Bruins blow 3-0 lead, fall 5-3 to Lightning

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Bruins blow 3-0 lead, fall 5-3 to Lightning

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

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 jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

After sitting out the last month with a lower body injury, Bruins fourth liner Noel Acciari has been assigned to Providence presumably to get up to speed after missing a considerable length of time. It also means that Acciari has likely been cleared medically to play after appearing in B's practice over the last few days after missing the last 14 games. 

The 24-year-old former Providence College standout has appeared in 12 games with the Bruins this season after breaking camp with the team, and recorded two assists for two points with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating before suffering a lower body injury.

By all accounts Acciari was a good energy player on a surprisingly good fourth line to start the season, wasn’t afraid to throw around his body for impactful hits and was having plenty of success aggravating opponents into losing their cool and taking penalties. Fellow rookie forward Anton Blidh has stepped in and played a similar role on the fourth line over the last couple of games for the Black and Gold, so that gives the Bruins plenty of time to get Acciari back up to speed at the AHL level without their fourth line’s level of play dropping in the meantime.

The Acciari demotion to Providence does mean that the Bruins head into Washington with 12 forwards, so it should again be Blidh, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes as the fourth line barring any last minute wrinkles from Claude Julien.