Game Night Results

  • 5 years 14 weeks ago

    Confirming what we reported last week, 2011 fifth round pick Nikita Nesterov is not on the Tri-City Americans training camp roster.

    Nesterov, a puck-moving defenseman with a mean streak drafted out of Russia, was selected in the CHL Import Draft by Tri-City following the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Paperwork could not be formalized last summer, so Nesterov stayed him. It was expected he would be taking his talents to Kennewick, Washington, this year instead of remaining in Russia, but it appears that is not to be the case.

    After the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Lightning Head Scout Al Murray said Nesterov was "hoping to be in Tri-City from the get-go this campaign."

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    Love is a hurting thing.

    TB-0
    BOS-1

    Boston Wins the Series 4-3

    Dwayne Roloson allowed 1 goal on 38 shots for the loss. He was outstanding tonight. Better than outstanding, in fact. As bad as I thought he was in Game 6, he was just that brilliant in Game 7. He gave the Lightning an opportunity to steal the win. He deserved better.

    First Period
    NO SCORING

    Second Period
    NO SCORING

    Third Period
    12:27 BOS Horton (8), Krejci (7), Ference (5)

    Roloson was the game's third star.

    This was what I feared after the Bruins won Game 5. I thought the Lightning would expend a lot of energy to win Game 6 and they might not have anything left in the tank for Game 7. It's pretty obvious that was the case, because after holding the Bruins to just 20 shots in each of Games 5 and 6, they gave up 38 tonight. Roli gave the Lightning a chance, but there was just no jump in the Lightning's legs until after Boston got the lead in the 3rd, and by then it was too late. I give the Bruins credit for sensing they had the advantage and not letting the Lightning off the hook. They threaded the needle to take a series by 1 game and 1 goal. I don't give them a snowball's chance again Vancouver, but they did what they had to to win the East.

    Compounding the Lightning's problems was the bad luck of Steven Stamkos getting his nose broken on a puck to the face. Prior to taking that shot up high, Stamkos was about the only top line Lightning player who seemed to have any real jump. After returning heroically with the full face mask, Stammer was clearly laboring to breathe and experiencing a lot of discomfort. I wonder if he had been 100% if he would've had that extra step he needed to stay with Nathan Horton on the Bruins' game winning goal.

    It looks like Claude Julien got rewarded big time for all his complaining after Game 6. I said after Wednesday night's tilt that I thought the Lightning's power play would give them a puncher's chance in Game 7. Unfortunately they weren't allowed that puncher's chance because of what looked like a conscious decision by the referees to call nothing in this game. Some people will claim it's somehow noble for the referees to not call anything in a Game 7 and, "Let the players decide it." The fact of the matter is that the referees gave the Bruins a big tactical advantage the second they decided to pocket their whistles. And, anyone who claims the Bruins actually played a penalty free game, and vice versa for the Lightning, is fooling themselves. I saw 2 plays that would've easily been called interference on the Bruins in any other game of the series at the start of the 3rd Period alone. I felt like it was a total act of cowardice by the referees and a complete abdication of their responsibilities to punctuate an absolutely horrendous postseason when it comes to officiating. It all was foreshadowed by their former colleague Kerry Fraser, who in a blog earlier in the playoffs rightfully pointed out "'Let them play' generally means 'Let them cheat.'"

    Where do the Lightning go from here? Nowhere but up, I think. This team laid the foundation that an elite program is built on this season. There's no doubt in my mind the Lightning have the best 1-2 punch in the league at the GM and Head Coach spot in Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher, and their brilliant moves actually put the Lightning a full year ahead of the schedule I figured they would be on. I expected this team to maybe win a round and that would be it, a la the Lightning's 2002-2003 team. They set a very high bar for excellence, and in the process their youngest stars, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, gained the kind of experience that can propel them to reach their full potential. For Hedman, in particular, I expect these 18 playoffs games to be a springboard to stardom. After a very modest regular season in his sophomore campaign, Hedman averaged over 22 minutes a game in the postseason and had a very solid even rating. The next step, in my opinion, is going to be for Hedman to see more power play time next year and the confidence he gained in these playoffs should give him poise in all phases of the game.

