The Boston Bruins evened up their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning last night with a 6-5 win.
The Bruins led the entire third period and survived a late barrage by the Lightning. Tyler Seguin was easily the star of the game; notching four points in the middle stanza, becoming the youngest ever to score four points in a playoff period.
What were the keys to this game, and what will the keys be to the series? Let’s take a look
No. 5 – Tim Thomas
Early on in this contest Thomas did not see many pucks and was not all too tested. Just 13 seconds into the game Adam Hall gave Tampa an early 1-0 and with 6.9 left in the first, Martin St.Louis scored a similar goal to give the Bolts a 2-1 lead in the first intermission. It was tough to blame Thomas for either of those goals in the opening period
The biggest save of the night for Thomas came 22 seconds after David Krejci’s goal. Ryan Malone was stopped on a breakaway up the middle and the Bruins held on to the lead the rest of the game.
Thomas did not have his sharpest outing the first period in a half, looking simaler on rebounds to how he looked versus the Canadiens, put for the most part he was one of the reasons they won this game.
No. 4 – Bruins Chase Dwayne Roloson
This is one of those keys that did not help as much as it will next game. Roloson has been the hottest goalie in the world, leading the NHL playoffs with a 2.01 goals against average. Yet the Bruins scored six goals on the 41 year old ‘tender and chased him from the game in favor of Mike Smith, who came in for relief to start the third period.
These are the first playoff struggles Roloson has seen, so does this hurt his confidence? Or on the flip side, does it help Boston’s?
No. 3 – Bruins’ Defense Needs Improvement
The Bruins age old problem of getting the puck out of their zone haunted them once again and they were lucky it did not cost them. Boston led 6-3 going into the third and allowed the Lightning to score two goals, mostly because of this. This was also a huge issue in their loss in Game 1, and no team can survive this many turnovers. If the Bruins want to win some games in the Sunshine State they need to resolve this.
No. 2 – Power Play
The Bruins scored two power play goals to tie their previous amount in the playoffs. The first came off the stick of Nathan Horton was one second remaming on the man advantage and the second came after a series of passes from Seguin and Chris Kelly.
Back to the first one, Dennis Seidenberg completed a slap pass to Horton on the left side of the net and tied the game. In the second one Seguin won a puck battle and centered it to Kelly who found Michael Ryder on the side of the net. If the Bruins can suceed in this department they might be unbeatable.
No. 1 – Tyler Seguin
If you are a Bruins fan, your first thought is “Well it’s about time!”
Claude Julien has been sitting Seguin these entire playoffs despite protesting fans. As mentioned earlier the No. 2 pick in 2010 had a four-point night and was easily the best player on the ice.
It’s safe to say that the kid can play, but Julien has been frustratingly stubborn about this so called issue. Hopefully for Bruins fans, Seguin’s performance in his first two career playoff games gives the Bruins bench boss some confidence in the youngster going forward.