The Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night to go up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins are now one win away from a Stanley Cup appearance.
The Bruins started off the game emotionless and lifeless while the Lightning dominated, yet Boston came out with the win. What did we learn?
No. 5 — Simon Gagne’s Goal
Simon Gagne scored for the Lightning just over a minute in. Andrew Ference fell in the neutral zone along with David Krejci leaving the Bolts on a 2-on-1. Johnny Boychuk was not able to block the shot right in front of him and the puck fell in behind Tim Thomas.
The Lightning started off the game playing very physically, and it was Steven Stamkos who knocked down Krejci to start the play leading up to the Lightning goal.
No. 4 — Lucic, Bruins power play, need to step up
Boston’s power play was still stagnant, not scoring on four power plays. It was the same old for the Bruins, rolling out the same lines and going through the motions.
This is one of the reasons that the Bruins have lost some momentum; the kills the Lightning have provided has created some momentum shifts. But the worst part is Claude Julien’s resistance to put Tyler Seguin on the first unit is becoming a problem, and Milan Lucic has looked slow and lethargic.
The issue with Lucic is becoming, well, an issue. He looks like how he looked last season with his high ankle sprain. His presence on the power play is nonexistent and other than the pass to set up Nathan Horton’s goal, his passes have been way off the mark. Other than that, he has been beaten to the puck and has lost any physical edge. If the Bruins want to win anything, they’ll need the real Lucic back.
No. 3 — Nathan Horton
Speaking of Horton, the ex-Panther finally got on the board for the Bruins when he scored 4:34 into the second period. Lucic created the scoring chance with a terrific pass from the half wall to a wide open Horton. He fired the puck past Mike Smith’s stick side. The shot was only the seventh of the game for Boston.
The goal came after Horton was called for back-to-back interference penalties.
No. 2 — Goaltenders
There was a sequence about midway through the third period when both goaltenders made terrific saves to rescue their teams. First Steve Downie had a shot on the left side of the net and Thomas dove across the crease to barely tip the puck away with his stick. Next, Zdeno Chara raced down the ice towards Mike Smith. But the Bolts netminder, who made his career postseason start, was able to make a nice glove save on Chara’s backhander.
No. 1 — Brad Marchand Goal
Brad Marchand scored on a wrist shot in front of the net after a terrific pass from Patrice Bergeron. Chara made the play to keep the puck inside the Bruins’ attacking zone and pushed the puck to Bergeron in the right corner.
The pass by Bergeron had to be sharp with Martin St.Louis about to lift the stick of Marchand and the center did not disappoint. The pass was located in a place where only Marchand could make the play and he executed to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.