ECF Game 6 Recap: Boston Bruins (3) at Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 5-4 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to tie the series at 3-3.
"It was a fast game - you have to manage your ice time, and manage your speed, stay structured and stay poised," said Victor Hedman afterwards. "Even though it's a fast game you have to stay cool."
If you were hoping for the Lightning to score in the first period to start the game off right, they did. Teddy Purcell opened the scoring within 36 seconds on a pass from Vincent Lecavalier from the right faceoff circle. But despite taking the lead, the Bolts but were too eager following the goal, resulting in poor passes and several turnovers in the neutral zone.
The momentum passed quickly as the Bruins regained their edge, tying the score at 7:09 when Milan Lucic took the puck down the slot to score against Dwayne Roloson. The Bolts were successful on two penalty kills, but only totaled four shots in the period.
With 3:30 left in the period and little accomplished after the 36 second mark, things looked lost for the Bolts with David Krejci's goal, shot north of Roli's glove to put the Bruins in the lead, and finish the period at 2-1.
"We didn't panic. We don't panic when we're down," Hedman said afterwards of managing emotions between periods.
The Lightning took the subpar into the second period, giving Boston a power play on a hi-sticking call to Victor Hedman and some poor defensive puck handling in front of Roloson.
But in a flurry of statement moments, the Lightning went on the power play at 7:39, taking the puck to the net. Martin St. Louis finds the puck in a scrum at front to tie the score at 2.
Eric Brewer followed with a penalty at 8:03 to keep the ups and downs consistent, but the Bolts were able to maintain the momentum coming off the goal to keep their edge.
An interference penalty to Rick Peverley sent the Lightning on another power play at 11:39, where a second goal from Purcell broke the tie at 3-2. Steve Downie was essential for the goal, bringing the puck to Purcell at the left faceoff circle to send the puck through.
The Lightning started the third period on the power play from Andrew Ference's cross checking penalty at the end of the second. Eric Brewer sent the puck to Steven Stamkos at the left faceoff circle to raise the second to 4-2 at the 34 second mark.
Nine more minutes and the Bruins scored a third goal when Nathan Horton sailed into the Lightning zone, passing around Mattias Ohlund to Krejci, his second goal of the night.
At 4-3 the Lightning didn't give up and didn't sit back, and kept pushing. Steve Downie and St. Louis scored at the left side of the net, but was followed by a fourth Boston goal from Krejci.
The Lightning and Bruins fought through the last four minutes of the game to maintain the lead, but finished with the win.
And it isn't over yet. The Lightning will play Game 7 in Boston on Friday, May 27. The Lightning continued to maintain composure with the win, taking things one game at a time. From Purcell, "We know we haven't accomplished anything yet."