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Bruins and Lightning have been striking early

By Emily Kaplan - Staff Writer

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Bruins and Lightning have been striking early
Tampa Bay has scored a goal in the first 1:09 of a game three times already in the Eastern Conference Finals, and Boston once. However, the early offense hasn't always equaled a win.
Don't even think about getting up from your couch directly after puck drop -- these teams have been scoring early and often.

Through the first six games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bruins and Lightning have combined for six goals in the first 1:09 of a period. Four of those goals have come within the first 1:09 of the game.

However it doesn't exactly pay to score early -- at least as far as the Lightning are concerned.

In Game 2, Tampa Bay right wing Adam Hall struck just 13 seconds after the opening puck drop to give the Lightning an early lead. Then in Game 5, Tampa Bay sniper Simon Gagne scored 1:09 into the first period.

However in both of those games, the Bruins rallied back and ended up with a win. Boston won Game 2 in a wild shootout, 6-5, while the Bruins scored three unanswered goals in Game 5 -- including an empty netter -- to claim a 3-1 victory.

It wasn't until Game 6 where Tampa Bay scored within the first 1:09 of the first period and then went on to win the game.

Teddy Purcell beat Bruins goalie Tim Thomas 36 seconds into Game 6 to give the Lightning an early lead, yet again. Boston answered back with two unanswered goals in the period to enter the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.

However, unlike Games 2 and 5, Tampa Bay's offense showed up late in the game, too. Two goals by Martin St. Louis, then one apiece by Steven Stamkos and Purcell highlighted the final 40 minutes for the Lightning, as they won Game 6, 5-4. Stamkos' power-play goal came just 34 seconds into the third period.

Boston also got an early goal from David Krejci, 1:09 into Game 3, which held up in a 2-0 win.

So will the teams strike again early in Game 7? Maybe. But after that, it's all up in the air.
Quote of the Day

Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.

— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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