BOSTON – Just hours after defeating the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning were back on the ice for an afternoon practice yesterday at TD Garden.
|Boston Bruins' Johnny Boychuk upends Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final playoff series, Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
The hard-working Bolts were clearly happy to have won their opening game against Boston, but know there is a lot of work ahead of them in the seven-game series.
“We just know that they are going to be really good, they are going to bounce back,” Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said of what he expects from the B’s in Game 2 on Tuesday.
“We know we have to play better if we want to get another win.”
Tampa Bay scored three goals within 90 seconds of Game 1 and rode the early 3-0 lead to the eventual 5-2 victory.
“I think the definition of scoring goals is bury your opportunity. So most of the time you say that [you’re opportunistic] when you don't get a lot of opportunity and you score,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said.
“On most of them, you get six and you score four, and you're considered an opportunistic team.”
Despite Tyler Seguin’s first career playoff goal and a tip-in from Johnny Boychuk late in the third, the Lightning held on to take an important 1-0 series lead.
“This is a good team we are playing. They have done it all year, they have great players. I think in the last game in the first period we got a little bit lucky and got a lead,” said St. Louis.
While the all-star forward felt his team may have gotten a bit lucky (one goal came off a Tomas Kaberle turnover at the left post and another after a stick-less Dennis Seidenberg tried to kick the puck away from the crease), superstar Steven Stamkos recognized the team’s ability to capitalize on Boston’s uncharacteristic mistakes.
“You need bounces to go your way in order to win. So we capitalized on those bounces. Whether we earned them or not, they were a goal,” Stamkos said.
“We got out and a little luck on certain plays, but we pounced on them and we buried them.”
After taking the quick lead, Tampa was not content to sit back and play defense while Boston tried to mount a comeback. Seguin’s goal reminded the Lightning of the Bruins offensive power and forced them to continue to make plays.
The Bolts did just that and laid 24 shots in B’s goaltender Tim Thomas throughout the second and third periods, netting two more goals in the attack.
Although the win and the 1-0 series lead looks good on paper, the Lightning knows the next three wins will be an uphill climb. Boucher and St. Louis have already turned the page on Game 1.
“In the playoffs you have to live day-by-day, we’ve been on the road, but this means nothing,” St. Louis said.
“You have to earn it, you have to earn it everyday and we have done a good job of that. We remind ourselves how important every game is and we try to earn it everyday.”
Boucher agreed saying, “We feel that with humility comes great preparation. And we haven't done anything yet.
“And we believe it.”