TAMPA, FL - MAY 25: The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their 5 to 4 win over the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Bruins could not finish off the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 in Tampa as the Lightning downed the B's 5-4 to force Game 7 Friday night in Boston.
The Lightning got on the board on their first shot of the game just 36 seconds into the game via a goal from Teddy Purcell off of a clean face-off win by Vincent Lecavalier. With a face-off to Tim Thomas' left, David Krejci was tossed out of the circle forcing Chris Kelly to step in to take the draw. Teddy Purcell, seeing a weaker face-off man at the dot, moved from the right hash to the shooter's spot at the top of the circle. Lecavalier cleanly won the draw back to Purcell, who ripped a quick wrister that beat Tim Thomas up high for the early 1-0 lead.
Milan Lucic evened things up for the Bruins at 1-1 7:09 of the first period, when he roofed a shot in stride from the high slot. Johnny Boychuck moved the puck up along the right wing boards to Nathan Horton in the neutral zone. From the right wing wall, Horton immediately found Lucic at center ice. Lucic gained the offensive zone and snapped off a quick shot from about 35 feet out.
David Krejci's gave the B's a 2-1 lead with 3:30 left to play in the opening period. Daniel Paille won a puck battle with Steven Stamkos just outside the offensive blue line before moving the puck on to Krejci, who skated to the left circle and uncorked a wrist shot that got past the glove of Dwayne Roloson for his 8th goal of the postseason.
Martin St. Louis got the equalizer for the Lightning when his backhander off of a rebound in front made it's way past his former UVM teammate at 7:55 of the second period forcing Dennis Seidenberg (cross-checking) to make the skate of shame from the penalty box to the bench.
Teddy Purcell fought the back of the net for the second time on the night with a one-timer from the left circle on the power play. Steve Downie slid the puck to Purcell all alone at the left dot before Purcell unloaded a slapper that beat Thomas on the near side between his hip and the post. This time, it was Rich Peverley (interference) who got out on the NHL's early release program.
Steven Stamkos put the Bolts up by 2 goals 39 seconds into the third period on a power play goal that looked like a replay of Teddy Purcell's second goal. Andrew Ference was the guilty party looking on from the sin bin for this one.
David Krejci's second tally of the game pulled the B's back to within one on the power play with 10:14 to go in the third period. Nathan Horton had the puck out near the top of the left circle against the boards. Horton looked like he was going to let a shot go, but saw Krejci streaking to the net. Krejci got the blade of his stick on Horton's pass in the slot and poked it past Dwayne Roloson.
The Lightning quickly regained their 2-goal edge on a goal from Martin St. Louis just 29 seconds later. Steve Downie and St. Louis broke in 2-on-1. Downie carried the puck in wide on the right wing and got Tim Thomas to flop before sliding the puck to St. Louis on the doorstep.
David Krejci deflected a Milan Lucic shot in to record a hat trick and get the B's back to with in a goal with 6:32 left in the game. Roloson seemed to have the puck tied up underneath him after Krejci tipped the puck, but the puck never stopped moving and trickled over the goal line.
For the second game in a row, the game ended with an after-the-buzzer scrum. This time Nathan Horton was the aggressor, which brought on a downpour of hard plastic noisemakers onto the ice from a bunch of ignorant rubes.
- So, about that penalty kill that everyone was raving about last game...
- Would the real Tim Thomas please stand up?
- Johnny Boychuk...woof. Boychuk was on the ice for all 5 Tampa Bay goals tonight and got caught up ice creating the 2-on-1 that led to Martin St. Louis' second goal.
- David Krejci is the first Bruin to score a hat trick in the playoffs since Cam Neely accomplish the feat in 1991.
- Anyone that throws hard plastic projectiles onto the ice is moron and there were a lot of idiots in attendance at St. Pete Times Forum tonight.
- Jeremy Jacobs said that he wanted to see the Bruins play for "a trophy...a big one". I hope he was not talking about the Prince of Wales Trophy.
- The Bruins will go as far as Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas take them. Patrice Bergeron was noticeably not a factor tonight. Bergeron failed to record a shot on goal and was just 47% from the dot.
- Lost in tonight's game, Milan Lucic (goal and assist) played one of his best games of the playoffs.
- Zdeno Chara logged a game-high 30:43.
- It all comes down to 1 game: 2 teams, 1 ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. The question is: Which Bruins team shows up on Friday night?
- For more Game 6, pop on over to Raw Charge