    There will be some tough choices in the offseason for Steve Yzerman, particularly at the forward position and to a lesser extent between the pipes, but he's already shown himself to be more than up to the challenge. I expect to see the Lightning contend again next year, and for a long time into the future.

    Blair Jones had 1 shot and 3 hits in 8:40. He was very good down low in the offensive zone but a little bit scary in the Lightning's end getting beaten badly off the wall on one play and making a bad decision on where to move the puck on another. That probably held him under double-digit minutes in a night where the Lightning coaching staff probably would've loved to feed him even more minutes than he got just to have some fresher legs. All that said, his 7 game run in these playoffs was successful. I don't know if the Lightning will keep him around for next year, but I do know he's probably going to be playing in the NHL somewhere next season if even half of the GM's in the league have been paying attention to the last 2 series.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup

    Owen Sound Attack 3 vs. Kootenay Ice 7

    D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM
    Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
    Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
    Memorial Cup Totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM

    G Michael Zador, OS: Did not dress.
    Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
    Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

    OHL champion Owen Sound was eliminated from the Memorial Cup tonight after losing a tiebreaker game vs. WHL champion Kootenay, 7-3. The Attack beat the Ice 5-0 in their first game of the tournament, but with stars Joey Hishon (Avalanche) and Garret Wilson (Panthers) both out with concussions, they didn’t have a lot to offer. They certainly tried, holding a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Kootenay exploded for three goals in the second period and four in the third to advance to the semifinals vs. tournament host Mississauga.

    This marked the final game of the season for Lightning prospects Geoffrey Schemitsch and Michael Zador. After missing several weeks at the end of the regular season due to a broken arm, Schemitsch was finding his groove late in the playoffs. He is all but set to return to Owen Sound next season. Zador, who didn’t dress again Thursday, likely played his last game as a Lightning prospect. The 2009 draft choice must be signed by June 1 and all indications are he’ll be allowed to re-enter the draft. Zador has great size and superb raw skills, and was drafted in front of Jaroslav Janus by the Bolts, but he just struggles to stop the puck consistently. The signing of NCAA free agent Pat Nagle by the Lightning earlier this spring probably sealed Zador’s fate with the Bolts.

    Speaking of deadlines, we learned from the Lightning today that overager Teigan Zahn of Saskatoon does not have to be signed by June 1 to retain his rights. Zahn, like all of the 2010 draftees, must be given a "bona fide offer" to maintain his rights for another year, but he is not in danger of being lost. The rugged character defenseman is out of junior eligibility so he could be signed by the Lightning's AHL affiliate to a one year contract.

    Today the Norfolk Admirals announced the signing of Adam Janosik's teammate, Philip-Michael Devos of Gatineau, to a two-year AHL contract. Devos was the Q's leading scorer this year with 47 goals and 114 points in 68 games.

    Schemitsch and Zador were the last two Lightning prospects playing this season, so the 2010-2011 prospect season has come to a close. Thank you for your faithful readership and keep up with us for Lightning analysis and pre-draft coverage.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup

    Owen Sound Attack 1 vs. Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 3

    D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
    Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
    Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
    Memorial Cup Totals: 3 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM

    G Michael Zador, OS: Did not dress.
    Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
    Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

    Mississauga won Game 8 vs. Owen Sound this post season and as a result earned a trip to the Memorial Cup semifinals. The Attack, who beat the Majors in seven games to win the OHL championship a week ago, now must win a tie-breaker game with Kootenay for the right to play the Majors again. St. John has a bye to the finals. In Wednesday’s game, Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch had his two game point streak snapped. He had his head driven into the boards on a hit that was originally penalized, then rescinded after the refs deemed it legal. Michael Zador took a seat in the bleachers rather than on the bench as recent Rangers signee Scott Stajcer, who played the majority of the playoffs for the Attack, sat backup to 2011 prospect Jordan Binnington (25/27). Owen Sound and Kootenay play Thursday night. The Attack won the first meeting between the clubs at the Memorial Cup, 5-0.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    The Lightning's top power play unit gets its groove back.

    BOS-4
    TB-5

    Series Tied at 3-3

    Dwayne Roloson allowed 4 goals on 20 shots for the victory. I was not pleased at the performance, though, whatsoever. I'll give Roli the benefit of the doubt on the 1st goal by Boston, despite the fact he didn't look comfortable in the 1st Period, but the 4th goal was unacceptable. He flopped into a snow angel for no reason and kicked a cheap goal into his own net to make it a 1 goal game. The result is that the Lightning had to expend a lot of energy at the end of the game to preserve this victory, and that hurts because the Lightning's game at 5-on-5 depends on pace. Boston's doesn't. He made things a lot more difficult than they needed to be and made the hill a little higher to climb in Game 7. I expect more from Roli because of his experience level. He's got to be much better in the next game.

    First Period
    00:36 TB Purcell (5), Lecavalier (12)
    07:09 BOS Lucic (3), Horton (8), Boychuk (3)
    16:30 BOS Krejci (8), Paille (2)

    Second Period
    07:55 TB St Louis (9), Lecavalier (13), Stamkos (6)(PP)
    13:35 TB Purcell (6), Downie (11), Clark (2)(PP)

    Third Period
    00:34 TBL Stamkos (6), Brewer (6), St Louis (10)(PP)
    09:46 BOS Krejci (9), Horton (9), Kaberle (7)(PP)
    10:15 TB St Louis (10), Downie (12), Stamkos (7)
    13:28 BOS Krejci (10), Lucic (6), Kaberle (8)

    Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell were the game's first and third stars. Color me shocked Steve Downie didn't get a star, because he was masterful tonight. He set up two goals with brilliant passes and was working his butt off all game long. Boston's media has decided to try to make Downie out to be anti-Christ, and that's fine. Tonight's game should be instructive for him. Success is the best revenge, and beating Boston in Game 7 would be the perfect way to shut his critics up.

    The Lightning power play was 3-for-4 and they got 2 goals from the 1st unit and 1 goal from the 2nd unit, including a goal that should absolutely terrify the Bruins: Steven Stamkos from the left wing circle on the one-timer. If Stammer has the range from that spot, it's unstoppable. That can give the Lightning a quick and easy goal in every game, and that's a huge advantage at this time of year.

    I'll probably have more to say about it after the series, but the officiating has been awful all playoffs long and tonight was just another chapter in a long litany of abuses by the zebras. I'm not terribly happy with Steven Stamkos stopping on the play to try to embellish the high stick he took on the Bruins' second goal, but that call has to be made 10 times out of 10, especially within 10 feet of the Lightning's own blueline. That's the kind of missed call that can result in a really good scoring chance the other way every time, and I'm sick and tired of all the missed high sticking calls. Martin St. Louis' face has been a pin cushion all playoffs long, and now Stammer gets El Kabonged and there was no call. That's unacceptable, and especially unacceptable in an elimination game.

    Boston's Brad Marchand decided to tug on Superman's cape by taking a run at Mattias Ohlund tonight, partly as a reprisal for Ohlund lighting him up in Game 5. Mark Recchi just about got fitted for a toe tag on a hit a few shifts later in retaliation. Honestly, #5 is not the man I would be stirring things up with. The old man doesn't need a reason to try to bury you. To try and run after him and beg for payback likely won't end well for the person making that effort. There's something called "old man strong." Mattias Ohlund is "old man strong," and he seems to be getting "old man stronger" as these playoffs wear on. I expected to see Victor Hedman progress, game by game, as he gained more experience in these playoffs. I did not expect Mattias Ohlund to look like the Mattias Ohlund from 5 years ago, nor did I expect Marc-Andre Bergeron to turn into a poor man's Dan Boyle. I'm glad anytime I see those two on the ice these days.

    On another note, Lightning fans: lets have a talk about class and not littering the ice after a victory or trying to pelt the other team with rally drums at the final horn. Yes, I know Bruins fans were doing the same thing tonight chucking the free promo materials at Lightning players. Yes, I know they've been throwing beer bottles at our players after 2 of the games in Boston earlier in this series. No, you still shouldn't do it. You're better than that. Put it another way: how dumb would you have felt if the rally drum one of you numbskulls threw on the ice ended up being the one that Marty St. Louis slipped on and pulled a groin or broke a bone? Be smart. Celebrate with class. Boston's fan base may not have been this far in a very long time, but the Lightning has been here before. Act like it. It's embarrassing for me to have to waste a paragraph on this in the Eastern Conference Finals, and surprising because Lightning fans really are the most underrated in all of the NHL.

