19:23 What a dramatic win by Tampa Bay. Marty St. Louis just scored an empty-net goal on a 2-on-1 with Simon Gagne. Boston couldn't keep sustained pressure with the extra man and will be reeling heading into Monday's game 5. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and join me in Boston for Monday's Game 5.
17:41 We should see a lot of Patrice Bergeron in final 129 seconds. He has been Boston's only dangerous player in the third. He just fired high on a great chance after his line finally did some good work in the offensive zone and forced Tampa Bay into an icing. Lightning used timeout to rest its players.
12:55 Here's some bad ju-ju. The last time Boston blew a three-goal lead in the playoffs before today, they were leading the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 in Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern conference Finals, needing only a win to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, Philadelphia came all the way back in that game, winning 4-3 on a goal by -- ready for it? -- Simon Gagne. A week later, Philadelphia finished off the comeback in the series. Now, today, Gagne again has the potential game-winner is a game 4 That will change the very scope of this ECF. Who says history doesn't repeat itself?
11:43 The Bruins are beginning to find their legs a bit again and generating some offense. But, it is nowhere near as ferocious or sustained as what Tampa Bay has brought in the past 30 minutes. Zdeno Chara just had a bomb from point, but no traffic in front and Mike Smith gloved it easily.
6:54 Tampa Bay has finished the fight all the way back as Simon Gagne scores to make it 4-3. Tomas kaberle blocked a shot, but was caught trying to hobble off when Milan Lucic made a bad clearing poass that Ryan Malone intercepted iN neutral zone and carried back into Boston's zone before passing to Simon Gagne. The veteran Lightning forward wristed a shot just under the right hand of Tim Thomas, who was crowded by a backpedaling Kaberle, who tried for another block. Not the best of shifts for Kaberle. This is only the fourth time since 1971 that B oston has blOwn a 3-0 lead in a playoff game. Goal, TAM 4-3
3:34 Boston is still absorbing knockout punches from the lightning early in third. Vinny Lecavalier just had a great chance when he unleashed a hard, low slapper -- his specialty -- that Tim Thomas turned away with his toe. Tampa Bay has first five shots of this period.
1:54 Ryan Malone hasn't lost any steam to start the thiurd. He just went hard at the ent after a turnover at the blue line and forced Timmy Thomas to make a very good save. He also tried to put the rebound home before he was tackled by David Krejci.
:50 It doesn't look like Steve Downie is on the bench for start of third period. He went into boards hard in collision with Nathan Horton late in second period. By the way, Horton's penalty was changed from a boarding call to roughing.
Start of third periood
20:00 Final whistle of period could not come soon enough for Boston, which completely lost the plot in second. A few nice chances in the last two minutes, suggest the Bruins may have gained their equilibrium, but this rest is much needed. Vets like mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara must setp up in room. On the other side, tampa Bay looked like it did not want to leave the ice. they are ready to play third now and it will be curious to see if rest will blunt some Of their emotion and energy.
18:23 Johnny Boychuk just had a nice chance during 4-on-4 play, but Mike Smith smothered it to his chest. The play of Smith since replacing Roloson has been huge. The teams are playing 4-on-4 because Nathan Horton took a boarding penalty 200 feet from his own net. Only reason it was not a PP is because Steve Downie, the target of the boarding infraction, was assessed a diving penalty. Downie, though, left the game hurt.
15:27 Boston's top line just had a decent shift to lift the seige -- at least temporarily. If Boston can get to the intermission without allowing another goal, it will be huge for them. Claude Julien has some serious coaching to do now -- more mental than tactical. For Guy Boucher, he has to find ways to get his third line on the ice even more and perhaps triple shift Ryan Malone, who is a beast Boston can not handle right now. He doesn't even show fear around Zdeno Chara at this point and is giving Tampa bay a huge physchological boost.
10:53 It's a new game now. Sean bergenheim, who leads the League in playoff goals this postseason, just scored by beating three Bruins before going 5-hole on Thomas. first, he stole the puck from Tomas kaberle behind the net, then he avoided a stick check by David Krejci coming out of corner and finally he beat Adam McQuaid to shooting position. What an effort by Bergenheim. Tampa now has three goals on five shots in 3:55 and Boston is under seige. Goal, TAM 3-3
8:17 Things have gone from bad to worse for Bopston. Brad Marchand, clearly caught up in the emotion of the game, just crushed Stamkos behind the Tampa net and drew a penalty 200 feet from his own net. A penalty Boston can't afford at this juncture.
7:58 It's a game again. What a wrist shot by Teddy Purcell, who lasered the puck past TiM Thomas afetr Tyler Seguin of all people had broken up a wrap-around attempt that seemed destined to beat Thomas. That's two goals in 63 seconds. This Tampa team has some serious quick-strike ability. Goal, TAM 2-3.
