Bruins even up series; Tyler Seguin (4 points) leads B's to 6-5 win

BOSTON, MA - MAY 17: Tyler Seguin #19 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a second period goal with teammates Chris Kelly #23 and Michael Ryder #73 in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

19 year-old rookie Tyler Seguin was forced into his second career playoff game in place of the injured Patrice Bergeron (concussion) and the kid took advantage of the opportunity to prove that he can play with the big boys in the playoffs. Seguin netted 2 goals and added 2 assists, while linemate Michael Ryder racked up 3 points (2 goal, assist) to pace the Bruins to a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a wild Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

The Lightning didn't waste much time as they found the back of the net just 13 seconds into the game. Vincent Lecavalier's shot missed the net wide right and the rebound caromed off the endboards and around the other side of the net to Adam Hall. Hall calmly deposited the puck in the empty net as Tim Thomas was frozen out of position.

The early goal seemed to lit a fire on the Bruins as their heavy offensive pressure forced Dwayne Roloson to make some big saves to preserve Tampa Bay's early lead and influenced Guy Boucher to use his timeout with 5:52 into the game with a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins evened it up at 1-1 on a power play goal from Nathan Horton at 13:58 of the first period. Horton set up in front and tipped Dennis Seidenberg's slapper from the top of the right circle over the right shoulder of Dwayne Roloson for the equalizer.

With just under 7 seconds left in the opening period, the Lightning regained the lead on a goal from Martin St. Louis. Steven Stamkos carried the puck into the right wing corner, spun around, and threw a backhander in the general direction of the net. St. Louis was driving hard to the crease and got a stick on it. St. Louis' tip deflected off the side of Johnny Boychuk's pants into the net to head to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead.

Tyler Seguin knotted it up at 2-2 with a spectacular breakaway goal 48 seconds into the middle period. Seguin took a pass from Michael Ryder in the neutral zone, split the Lightning defensemen and broke in all alone. He held the puck on the forehand and waited for Roloson to commit before moving the puck to the backhand and roofing a shot.

The B's took the lead for the first time in the series on a goal from David Krejci 2:24 into the second period. Dennis Seidenberg looked like he was ready to uncork a shot from the right slot until he saw Krejci driving to the net and threaded a perfect tape-to-tape pass to him. All Krejci had to do was nudge the puck across the goal line for his 6th goal of the postseason.

Moments after Tim Thomas stoned Ryan Malone on a breakaway, Tyler Seguin netted his second goal of the game to make it 4-2. Nathan Horton broke into the attacking zone 2-on-1 with Seguin to his right. Horton slid the puck to Seguin in stride and Seguin buried the puck past Roloson on the nearside 6:30 into the second period.

A cross-check by Mark Recchi on Steve Downie set-up a power play goal by Vincent Lecavalier 1:18 after Seguin's second tally of the game. Lecavalier fired a slapper from the top of the right circle that sailed through the pads of Tim Thomas to get the Bolts within one with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.

Michael Ryder made it 5-3 on a power play goal with 3:44 left in the second period. Tyler Seguin's shot from the left wing hit Ryder in the shin in front of the Tampa Bay cage. Ryder gathered the puck and flung a bankhander over the blocker of Roloson for his third goal of the playoffs.

Ryder struck again 19 seconds left in the second period to make it 6-3. Tyler Seguin's backhand pass from the left wing boards found Chris Kelly in the slot. Kelly fired a shot that was kicked out by Roloson before Ryder jammed home the rebound for his second goal of the night.

After giving up 6 goals on 27 shots (including 5 goals on 9 shots in the second period), Guy Boucher pulled Dwayne Roloson for Mike Smith (who I believe is riding Astrology in the Preakness this Saturday).

Steven Stamkos' full stride wrister from the top of the left face-off circle whistled over the blocker of Tim Thomas to make it 6-4 with 16:13 left in the third period.

Dominic Moore pulled the Lightning to within one with 6:45 to go in the third period off of a wild scrum in crease. Victor Hedman's shot from along the goal line hit both posts and stayed out. On the scrabble for the rebound, Tim Thomas lost his mask. Moore picked up the loose puck and chipped it towards the net. The puck deflected off the unprotected face of Tim Thomas and in.

Despite some late pressure by the Lightning the Bruins were able to hang on to take Game 2 by a 6-5 final score to even up the series at 1-1 before heading to Tampa Bay for Game 3 and 4.



Notes:

- Marc Savard was in attendance tonight with his children and received a big ovation when he was shown on the TD Garden jumbotron.

- The Bruins went 2 for 6 on the power play tonight.

- While the offense and power play clicked tonight for the B's, it is hard to dismiss their poor defensive play tonight.

- It will be interesting to see the personnel decisions that Claude Julien will be forced to make when Patrice Bergeron returns to the lineup.

- Obviously, Tyler Seguin won "The Jacket" tonight. He could  be seen the rocking the B's throwback jacket at the podium in the interview room at his post-game media availability.

- Chris Kelly and Tomas Kaberle were the only Bruins not to record hits tonight.

- It was a tale of two periods for Dwayne Roloson tonight. In the first period, he looked like Patrick Roy. In the second period, he looked like Hannu Toivonen.

- Due to poor ice conditions in Game 1, the TD Garden added an auxiliary refrigeration unit for tonight's game, but according to Sean Bergenheim of the Lightning, it did make much difference:

"The ice was…yeah. I didn’t notice that had been harder than any other day. I noticed the ice was a little bit heavier, but it is what it is."

- If you still think that the Lightning's last goal should not have been allowed, refer to Rule 9.5:

When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his team has possession of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask. When the opposing team has possession of the puck, play shall only be stopped if there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity. This stoppage of play must be made by the Referee. When play is stopped because the goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask, the ensuing face-off shall take place at one of the defending team’s end zone face-off

- Game 3 is Thursday night in Tampa at 8:00 PM ET.

Quotes:

Claude Julien on Tyler Seguin's play:

"He was extremely good tonight, there’s no doubt about that, one of our best players out there. And he used his speed very well tonight. He challenged their D’s with it, did a great job. And it was nice to see him respond that way. He’s competed extremely well and he’s been an excited individual waiting for his opportunity, and he’s certainly making the best of it."

Claude Julien on the high-scoring game tonight:

"When two teams start the series and they are two of the best defensive teams in the playoffs and then you see a game like this, I don’t think anybody’s happy. We want to score goals, there’s no doubt there. But the way we’ve been giving up goals is not something that we’re proud of right now. And we need to be better in regards to that."

Claude Julien on the explanation he got from the referees for allowing play to continue after Tim Thomas lost his mask:

"Well they gave me the right explanation. You are supposed to blow the whistle when the goalies mask comes off but if they are in the scoring position the referee’s have the discretion to let it go. And they felt they were in the scoring position and so they didn’t blow the whistle. For me it was understanding it, because when you look back at the replay the helmet is off for a while. And I was hoping they would have blown it earlier, but it was the right call."

Tyler Seguin on if being scratch in the playoffs served as motivation:

"You know, a little bit. Whenever I face adversity, I always try to take a negative and turn it into a positive. Watching the first two rounds, I could still learn a lot and see the game from up top. So whenever I get the opportunity again, whether it’s getting cut in World Juniors and going back to OHL or being the press box and coming back to the team, I want to take advantage of every opportunity."

Tyler Seguin on why we did not see this kind of play out of him earlier in the season:

"I think it’s just the learning curve. It’s been a whole learning curve all year. As the year went on, I’ve felt more confident and more poised. In big games, I always want to step up. Tonight I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all the opportunities and they were going in tonight."

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