Big Story: Tampa Bay used an amazing rally in Game 4 – five unanswered goals after Boston took a 3-0 lead in the first period – to win Game 4, 5-3. Now, instead of facing elimination, Tampa Bay has all the momentum in what has become a best-of-3 series. Boston, however, is at home for what will be the final non-elimination game of this round and Boston is 5-3 so far this playoff season at TD Garden. Tampa Bay, however, did win Game 1 here in rather convincing fashion.
Lightning: Tampa Bay once again showed the never-say-die attitude that has served it so well this postseason. After a horrendous first period – three goals allowed that sent Dwayne Roloson to the bench – the Lightning regrouped and used a physically punishing forecheck to claw back into the game.
Tampa Bay scored three goals in a span of 3:58 in the second period – two by Teddy Purcell and one by Sean Bergenheim – to even the game at 3-3 before Simon Gagne – a proven Bruin killer – scored the game-winning goal seven-plus minutes into the third. Martin St. Louis added an empty-net goal.
"I just think that we came back so many times this year and everybody knows in the third period we just keep coming and keep coming and keep coming," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "We came back by three goals in Florida. We came back by three goals before that, too, against other teams. And we knew we could do it.
"If you know that you've got legs, and you've got ammunition, you just stick to it, because eventually it should pay."
Bruins: For the second time in this series, Boston takes the TD Garden ice absolutely reeling.
In Game 1, Boston lost 5-2 behind a quick three-goal outburst by the Lightning in the first period. The bruins never regained their equilibrium and staggered to the final whistle.
Three nights later, though, Boston took it Tampa Bay early in Game 2 and then held on for a one-goal victory to even the series.
Now, the Bruins have to rebound from Saturday afternoon's "Breakdown at the Bay" in Game 4. In that game, Boston forfeited a dominant first period and a three-goal lead by giving three goals in a 3:58 span of the second period. In the third, Bruin killer Simon Gagne won the Game with a goal off a turnover by Milan Lucic. Once again, Boston staggered to the finish line.
Will Boston again find the mental reserve to face down adversity and win a game that would deliver them within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990?
"We're fine," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "This is what playoff hockey is about. It's a tight series and we understand that we didn't do a very good job from the second period on (Saturday afternoon). You have to think about what you need to do (Monday) and bounce back. That's all we are thinking about right now. You make corrections, adjustments; you do what you have to do. But, when you are this far into the playoffs you don't let the mental part of the game get to you."
Who's Hot: Teddy Purcell had two goals in Game 3, scoring each of Tampa Bay's first two goals. Sean Bergenheim scored the tying goal Saturday and now has a League-leading 9 goals this postseason. Simon Gagne scored the winner and he is red-hot against the Bruins. In his last eight postseason appearances against Boston, Gagne has six goals, including three game-winners. For Boston, Patrice Bergeron had two goals, including Boston's first shorthanded tally of the postseason. Bergeron has also been a beast in the faceoff circle since returning from a concussion in Game 3. Michael Ryder has points in five-straight games and in six of seven contests.
Injury Report: Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie was injured in the second period of Game 4 after a collision with Nathan Horton. Downie did not play in the rest of the game. Sunday, Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher termed Downie as day-to-day. Defenseman Pavel Kubina, who also has an upper-body injury, has missed the first four games of the series and is not close to returning. … Boston is relatively healthy. Nobody is injured, but Milan Lucic is playing with a foot injury that has severely hampered his game.
Stat Pack: Boston missed two golden opportunities to extend its lead on power plays early in the second period and is now an abysmal 4-for-52 this postseason. Mike Smith, the backup goalie for Tampa Bay, has made two appearances in this series and has stopped all 27 shots he has faced. Tampa Bay has outscored Boston 7-0 while Smith has been in net. Ryan Malone missed 26 games this season and the teams went just 12-8-6. In the other 56 regular-season games, Tampa Bay went 34-17-5. After dominating the faceoff circle in Game 3, Boston won just 40 percent of the draws in Game 4. David Krejci was the worst offender winning just 3 of 12 draws.
Puck Drop: "Well, obviously, we are not happy with what happened yesterday, but what’s done is done. We have bigger things to worry about going into Game 5. We're excited about the challenge and what lies ahead. We're disappointed with what happened, but we have to move forward." – Boston forward Milan Lucic