By Joe Haggerty
TAMPA -- Everyone knew Game 4 at the St. Pete Times Forum would be a brutal battle on the ice, and thats exactly how it played out in Stanley Cup reality.
Bruins killer Simon Gagne took advantage of a grisly Milan Lucic turnover, and slipped a shot through the pads of Tim Thomas to supply the game-winning margin for the Lightning. Martin St. Louis added the empty netter to give the Lighting the 5-3 win and a 2-2 series tie headed back to Boston.
Lucics turnover set Ryan Malone off and running into the offensive zone, and the Tampa power forward fed to Gagne wide open in the slot.
Gagne, of course, was the Flyers forward that continuously thwarted the Bruins last season during their collapse in the second round of the postseason.
The Bruins owned the Lightning defense in the opening 20 minutes, pounded their defensemen into careless turnovers and built up an always frightening 3-0 lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Patrice Bergeron led the way as he has for much of the playoff run, and potted a pair of goals including a shorthanded back-breaker from 50 feet away that squirted through Dwayne Rolosons pads and chased the 41year-old Tampa goalie out of the game.
A Michael Ryder rush and shot that ricocheted off Mike Lundins stick for a first period goal sandwiched between the Bergeron strikes, and the Bruins looked very good indeed headed into the second period.
But once against the three goal lead was exactly what the Bruins didnt need.
Boston got stormed in the second period with some heavy pressure, and it looked like a bad movie after Tampa Bay forced the door open.
A bad Tim Thomas hand-off behind the net opened things up for a Teddy Purcell goal when Zdeno Chara couldnt settle it down, and Purcell followed a minute later with a top shelf sniper shot over the glove hand.
A Sean Bergenheim goal tied things up midway through the second period, and the Bruins just barely managed to hang for a tie hockey game headed into the final 20 minutes.Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs