When the Lightning get outside of their system, you get an ugly 2nd Period like tonight.
Series Tied at 1-1
Dwayne Roloson allowed 6 goals on 27 shots for the loss before giving way to Mike Smith who stopped all 8 shots he faced the rest of the way. I didn't think any of the goals Roli allowed were bad goals. The Lightning just can't be allowing breakaways and odd man rushes and eventually your opponent is going to get on some loose pucks and get some bounces on the power play if you keep getting in the box. That's not the fault of the goaltender, though.
00:13 TB Hall (1), Lecavalier (8), Thompson (3)
13:58 BOS Horton (6), Seidenberg (6), Kaberle (4)(PP)
19:53 TB St Louis (7), Stamkos (3), Lecavalier (9)
00:48 BOS Seguin (2), Ryder (5)
02:24 BOS Krejci (6), Seidenberg (7), Horton (6)
06:30 BOS Seguin (3), Horton (7), McQuaid (4)
07:48 TB Lecavalier (6), St Louis (9), Stamkos (4)(PP)
16:16 BOS Ryder (3), Seguin (2), Kaberle (5)(PP)
19:41 BOS Ryder (4), Kelly (4), Seguin (3)
03:47 TB Stamkos (5), Hedman (5), Hall (4)
13:15 TB Moore (3), Lecavalier (10), Bergenheim (2)
Vincent Lecavalier was the game's second star.
You can look at this game a couple of ways. You can dwell on the negatives, which were considerable for the Lightning in the 2nd Period. They got outside of their system and gave up a horrific 5 goals in that frame. They messed up in just about every way imaginable giving up a breakaway goal and a 2-on-1 goal and getting in the box and not covering their net front. The worst part of that 2nd Period defensively, though, was the Lightning consistently coughing up the puck within 10-15 feet inside their own blueline on soft clears or blind clears. It can't happen, and Guy Boucher I'm sure is going to be working very hard to clean up what happened defensively.
On the other side of the coin, the Lightning generated 5 breakaways of their own, another 2 or 3 odd man rushes, had good puck movement, and were just creating scoring chances at will. That was especially true in the 3rd Period when the Bruins were simply holding on for dear life. The Lightning have played 1 poor defensive period in this series, and they paid for it tonight. The Bruins have yet to play 1 good defensive period in this series, though, and that should be of considerable concern to Claude Julien and his coaching staff. If Marc-Andre Bergeron had just hit the top half of the net on his golden chance late in the game, I'm absolutely certain Boston would've been shattered emotionally and this might've become a very short series. It was that close. The Lightning could've easily scored 8 or 9 goals tonight.
One other side note was that the officiating tonight was uneven, to say the least. They're not the reason the Lightning lost, given how poorly the team played defensively in the 2nd period. However, there's little doubt in my mind that the refs had a negative impact on the game for the Lightning, overall. Giving the Bruins a 5-on-3 power play in the 1st Period, which gave them the power play goal they desperately needed to get their feet under them and regain some confidence with the man advantage was just inexcusable, in my opinion. And, there's no telling what might have happened in the 2 minutes Ryan Malone was sent to the box in the 3rd Period on a goaltender interference call that was absolute hogwash. At a moment when the Lightning were really starting to tilt the rink in their favor, the refs put their thumbs on the scales and gave the Bruins a short reprieve. That was unforgivable, to me.
In any event, the compulsories are now over and now it's time for the real series to begin with Game 3 in Tampa Bay. I expect Guy Boucher to clean up the breakaways and odd man rushes that were given up in the 2nd Period tonight, and I expect the Bruins to do the same on the other side. If Boucher does clean that up, I think the Lightning are in an excellent position to win this series. They've shown they can generate scoring chances with their speed even when the Bruins are in decent position, and the puck movement on the power play has been crisp, with just the shot selection being a bit wanting at times tonight, so I think the Lightning still have a distinct advantage on special teams. It would've been nice to roll through this series like the Lightning did against Washington, but that's not realistic. The playoffs are always a grind, and once both teams draw blood, the round starts to take on a life of its own. Tonight the Lightning got a taste of mortality for the first time in a little while and I thought they had a good response in the 3rd Period, so the sky is certainly not falling.
That said, Lightning fans, your team will need you in Game 3 and Game 4 so please make it out to the Forum and make sure they hear you all the way back up North supporting your team. Now is the time when legends are made, and you're going to want to be there to be a part of it.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.