6:55 Teddy Purcell will be credited with Tampa Bay's first goal of this game, but it was a goal made poossible by Ryan Malone. Boston's Zdeno Chara had the puck behind the net, but Malone rammed into him heavily, knocking the much bigger Chara off the puck and allowing Malone to pass in front to Purcell, who shoveled a backhanded just inside far post. Goal TAM 1-3
3:52 Tampa Bay just paid for trying to unhinge Tim Thomas as simon Gagne is whistled for goalie interference. It appears that might have been a cumlative penalty rather than for that one specific instance. Bruins would love to get PP going, but can't allow Tampa to score shorthanded. That would be deadly.
3:18 Bruins didn't generate much on their PP to start the perfiod, although Seguin had a tesater late in the two minutes. Mike Smith, who has stayed in the game for Dwayne Roloson, fought the shot off. Boston has done masterful job of taking a very loud crowd out of this game.
Start of second period
End of first period
20:00 What and end to the first period. After Bergeron's second goal, Dawyne Rolson was pulled, just as he was in Game 2. Then, in the closing seconds, Tampa Bay had a chance arOund the net and couldn't convert. But, there attempts to poke and jab at Tim Thomas ended in a huge altercation. Zdeno Chara wsas in the middle of it al, just throwing Steve Downie away from The net. Rich Peverley also fought Marc-Andre Bergeron, who was late to the scrum. Even Patrice Bergeron was trading jabs with Victor Hedman. Emotions are running high and not sure a 17-minute break will calm things down.
17:58 Boston putting the hammer down right now with two goals in 84 seconds, one of which was shorthanded. Michael Ryder scored a lucky goal, which did come from hard work. He was trying to make a pass to Chris Kelly on a 2-on-1, but instead, the puck ramped off Mike Lundin's stick and caught Dwayne Roloson going the wrong way before it ticked off his far skate and into the net. just seconds later, Dennis Seidenberg took a holding-the-stick penalty when Steven Stamkos got in aggressively on the forecheck. But, Boston didn't even blink as Patrice Bergeron intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and went 5-hole on Rolson from the top of the circle. Goals, BOS 2-0 and 3-0
15:16 So much is made about how tough players are during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I'll tell you who is tough -- NHL referees. Dan O'Halloran just showed it. He was beLted to the ice accidentally when Patrice Bergeron clattered into him on the forecheck. Yet, he got up and was back at it after a minute of coinsultation. He appears to be favoring his arm< but won't ask out. These guys are fearless and have amazing tolerance for pain.
11:47 After getting off to the exacty start they wanted, Tampa Bay just hit a huge rough patch. Defenseman Brett Clark misplayed an ill-advised back pass from Victor Hedman and Patrice Bergeron picked up the bounce off the end boards and stuffed it past Dwayne Rolson. Now, Boston has the lead and we all saw what they did with it last game. Tampa Bay must answer quickly. Goal, BOS 1-0.
10:26 Everybody has made a big deal out of Tampa Bay blocking shots, but Danny Paille just made a monster block and paid the price for it. Yet, he was back out the next shift and generated a scoring chance. He is a true underrated member of this Bruins team.
8:23 Tampa Bay vowed that it would make life tougher for Tim Thomas today and it has delivered on that promise. The Lightning are crowding Thomas every time they set up in the offensive end and they are digging for the puck even when it is covered. Thomas already showing signs of being frustrated as he just took several blocker-hand jabs at Adam Hall while play was still going on.
6:54 Breathless. What a start to this game. Up-and-down action and great scoring chances. Boston's Tim Thomas made a huge save on one-timers by Sean BergenheIm and Steven Stamkos already. Dwayne Roloson, meanwhile, made a huge save on Dennis Seidenbedrg and saw his teammates clear another puck off the goal line. The tempo is amazing so far. Appears nobody has been thrown off by early start.
Start of first period
1:32 p.m. It will be interesting to see what kind of first 10 minutes we get from Lightning here today. They certainly don't want to go 3-1 in this series, so they don't want to give Boston any more confidence at the start of this game. And, let's not forget, the last time Tampa Bay lost two in a row, as they have now, the Lightning then reeled off eight straight wins -- a streak broken by Boston in Game 2. Today, the Bruins will likely have to try to absorb Tampa Bay's best push of this series. Oh yeah, by the way, the crowd is much louder today than it was for Game 3.
1:23 p.m. The Lightning campaign for these playoffs is the simple phrase "All In." Just now on the video b oard, they did a nice bit about it, getting local celebrities to say they are All In. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Bucs coach Raheem Morris, poker player John Racener, comedian Jeff Dunham and MC hammer, yes that MC Hammer, apparently are all All In. Too cool!
1:20 p.m. Welcome to St. Pete Time's Forum for Game 4 of the eastern Conference Finals. It is brutally hot and humid outside today, but a nice brisk temperature here inside. There appears to be one lineup change for the Lightning today and that is Dana Tyrell, the young center, in on the fourth line for Blair Jones.