Lightning's power play sinks Bruins, 5-4

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Lightning's power play sinks Bruins, 5-4

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

TAMPA The Tampa Bay Lightning had been waiting for special teams to become a difference-maker in the series, and Game 6 was their night.

The Bolts' power play snapped an 0-for-11 streak of futility against the Bruins in the series by scoring three goals. Boston's power play unit, on the other hand, sputtered to an 0-for-4 and the Lightning won, 5-4, forcing a Game 7 in Boston on Friday.

The Bs actually held the lead in the game after the first period despite giving up the games first goal just 36 seconds into the game. A Vinny Lecavalier face-off win turned into a Teddy Purcell one-timer that none of the Bruins appeared to pick up as it sizzled into the net.

But the Bs fought back while focusing their attack at the high glove side of Dwayne Roloson. Milan Lucic snagged his third goal of the playoffs with a shot that nicked off Rolosons glove hand, and David Krejci followed nine minutes later after a sweet backhanded feed from Daniel Paille.

Thats where the good times ended for the Bruins, however.

Tampa Bay took over in the second period and worked hard for power play goals from Marty St. Louis and Purcell once again. The St. Louis score arrived off a Dennis Seidenberg cross-checking call in front of the net, and was a third effort score as the puck bounced around the net.

Purcell took a nice Downie feed and somehow worked the puck between the right arm and chest of Tim Thomas 13:35 into the second period.

Steve Stamkos scored the eventual game-winner on a PP marker less than a minute into the third period, and provided Boston with much too high a hill to climb in a comeback.

Krejci potted a power goal midway through the third to make it a one-goal game, but a St. Louis odd man rush gave the Lightning a 5-3 lead.

Krejci scored again to earn a hat trick and cut the Bolts' lead to one, but the Bruins' scoring ended there. Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.