TAMPA, Fla. -- Like the rest of his Tampa Bay teammates, center Steven Stamkos was left to ponder why the Lightning were unable to solve Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins’ defense Thursday night in a 2-0 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals
Stamkos had four of Tampa Bay’s 31 shots on goal, but few of those saves by Thomas had to be great ones. After scoring 10 goals in the first two games of this series, the Lightning were shut out for the first time since Game 1 of the opening round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here’s what Stamkos had to say after the contest:
Q: Was the lack of offense you or them?
A: I didn’t think we did enough to create chances offensively or get to the net as hard as we’ve been doing -- screens, rebounds. Our power play -- we’ve got score because special teams are huge. They capitalized on their chance early in the game but I thought both teams played really well defensively. They capitalized on two chances and that was it.
Q: Was what they were doing shutting you down or did you feel like you had the legs at the end?
A: I thought we had a pretty good start, other than that first shift or second shift where they scored. For the most part, we got some chances. Their goalie made some good saves. We didn’t, for whatever reason, do the things we did in Games 1 and 2 to get the goals.
Q: Was this the type of game where things weren’t going 5-on-5 and you need a power-play goal but just couldn’t get it?
A: Our power play has pretty good in the playoffs and we needed it to step up. Even late in the game there to get a goal and make it a game of it, but we obviously have to go back to the drawing boards and be better.
Q: It seemed like they shut down your transition game pretty well?
A: I thought both teams played really well defensively. I think we outshot them and we had some chances, but it is the little things. Those goals -- they weren’t complete breakdowns, but they were stuff that we didn’t do that we normally do.
Q: You go from a game where people categorize it as too loose to a game like this where it is 2-0 and 1-0 the whole time -- is it a matter of finding a happy medium?
A: I think we knew the game was going to be like this. These are the games that we usually play well in -- one-goal games -- and we usually win those. Give them credit; they played well defensively and Thomas was good when he had to be. We have to find ways to generate goals.
Q: What did you think of Dwayne Roloson tonight?
A: He played great. We knew that he was going to bounce back and both goalies did. It’s up to us offensively to get some goals. You aren’t going to win if you aren’t scoring.