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Postgame Reaction: Game 3 at Tampa Bay

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins – Patrice Bergeron made his return to the line-up and the Bruins took a 2-1 series lead with a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times forum tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson (35) is unable to stop a goal by Boston Bruins' Andrew Ference as Bruins' Tyler Seguin (19) skates away and Lightning's Marc-Andre Bergeron (47) looks on in the third period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final playoff series on Thursday, May 19, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
I really liked the way he played, obviously you see the difference he an make for our hockey club faceoff wise, abut also his responsibility on both ends of the ice,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron’s return.

Boston opened the scoring just 1:09 into the game with David Krejci’s seventh goal of the postseason. The tally was assisted by Krejci’s linemate, Milan Lucic, who recorded his fifth point of the playoffs.

The Bruins fed off the momentum Krejci’s goal gave them, dominating most of the opening period. Although the B’s were outshot 10-8 in the period, Boston had multiple scoring opportunities and won 14 of 18 draws. Bergeron won five of seven faceoffs while Krejci was a perfect six for six.

“Tonight’s game probably resembled a lot more of what everyone expected from this series. Two teams that can make it hard for you to score and I thought tonight our team was very good in regards to that,” Julien said.

“We made some stronger plays, some better decisions and we seemed a little bit more.”

The second period saw more even play between the two teams, but Boston continued to control in the offensive zone, laying 12 shots on Tampa goaltender Dwayne Roloson. The Bolts managed just six shots on the B’s netminder Tim Thomas.

The Bruins had two power play opportunities in the second. They came up short on both, but spent almost the entirety of the second man-advantage in Tampa’s zone, forcing the Bolts to use a time out with just over 40 seconds left in the period.

Boston carried the momentum from a strong final shift into the third period.

It took almost 12 minutes of third period play, but the Bruins were able to build to their lead with a Tyler Seguin tip on an Andrew Ference blast. The goal added to the rookie’s recent rampage. It was his fourth goal in three games.

Tampa Bay continued to pressure throughout the remainder of the contest, but Thomas held his ground and made 31 saves en route to his first shutout of the postseason.

“He made some big saves when he has to and he’s been good,” Julien said of Thomas.

“When they had some great opportunities he was also there to make the big saves.”
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