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Bruins v Lightning - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Tampa Bay's run reaching historic proportions

Emily Kaplan - Staff Writer

Eight is great -- but a few more could rewrite history.

With a 5-2 win against the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their playoff winning streak to eight games.

The streak dates back to Tampa Bay's first-round series win against the Penguins and includes its four-game sweep of the Capitals in the second round.

Lack of production has Kaberle under microscope

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- It's hard to be a savior.

That is a lesson Boston defenseman Tomas Kaberle is learning this spring.

Obtained in late February, Boston hockey fans viewed his acquisition from the Maple Leafs as the final piece of a championship puzzle for their beloved Bruins -- a premiere puck-moving D who would help with Boston's transition game and jumpstart a power play that many viewed as a potential Achilles' heel.

In the eyes of many, Kaberle has failed miserably on both counts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The criticism has reached such volume that on Sunday afternoon, Boston coach Claude Julien admitted the rampant negativity was having an effect on Kaberle.

Bergeron practices in part with Bruins

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Injured Boston forward Patrice Bergeron continues to progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered 10 days ago. The latest sign of progress was taking part in the first part of Boston's practice Monday at TD Garden.

It is the first time in three straight days of on-ice work that Boston's No. 2 center has taken part in team drills. He skated on his own the morning of Saturday's Game 1 loss to Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals and then skated again before Sunday's practice, working extensively with the team's strength and conditioning coach.

Monday, he arrived on the Garden ice before his teammates and stayed when practice started with some power-play work. In fact, Bergeron even took part in some of those drills. He also remained for first part of the full practice, although he left just before the team started some battle drills and down-low work in the offensive zone.

All told, Bergeron was on the ice for a little more than an hour Monday.

Moore playing an enormous role for the Bolts

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Guy Boucher says center Dominic Moore doesn't get enough of the credit for the success of Tampa Bay's third line, but that may no longer be true.

Moore was, after all, named the No. 1 star in the Lightning's Game 1 victory against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals without being one of the team's five goal scorers. But Boucher's broader point is sound -- Moore is a guy who hasn't been getting the recognition he deserves for a while now.

"He does everything but [Sean] Bergenheim gets the credit or [Steve] Downie gets the credit. When you look at the clips, you realize a big portion of why they were successful was because of Dominic Moore," Boucher said. "It is not surprising to me. That's why we brought him in. Last year I thought he was one of the better players for Montreal in the playoffs and I liked him during the season. He's just continually doing what I feel fits exactly with what we want to do with this team."

Boucher is right about Moore's performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was a prototypical No. 3 center for the Canadiens, delivering fantastic work on the penalty kill, winning faceoffs, playing sound defensively at even strength and chipping in some offense.

Bergeron's impact felt everywhere in Game 1

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Injured Boston forward Patrice Bergeron skated for a little more than 20 minutes in a one-on-one session with team strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. It was the second-straight day the concussed Bergeron has skated, which is good news.

The bad news, however, is that Sunday's skate came just about 12 hours after Boston learned just how much they missed their do-everything center. Saturday night, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden, Boston dropped a 5-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bergeron's absence was felt in almost every aspect of that loss.

"I can only imagine how much it killed him last night watching that game and being a key factor," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said Sunday after Boston reported to the Garden, foregoing practice for team meetings.

Bergeron could have helped Saturday night in countless ways.

Seguin tallies goal, assist in postseason debut

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON – Tyler Seguin's playoff debut was a roller-coaster ride for him that won't soon be forgotten.

A healthy scratch for the first two rounds of the playoffs, Boston's prized rookie – the No. 2 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft – finally cracked the lineup when Patrice Bergeron was unable to play because of a concussion he suffered eight days ago in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Philadelphia.

Saturday's Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning – a 5-2 loss at TD Garden -- started with a slow climb for Seguin, like any good roller-coaster ride should.

He got his first shift under his belt, playing the right wing with center Rich Peverley and left wing Michael Ryder. He was feeling good, enjoying the ride and the suspense of what lay ahead.

Role players come up big again for Lightning

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- In previous seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning had a handful of elite players to matchup against just about any team in the NHL.

What the club was missing was depth, and first year general manager Steve Yzerman's moves to improve the Lightning's roster continue to look better with each playoff victory. Tampa Bay's role players -- many of them in their first year with the organization -- continued to be a theme Saturday night for the Lightning's success in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

"You've got to do your role and more and those guys are bringing it," Martin St. Louis said after a 5-2 victory. "You need everybody at this time of year. We don't have any passengers and that's why we're having the success we are."

Kaberle: 'We know we are better in here'

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON – Tomas Kaberle had an eventful night for the Boston Bruins.

Unfortunately, little of what the Bruins defenseman did turned out well in Saturday's 5-2 series-opening loss to Tampa Bay at TD Garden.

It was Kaberle's turnover behind the Boston net that led to Tampa Bay's third goal of the night, an unassisted tally by Teddy Purcell that proved to be the game-winner. It was also the final goal of a three-goal run in 85 seconds that put Boston into a hole from which it would not escape.

Kaberle was also a pivotal part of a power play that went 0-for-4 and is now 2-for-41 in the postseason. Twice, he tried to shot on power-play attempts only to shank both shots and miss the net by at least 15 feet. 

Bergenheim tallies eighth goal in 5-2 win

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Sean Bergenheim continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He collected his eighth goal of this postseason Saturday night, moving him to the top of the NHL list in that category as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

Bergenheim now has 8 goals in 12 games after scoring only 14 in 80 regular-season contests. Here's what he had to say after his team took a 1-0 lead in this series.

Key questions for Bruins and Lightning in Game 1

Shawn P. Roarke and Corey Masisak - Staff Writers

BOSTON -- After more than a week of rest for both teams, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning will take the ice Saturday night for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

Boston is hoping to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990. Tampa Bay is looking for its first trip since winning its only Cup seven years ago. Both teams needed seven games to fend off a pesky first-round opponent before surprisingly sweeping through the second round.

Both teams will welcome back players who had time to heal during the break. This is the first time in the conference finals for both coaches, and how the NHL veteran Claude Julien will match strategies with newcomer Guy Boucher has been a popular topic of discussion in the days leading to Game 1.
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