Lightning's power play sinks Bruins, 5-4


Lightning's power play sinks Bruins, 5-4

By Joe Haggerty

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 Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season. 

Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?


Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.

*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.

*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.

*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.

*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.

*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.

*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.