Seeing as how it's the semifinals and there's only four teams left in all this, it's time to start focusing on the Eastern Conference as well, so we can identify which team the San Jose Sharks are bound to face when the inevitably stomp the Vancouver Canucks. That last sentence, of course, was a joke - it will be a very hard-fought series, but either way, let's cast a quick look over to that game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came to Boston with upset on the mind, and they definitely delivered, taking down the Bruins 5-2 in a game that was closer than the final score would indicate. The disparity came in the first period, when the Lightning scored three times on Tim Thomas within an 85-second span. Sean Bergenheim lit the lamp with 8:45 left to go in the opening frame, and two others, Brett Clark with 8:25 to go and Teddy Purcell with 7:20 to go, would add to that.
It sucked all of the air out of the building, but the Bruins weren't to be deterred. It wasn't luck or anything of that sort that led to the Lightning goals, but it was definitely a lapse not befitting the Bruins we've seen thus far in these 2011 playoffs. They illustrated that with a Tyler Seguin goal before the period came to a close. In periods two and three, there was really no point where they hemorrhaged goals or high shot volume, they just simply couldn't make up the ground they lost in the first. The Lightning kept piling it on, with a power play goal and then an empty-netter, before the Bruins scored again with less than two minutes remaining.
While this writer doesn't think that the play from either team will stay in the same vein throughout the remainder of the series, the Lightning have to feel good about themselves, fighting as underdogs in both series so far and now with a one-game lead while doing it again. They'd love to take another in Boston before heading to Tampa.