    Game 7. I don't know what to expect. Tonight's game wasn't what I expected because the Lightning came out flat as a pancake in the 1st Period and were lucky they didn't get run out of the building because of it. They won the game on the power play and held Boston to 20 shots, but they can play with a lot better pace and intensity in 5-on-5 than they did tonight. Honestly, they played a lot better game at 5-on-5 in Boston in Game 5, but didn't get the results and didn't have the power play functioning. So, I don't know which way Game 7 is going to go. There are signs and portents pointing both ways. You're probably going to hear a ton about the Lightning being undefeated in Game 7's and Dwayne Roloson being 7-0 in elimination games. The Lightning have also held the Bruins to just 20 shots in each of the last 2 games, and they finally got their power play straightened out tonight. On the other hand, we haven't seen the full 60 minute effort from the Lightning at the pace they prefer to play since Game 1 of the series, Roloson did not look impressive tonight, and after doing a pretty good job on them for most of the series, the Lightning let the Bruins' top line of Lucic, Krejci, and Horton absolutely run wild on them tonight on the forecheck in Game 6. And, there's the matter of the energy wasted to protect the lead at the end tonight as a consequence of Roloson's bad goal, which I'm still extremely upset about.

    What would I like to see? I'd like to see a magically healthy Sean Bergenheim help lead a Lightning team that plays at a high pace and intensity while minding its details. I'd like to see strong 5-on-5 play lead to some power plays and some power play goals, and I'd like to see the Lightning build a multi-goal lead they can protect with the 1-3-1 and some good goaltending by Dwayne Roloson. What will we see? I don't know. The Lightning's power play, in of itself, gives the team a puncher's chance of pulling out the series, regardless of the pace at 5-on-5. But you'd like to see the Lightning put their best game of the season thus far on the ice and not leave any doubt. Player for player, I believe the Lightning are the more talented team and I believe Guy Boucher is the best coach in the NHL. I'd hate to see the Lightning let the game hang close if they have another opportunity to build a multi-goal lead and see an opportunity to go to the Finals slip by on a bad bounce or off a faceoff play or on the play of the opposing goaltender. If they lose this series, Lightning players really will take it to their graves, and Lightning fans will, too.

    Blair Jones had 1 shot and 2 hits in 6:59. He got his pocket picked in his own zone on one play tonight but worked his butt off to recover and he continues to be a threat on the forecheck and physically in all three zones.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup

    Owen Sound Attack 2 vs. St. John Sea Dogs 3 (OT)

    D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
    Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
    Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
    Memorial Cup Totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM

    G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
    Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
    Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

    Owen Sound was four minutes away from going 2-0 in the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup when St. John’s Tomas Jurco (2011) scored to send the game to overtime. In the extra session likely top-5 pick Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Sea Dogs to give them the victory. St. John moves to 2-0 in the tournament, Owen Sound is 1-1. The Attack will play tournament host Mississauga (1-1) next. Kootenay is 0-2. Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch notched an assist for the second straight tournament game. Michael Zador was backup to Jordan Binnington, who made 41 stops for the Attack.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    You hate to outplay a team and lose on little things like goals off of a faceoff.

    TB-1
    BOS-3

    Boston Leads the Series 3-2

    Mike Smith allowed 2 goals on 19 shots for the loss. I'm shocked Guy Boucher put him in, but he played solid enough to give his team an opportunity for victory. I have no idea what Boucher is going to do in Game 6. Roloson's got an unbelievable record in elimination games, but Smitty did nothing to really get himself pulled out. We shall see.

