again, I don’t think it should have been 3-0 in the first period but it happened. It could have been a different story. I think we had some chances and they buried them. In the next game if we learn from it and we bury ours, who knows, Patrice might be back. I don’t know what is the story but we just got to stay positive here and just keep going."
Lightning forward Simon Gagne on Johnny Boychuk's hit:
"It was a clean hit. That was good. I had the puck in my skate. I know somebody was going to come, but I didn’t know it was going to be him. He is a pretty good physical defenseman and he got me in the chest. It was a clean hit. It was good. Nothing happened. It was good. Vinny (Lecavalier) went after him a little bit. I didn’t see what happened. I think he punched him or something, so that is why we got a power play and we were able to score that four-one because of that. That was maybe, not the difference in the game, but a big goal for us after that."
"It’s a first game loss. Obviously it’s not a perfect world. Every team we play they are obviously going to be a good opponent and we need to get ready for game two."
Zdeno Chara on Patrice Bergeron's absence:
"Obviously he’s a big part of our team but we have to find a way to play without him right now. Injuries do happen and we need to find a way to play without guys when they do get hurt."
Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher on Tim Thomas:
"I thought Tim Thomas made some really, really solid saves when we basically had our hands up on the bench thinking that was a sure goal."
Guy Boucher on the Bruins' intensity:
"We knew they were going to come out charging, that was no secret for anybody. We knew they were going to be elevated by their crowd. We had a game plan for it. They are a really good team, they came out hard. They are going to come out harder the next game. I’m expecting [Patrice] Bergeron to be in the game. Tim Thomas is going to make miracles. I would be shocked if he doesn’t come back with his best game of the playoffs. They came back in the first series, from two games. It’s only one game, we’ve done nothing yet."
Apparently, Boucher has the same doctorate of medicine that Mark Recchi has or he was saying to expect the worst situation possible for the Lightning to be prepared. I'm not sure which.
Claude Julien on Tyler Seguin's performance:
"He had a good game. I thought when he had his chance, we took advantage of it and scored and obviously he had a lot of energy tonight and excitement in his game, so he was a good player for us."
Claude Julien on missing Patrice Bergeron's face-off skills:
"Well I’ve said that before we even played the game that it’s so important to start with the puck. When you don’t win as many draws as you’re used to, you’re backpedaling a little bit and those lost draws, and we know how quickly they counter. It certainly didn’t help our game tonight."
Claude Julien on if he considered using Tyler Seguin on the power play: