BOSTON -- On most playoff nights, scoring a pair of goals – including the game-winner – and adding an assist would be good enough to earn First-Star honors.
On Tuesday night at TD Garden, however, Michael Ryder did just that and had to settle for being the Third Star in Boston’s wild 6-5 victory to end Tampa Bay’s winning streak at eight games and even the Eastern Conference Finals series at 1-1.
That’s because Ryder was a bit lost in the shadow of linemate Tyler Seguin, who exploded for two goals and two assists in just his second playoff game. Seguin is the first teenager since Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks in 1989 to have four points in a playoff game.
Ryder, Seguin and center Chris Kelly combined for four goals, including one on a normally dormant power play, in Boston’s five-goal second period as the home team erased a 2-1 deficit.
But, Ryder was OK taking a spot in the shadows on this night.
Q: How much fun was tonight?
A: It was definitely a big win for us. We don’t want to be down 2-0, and I think we came out hard, and after the first (period), we were disappointed with the result. But I think we did a lot of good things in the second. We just came out, kept doing things we did in the first and we managed to score some goals.
Q: Talk about Tyler Seguin’s performance?
A: He’s definitely working hard right now and playing well. That’s what we need. When guys go down with injuries, others have to step in and step up and play huge -- and he’s doing that right now. We have a little bit of chemistry right now. We played during the regular season a bit, and we’ve just got to make sure we keep it going.
Q: It’s not often that a guy scores two goals and everybody wants to talk about the other guy?
A: Yeah for sure. We read off each other pretty well, and know where we’re going to be on the ice. When Segs is skating and holding onto the puck and making plays, that’s when he’s at his best.
Q: What about Tim Thomas’ performance in the third period?
A: I think in the third we sat back a little bit and we weren’t skating, we were just kind of watching a little bit. Timmy came up huge, he made a lot of big saves, and that’s what we need out of him this time of year. I think we have to learn from the third period that we can’t do that because the team on the other side; they’re not going to give up.
Q: How important is to even this series at 1-1 with the potential to get Patrice Bergeron back in Game 3?
A: It’s huge. Like I said, we didn’t want to be down 2-0. We don’t want to do what we did with Montreal. That was a tough grind, and the series is back at even now. We’ve just got to go back down there and make sure we win another one.
Q: Do you guys have the momentum now?
A: For now, I think. But they’re probably going to say that they came into our building and stole one. So they’re probably happy with 1-1. But yeah, we’ve just got to make sure next game we come out hard, like we did tonight, and set the tone.
Q: What is it about your chemistry with Tyler Seguin? You guys had it in regular season too.
A: I don’t know what it is, it just seems to click for some reason and then Kells played well tonight. And that’s all we need, all three of us going, and we read off of each other pretty well. Like I said before, when Segs is skating and he’s strong on the puck, and he’s protecting it, that’s when he’s at his best.