    First Period
    01:09 TB Gagne (5), Stamkos (5)

    Second Period
    04:24 BOS Horton (7), Lucic (5), Krejci (6)
    15:56 BOS Marchand (6), Bergeron (11), Chara (3)

    Third Period
    19:47 BOS Peverley (2), Kelly (7)(EN)

    I thought the 1st Period was the Lightning's best period of the series and they could have, and maybe should have, been up by a couple of goals. They had a couple of opportunities on the power play to get it to 2-0, and it seemed like the #1 power play unit just took their foot off the gas. They looked shambolic compared to the #2 unit, and that, coupled with losing Sean Bergenheim to injury, really seemed to take the wind out of the Lightning's sails. Next thing you know the Bruins get a quick goal off a faceoff, after being nowhere in the game for about 24 minutes, and it's 1-1. They made a great play to get it to 2-1 and the Lightning just never fully got back their pace from the 1st Period, and when you're depending on a slim amount of chances to try to tie a game against a goaltender as good as Thomas, you're playing Russian roulette. Thomas got his miraculous 3rd Period save on Downie, and a few more key stops, and that was all she wrote. The Lightning outshot the Bruins 34-20, and outchanced them by a lesser ratio, but you can't let a team like Boston keep contact with the goaltending they have. When you have a chance to get a 2 goal lead, you have to take a 2 goal lead. If they had, I suspect Boston would've come completely unglued. We'll never know now, though.

    Game 6. The Lightning have been here before. 2004 against Calgary. They fell behind 3-2 and they did what they had to in order to win it all. Anybody who expects the Lightning to lay down just because they got knocked down tonight doesn't know the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Blair Jones had 1 shot and 3 hits in 5:18, and damned near tied the game on a post in the 3rd Period. He played his heart out. He's due to get a point soon.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup

    Owen Sound Attack 5 vs. Kootenay Ice 0

    D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
    Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
    Playoff Totals: 20 GP, 1-10-11, +5, 2 PIM
    Memorial Cup Totals: 1 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

    G Michael Zador, OS: Did not play (backup)
    Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
    Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .940 sv%, 1 SO

    The WHL champion Kootenay Ice had stormed through high seeds in the WHL like Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, and Portland, but were handled rather easily by OHL champion Owen Sound and goaltender Jordan Binnington (2011). Binnington is ranked No.3 among North American goalies heading into next month’s draft, but this shutout certainly could help him jump a few spots in the draft. With the Lightning expected to take a goaltender at some time in the draft, he could be a possibility with their second rounder. Lightning prospect Geoffrey Schemitsch, who started on the third pair, had a helper for the Attack. Michael Zador watched from the bench as backup. The Attack play St. John next on Monday night on NHL Network.

  • 5 years 28 weeks ago

    Pride.

    BOS-3
    TB-5

    Mike Smith stopped all 21 shots he faced in relief for the win after spelling Dwayne Roloson who was horrific in allowing 3 goals on 9 shots before being pulled. I have no hesitation in saying I'd go right back with Roloson after the way he responded to the goal he allowed in Game 4 of the Penguins series. His softie to Bergeron was one of the worst in Lightning history, but he'll shake it off. Sometimes you have to go to your bullpen, and Smitty was solid. He's really come back after about a couple of very dark years in his career. This team really is all in, and tonight that included the backup netminder.

    First Period
    11:47 BOS Bergeron (3), unassisted
    16:34 BOS Ryder (5), Kelly (6), Kaberle (6)
    17:58 BOS Bergeron (4), unassisted(SH)

    Second Period
    06:55 TB Purcell (3), Gagne (6)
    07:58 TB Purcell (4), Ohlund (2), Lecavalier (11)
    10:53 TB Bergenheim (9), Moore (8)

    Third Period
    06:54 TB Gagne (4), Malone (3)
    19:23 TB St Louis (8), Gagne (7), Hedman (6)(EN)

    Ryan Malone, Teddy Purcell, and Smith were the game's three stars.

    The first couple of series of this playoffs were about belief: the Lightning's belief that if they played their system they could not lose. This series is becoming about something else: pride. This franchise first took the ice in 1992. It's been almost 19 years from the first puck drop at Expo Hall to this afternoon's game at the Forum, and this franchise has seen multiple division championships and even a Stanley Cup. But I've never, ever, been prouder of this team than right now for how they responded after laying an egg in the 1st Period. It would have been very easy for the Lightning to lay down and die right there. It would've been very easy for them to say, "Just wait until next year." Their pride would not allow them to quit. Their pride pulled them back from the edge of the cliff. Their pride had the Boston Bruins, hell, the entire NHL, stunned and shell shocked by the time they left the ice.

