ECF Game 2 recap: Tampa Bay Lightning (5) at Boston Bruins (3)
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals by the score of 6-5.
Wow. Was that the craziest game or what? I mean...seriously!
Don't let the score fool you. It really wasn't that closely played of a game. For most of it, the Bruins had almost free rein. To put it in perspective, Dwayne Roloson gave up - with "help" from his team - five goals in the second period.
Yes. Dwayne Roloson. Five goals. One period.
Needless to say, he did not play the third period. Mike Smith came in instead. And, thankfully, the rest of the team played a much more structured game. Smith, in his first action in playoffs, did not allow a goal.
Anyone who thought that this series was going to be a boring, defensive slog obviously haven't watched much of the Lightning this past regular season. While this particular game was nutty, it was still nutty in that similar way as all of their spectacular defensive collapses have been during the regular season. I mean, giving up two short-handed goals in the same power play kind of nutty. (Yep - they really did that.)
Two people kept the Lightning from winning. Tyler Seguin, who obviously had Roloson's number with his two goals and two assists in the second period. He had another goal versus Roloson in Game 1 as well. If Seguin hadn't played - which might've happened had Patrice Bergeron played - then the story would've been entirely different.
The other guy in the Lightning's way was Tim Thomas. But everyone was expecting that to happen because of what a season he's had. Though, how often will a team score five goals on him and still lose?
For much of the first and second periods, the Lightning looked like trained squirrels doing a Chinese firedrill. There was no coherent play going on for much of it. They looked like they had no game plan, no set plays, no anything. It wasn't very pretty.
When they finally got back into playoff mode, the damage had been done. They came very close to tying the game up and maybe even winning it, but Thomas was just too good. And, frankly, the Lightning were lucky that the Bruins didn't get that empty net goal at the end.
The upside, however, is that they've had their eight-game winning streak broken. And I say that's an upside because it had to happen sometime. The law of averages were not in their favor. So, better early on in this series than later.
The next game is Thursday, 19 May. Game time is 8 pm Eastern. If you're not attending the game in Tampa, then stop by the game thread and hang out with us. We're open for business at 7 pm.