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Stamkos: 'We have to play our game'

by Corey Masisak /

BOSTON -- Steven Stamkos had one of his best offensive games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Tampa Bay Lightning lost a wild game 6-5 to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

Stamkos had his fifth goal of this postseason, a wicked wrist shot in the third period to beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas. He also had two assists and helped create numerous chances.

He was also on the ice for three of Boston's four even-strength goals Tuesday night. Here's what Stamkos had to say after the game:

Q: It seemed like Boston really came out hard in those first two periods. Do you agree?

They played the way we expected them to and we didn’t stick to our structure. That's what hurt us tonight. We took too many penalties in the first period, obviously gave them a 5-on-3 and did a great job killing that but they got the momentum from it and we didn’t stick to our structure. That's what happens when we don't stick to our structure.

Q: Was any of that composure?

I don't know what it was. Maybe you feel good about yourself after you win the first game. I don't know. I thought we were well prepared. We knew the game plan and had a couple good practices, but we got away from our structure.

Q: What can you say about rallying in the third period?

We don't know (the word) quit. We have a lot of character and we believe in ourselves.  We had some chances to tie it up. If there is any positive, I guess that's it. We can't afford to give up six goals and expect to win a game. Five goals for should be plenty.

Q: Did they do anything to surprise you?

They came out hard with a lot of emotion and put pucks to the net. We knew we were going to get their best game. They are a great team for a reason. They are not here by a fluke. They played really strong in the offensive zone and got lots of pucks to the net. We didn't have it today.

Q: Thomas really made some nice saves there late in the game?

Yeah, we had our chances to tie the game up. If there's any positive, that's it. He made some big saves. At the end of the day, it shouldn't come down to that. We have to play our game.

Q: When you had those two goals at the end of the first, did you feel like it was your night?

Well, any goal at the end of the period should be a momentum swinger, but they came out even stronger, I thought. It made them more hungry and they scored a lot of goals in the second period. They came at us hard. We didn't stick to our structure.

Q: Do you take any positives from your night offensively?

I'd rather win the game. Last game maybe I didn't contribute offensively, but you win the game and that's all that matters this time of year.

Q: What happened in the second period?

We didn't stick to our structure. That wins us games and that makes us lose games. Whether we are on or we're off, that’s the difference in the game. Give them credit -- they came out strong and played well, but we shouldn't have put ourselves in that position.

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