Hockey World Blog

Conference Finals – Day 5

Tim ThomasBoston vs Tampa Bay – After a combined eighteen goals in the first two games of the series, Boston and Tampa Bay brought things back to reality in game three as Tim Thomas picked up his first shutout of the post-season. Boston would only score two goals themselves in the victory, and now have a 2-1 series lead.

It didn’t take long for the Bruins to find themselves ahead in game three. Just over a minute into the contest, Milan Lucic would find David Krejci all alone in front of Dwayne Roloson. Krejci took his time and let Roloson make the first move, then slid the puck to his backhand and into the open net. The Lightning defense clearly missed their assignment on that play.

The second period was all Bruins as they outshot Tampa Bay 12-6. Roloson was up to the challenge, and looked much better than he did in the second period of game two. Despite his excellent play, the Lightning offense could not get anything generated. They trailed at the end of two periods, 1-0.

At 8:12 of the third period, the Bruins would build on their lead. Defenseman Andrew Ference ripped a slapshot from the point which just had enough juice to squeeze over the goal line. The goal would be Ference’s second of the playoffs. Despite being outshot 15-5 in the third period, the Bruins were able to hold on for the victory. Tampa Bay outshot Boston 31-25 in the game.

Patrice Bergeron was able to return to the lineup tonight for the Bruins after sitting out the first two games with a concussion. Bergeron’s replacement, Tyler Seguin, stayed in the line-up after his excellent performances in games one and two. Both players continued their strong post-season play as Bergeron finished as the games third star, while Seguin finished as a +1 in thirteen minutes of ice time. Tim Thomas continues his sensational play, and certainly deserves a lot of credit for Boston’s post-season success.

Despite some great chances, and out-shooting the Bruins, Tampa Bay could not get on the board in game three. Lecavalier, St. Louis and Stamkos combined for eleven shots on goal, but none were able to find the back of the net. Sean Bergenheim’s four game point streak came to an end as well. He had four goals in the series against Washington, but has only registered one goal in three games so far against Boston. Teddy Purcell has now gone two games without a point, and he will be counted on to rebound in a big way if the Lightning are to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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