    The Lightning have scored 5 goals in 3 of the first 4 games of this series. After so much was made about the Bruins asserting their system and style in Game 3, the Lightning reaffirmed the faith that when their tactics are matched by the proper intensity and work ethic, they can and will generate the scoring chances they need to score goals against Boston. If you're the Bruins, you have to be absolutely terrified on the inside at what just happened. By all rights, the Bruins were in the perfect spot to assert themselves in the neutral zone and choke the life out of the Lightning in the final 40 minutes of this game. Hell, Tim Thomas was actually laughing after giving up the Lightning's first goal by Teddy Purcell. Thomas and the Bruins aren't laughing now. They're facing up to the reality that they're going to have to try to win this series playing a more offensive style than they are accustomed to playing to try to keep up with what the Lightning are doing to them, and this isn't the time of year when you want to try to win playing the other guy's (I wrote it, not realizing that's a bit of a pun, but now that I see it, I sure do like it) game.

    Game 5. Monday. 8 pm. I don't expect the Bruins to shrivel up and die. What I do expect, though, is that if the Lightning keep playing their game at the proper intensity and get the Bruins in a spot where they're facing some adversity, you may see them climb into Boston's head the same way the climbed into Mike Knuble and Washington's. Where do you find the belief to put down a vampire/zombie team that keeps coming when your system can't stop them, when a 3-0 lead when you're on the precipice of taking a 3-1 series lead can't stop them, and now they've got you back on your heels and glimpsing your own playoff mortality? How do you kill what seems to be unkillable? That's what the Lightning need to be focusing on for Monday: keep the Bruins on their heels. Force them to prove they have the ability to respond, too.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

  • 5 years 29 weeks ago

    Boston found their defense and the Lightning looked flat as a pancake in the final 40 minutes.

    BOS-2
    TB-0

    Boston Leads the Series 2-1

    Dwayne Roloson allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the loss. He just didn't get the goal support, obviously, tonight.

    First Period
    01:09 BOS Krejci (7), Lucic (4), Boychuk (2)

    Second Period
    NO SCORING

    Third Period
    08:12 BOS Ference (2), unassisted

    I have no answer for why the Lightning offense completely dried up in the final 40 minutes of this game. Yes, the Bruins played much better defensively than they did in Game 1 and Game 2 (not hard to do), but the Lightning were generating chances in the 1st Period and it all dried up the rest of the way. The Lightning just looked flat, and I don't understand it. If it had been the whole game, I'd say the Lightning tried too hard to emotionally tamp down and get back in their system after what happened in Game 2. Bottom line is that its very hard to beat Tim Thomas on just a paltry handful of scoring chances every period. You have to generate pressure consistently, because you know that guy's going to get 1 or 2 a lot of other goaltenders wouldn't.

    Defensively, I didn't think the Lightning played all that poorly. Yes, there was an obvious mistake on the first goal, but the odd man rushes and breakaways were largely corrected and the penalty kill got back to being excellent. By in large, I'd take that defensive effort on most nights. I thought the power play was slightly off, but even slightly off they were generating 2 or 3 good scoring chances on every power play, so I can't complain too much. It's just the 5-on-5 play was not there, and 5-on-5 tends to be about effort and tactics. Tactics were there, so I suppose the effort needs to increase.

    Game 4 becomes critical, obviously. The Lightning need to put together that well rounded effort like they did in Game 1. We'll have to see if the Lightning raise their intensity again if the Bruins defense holds up to the challenge. I suspect it won't, but I confess to having a little doubt after the final 40 minutes tonight. I really am a little shocked, because the way the first 2 games went, I was very confident the Lightning would handle their business in Game 3.

    Blair Jones had 2 hits in 5:17. He did well, but I wonder if Dana Tyrell might be a better option in this series because of his speed, if he's healthy and in shape to go. I think Boston's blueliners are a lot like the Lightning's. They're big and physical, but if you get into them fast on the forecheck they can be a little sloppy handling it and moving it.

    Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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