TAMPA BAY, Fla. --
After 20 minutes on Saturday, it looked as if the Boston Bruins would be one victory away from the Stanley Cup Finals thanks to a two-goal effort from center Patrice Bergeron
and a 3-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning going into the first intermission.
But there were still 40 minutes to go, and the Bolts bounced back from Bergeron's first period attack and made of the most of nearly every opportunity the rest of the way.
"Yeah, it was a perfect first period," said Bergeron. "And we stopped battling and we stopped being hard on the forecheck.
"I mean that's what gave us success in the first period and we sat back.
"They've got too much speed and too much firepower up front to do that."
Tampa Bay scored five unanswered goals over the final 40 minutes to tie the Eastern Conference Finals 2-2 and ensure that there will be at least one more hockey game in Florida this spring.
"A little bit of everything," was B's Head Coach Claude Julien's answer to the question of what went wrong for Boston in the last 2/3 of Saturday's contest.
"Execution. Some simple passes, that didn't seem that simple for us tonight at times...were certainly [some] of those things.
"Sometimes, when you start feeling the pressure, those kind of things start happening and it kind of snowballs, and you try to relax your guys and get them to execute well."
However, Tampa Bay garnered all of the momentum and held sway the rest of the day.
"I think a lot of damage was done in that second period," said Julien. "We had all intentions of coming out in the third and playing to win, but it took one mistake and they ended up scoring a winner."
Bergeron, who missed the first two games of the series due to a concussion, also cited execution as an issue through the second and third periods.
"Obviously, passes (not) on tape is the first thing you're going to notice if you're not executing and if you're not sharp," said Bergeron. "They're a good team...[and] we were on our heels."
But knowing that Game 5 is just over 48 hours away, the B's alternate captain attempted to turn the page quickly.
"Tonight was just a matter of we stopped playing," said Bergeron. "I don't think it was anything (other) than that.
"We let them come back in the game and like I said they're a good team and if we do that they will score.
"We have to find a way to get back to what was giving us success and once we did that we had a couple good shifts," explained Bergeron. "That was because we were going hard and we're first on the puck."
Coach Julien said he believed the B's would be just fine if they follow the lead of their alternate captain who had his ninth career multiple-point playoff game and fourth of this post-season.
"Bergy has been good for us," said Julien. "That's the kind of player you rely on game in, game out.
"And you hope a lot of players take his example, because that's what we need.
"And that's what we didn't get tonight."